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The New Face of DTS in SQL Server "Yukon"

  • February 9, 2004
  • By Mike Gunderloy
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The Rest of the Interface

What about the other three areas in the DTS Package Designer? The Control Flow area gives you a second set of tasks to work with; this set is centered around moving data around outside of SQL Server. You can set up bulk inserts or do data mining, move data to XML, use FTP and message queues, as well as set up basic loops and sequences here. When you create a data flow task it automatically shows up in the Control Flow area so you can work with it.

The Event Handlers area lets you tie into the actual runtime processing of your package. Events include OnError, OnPreExecute, OnPostExecute, and so on. Event handlers are built from items in the Toolbox, just like the packages themselves.

Finally, the Tree View area, shown in Figure 6, gives you an overview of all the pieces of the DTS package. You can select any item in the tree to see its properties in the standard Visual Studio property sheet - though this won't necessarily include all of the properties that you can set by double-clicking the item!

The Tree View shows the contents of the DTS package

Of course, the designer also lets you do other basic package tasks. You can open an existing task, save a copy of a task, execute it or debug it. As much as possible, the "Yukon" team has reused the way that Visual Studio .NET works in designing SQL Server Workbench, moving us one step closer to the day when all of our tools will have a single unified interface.

The Future of DTS

As the release date for "Yukon" approaches, you're going to see a lot more about the power of the rewritten Data Transformation Services. And there's certainly a lot of power here; if you're doing complex data warehousing work, for example, it's hard to match this combination of a high-end engine and visual designer ease of use. But when you're getting ready to make the leap, you need to keep the UI changes in mind as well. No matter how much you know about DTS in SQL Server 2000, you've got work ahead of you in learning the new version. I think it will be worth it, but make sure to set aside the time for the learning curve.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy is the author of over 20 books and numerous articles on development topics, and the lead developer for Larkware. Check out his MCAD 70-305, MCAD 70-306, and MCAD 70-310 Training Guides from Que Publishing. When he's not writing code, Mike putters in the garden on his farm in eastern Washington state.





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