Yesterday I posted a blog entry that explained some of the options available for dynamically changing SQL Server Integration Services packages at runtime. Paul Shotts posted a comment stating that in DTS he often used the "Dynamic Properties Task" to change the source and destinations of his data pumps and asked whether he was now prohibited from doing the same in SSIS. Happily the answer is no, this can still be done. The "Dynamic Properties Task" has dissappeared but has been extended by the provision of Configurations.
An SSIS configuration allows you to change properties of your variables, connection managers (analogous to a connection in DTS) & control-flow tasks at runtime. This sounds similar to property expressions which I mentioned in my previous blog entry on this subject although there are differences between configurations and property expressions. The main ones being:
- Configurations change properties to explicit values. Property expressions can change them to explicit values or values calculated by other means
- Property expressions are attached to control-flow tasks and execute when that task executes. Configurations affect the package prior to the package beginning to execute
Configurations are excellent candidates to solve Paul's problem of changing the location of his sources and destinations at runtime. This is especially useful when moving packages between development, test and live environments. I have previously written an article which explains how to do just that which can be found at SQLIS.com.
Hope this helps to explain the concