SSIS – 15 Faults Rebuttal

Over here, Oren posted a list of 15 issues with SSIS. Some are founded, most are not. Read on for more:

Below are each of Oren’s points with my response:

Bad Errors:
You have to understand though, that this isn’t .Net. SSIS has many components/engines at work that obtaining the correct error isn’t always at the heart of the SSIS engine. It could be a database error. It could be an ADO error. Whatever it may be, I agree, some are cryptic, but I’ve generally been able to diagnose my errors. And if there is an error I don’t know about, I contact the community and finally Microsoft through product support.

Random Errors:
The fact these are random should banish this item from your “SSIS 15 Faults” list.

Keeping track of what it shouldn’t:
Never had this happen. NEVER. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Did I make my point? Come over to the forums for help if this is happening and we can help troubleshoot.

Sorry excuse for deployment:
I don’t understand any of the points made here. Deploying to a server has never been a problem. It is in the manual that metadata cannot change between databases/tables. So if you’re moving to an environment that has its metadata different than another, you need to reconcile that first. Also, you aren’t using “select * from table” or selecting tables in the drop down box in the OLE DB sources are you? NEVER do that. Always select the specific columns you need (even if it’s all of them) manually so that DBAs can add fields to the table without causing metadata changes.

Security? Who needs that:
An SSIS package doesn’t need sysadmin rights to execute. Period.

UI Formatting instructions:
Ah, well, what would you say if the SSIS dev team decided to make SSIS packages binary? THEN WHAT? At least you have an XML file that can be parsed.

No thought about version control:
Agreed. Version control is flaky.

Bad configuration scheme:
I don’t understand this. Please elaborate.

Random configuration scheme:
B.S. – I beg to differ.

Bad UI:
Yes! The UI needs improvement.

Lack of extensibility:

Really? Darren, Jay care to comment? There are plenty of API guys that know what they’re doing and can help you out if you just ask.

Bad interoperability:
Is your Oracle example an SSIS problem, or the Oracle driver’s problem?????????

Busy work:
Yep, agree.

Hard to debug:
Within reason, yes, this is true. You now know about using the watch box.

The missing basics:
UPSERT? Really? http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1211340&SiteID=1

14 thoughts on “SSIS – 15 Faults Rebuttal

  • Jamie Thomson

    Phil,
    I think Oren could legitamtely complain if he had to contact MSFT Product Support to get an error message explained 🙂

    I take your point though. Cryptic erros are usually raised by “things” external to the package – all SSIS is doing is surfacing them for you.

    So yes, this point about error messages can be argued either way and I am somewhere in the middle.

    -Jamie

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  • Ron Ruble

    My thoughts

    >> Bad Errors:
    Yeah, SSIS does report errors horribly badly at times. The most annoying seem to be
    ones caused by deletion of a component that triggers an downstream problem in a data
    flow.

    >> Keeping track of what it shouldn’t:
    >> Never had this happen. NEVER.
    I have. SSIS sometimes seems to retain data about connection managers that have been
    deleted from the package. They aren’t there, and can’t be removed, short or directly
    editing the XML. Script components are another case. I find it truly ridiculous that
    a defect in the cached compiled CDATA block can prevent a script component from being
    edited; the obvious correct behavior, IMHO, is to offer the option to rebuild from the
    cached source.

    >> UI Formatting instructions:
    >> At least you have an XML file that can be parsed.
    Parsed with enormous difficulty. The worst problem caused by combining the UI formatting
    with the executable content is that is is impossible to effectively diff versions. Every
    attempt to do so results in thousands of changes that are effectively “this control moved
    one pixel over.”

    >> Hard to debug:
    >> Within reason, yes, this is true. You now know about using the watch box.
    In addition, it’s very difficult to profile preformance and find bottlenecks. Only after
    adding LOTS of additional script components to log data were we able to uncover the
    causes of some problems and work around them. In some cases this resulted in a 40-fold
    speed increase over the defaults in SSIS.

    Two more things I’d like to add to the defect list:

    Compile doesn’t mean compile everything. There is apparently no way to force a recompile
    on script components, other than open them all in the editor, save, and exit — really tedious.

    Continuous validation! I understand why SSIS was coded to validated everything every time
    at run time; I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. But why can’t developers set the
    dev environment to validate only when I say to compile!

  • Grim Repair

    Haha, go Philibuster go! If just about every person I’ve ever talked to who has had massive previous experience with doing these kinds of tasks, finds this program to be the biggest turd ever released, it means they are all incompetents. Every one of them. It is quite reasonable to expect a worker to spend several weeks reading documentation to do the most trivial tasks that previously could be done by an untrained worker in half an hour with DTS. This doesn’t mean the SSIS program is badly designed, by people who have no REAL WORLD experience. Rather, it means everyone is stupid and lazy except Microsoft shills.

    The joke here is that I really learned how to use C# a lot better, because it was out of the question to waste time on that joke of SSIS to automate things. Using MS Studio – can learn on the job. Using SQL Management studio – can learn on the job. Using SSIS – take a few months off work and play around with a morbidly complex and buggy program. In my workplace there are a LOT of flat files that need to be parsed and imported into SQL tables on a regular basis, and I’m halfway through writing my OWN framework to do all that, because SSIS is so flippin awful.

  • Pete Jordan

    I’m trying to migrate DTS pkgs to SSIS ’08 which source from Oracle 10g and can’t get a connection using 32-bit:

    09/15/2008 10:05 PM 123,392 Attunity.SSIS.Design.dll
    09/15/2008 10:06 PM 242,688 AttunitySSISOraAdapters.dll
    09/15/2008 10:05 PM 86,528 AttunitySSISOraConnections.dll

    under BIDS.

    How do I create an Attunity connector under ‘Connection Managers’ ?
    Nothing with a name akin to ‘Attunity’ appears in the list or available when I rt-click ‘New Connection’
    and see the ‘SSIS Connection Manager’.

    or should I forget Attunity and install both Oracle 32-bit and 64-bit drivers ?

    Thanks,
    XPXJ
    562-552-1284

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  • Davon Riffle

    I cannot thank you enough for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

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  • dial-up

    Not many writers can persuade me to their way of thinking. You’ve done a great job of doing that on many of your views here.

  • nras wa

    I normally consider this to be heavy-duty content, but you have made it so clear I understand it. The points you make are very logical.

  • SSISPureEvil

    SSIS is just buggy. A (quite) recent example: 1.) Set up a simple package to export a view. 2.) Realize that you didn’t include the column headers in the output file 3.) Go back and check off that box 4.) Cryptic error message due to this minor change 5.) Destroy your flat file connection manager completely and start over. 6.) Even though you specified tab delimiting – output is comma delimited. 7.) Inspect the check box and clearly see that tabbed is chosen. 8.) Scrap the flat file connection manager and try again. 9.) Cryptic message with new Flat File Connection Manager regarding a property set that you have no control over through the UI 10.) Decide that your best course of action is to completely close the IDE and start over. 11.) Success – if by success you mean spending 35 minutes on something that should have taken you two minutes. SSIS***WORST****SOFTWARE****EVER

  • FrustratingSSIS

    SSIS is worst.No control over any parameter in design time.It takes some value during design time and causing trouble.
    Really waste of time.

  • Mark Mokris

    SSISPureEvil’s comment is right on. This is so typical of frustrations I have encountered over and over with SSIS. The problem is that management types who have never had to use the tool themselves discount any of these complaints about SSIS. “It can’t be that bad. This is Microsoft’s key DTL tool. They wouldn’t release a product that is that bad.”

    The truth is that SSIS is just a terrible, terrible piece of software. I have wasted hours screwing around with it. With SSIS, Microsoft has condemned developers and data integration professionals to hours of living hell.

    Visual Studio .NET, C#, SQL Server – great great software. SSIS = pure crap! PS…SSRS is right there with SSIS. Junk.

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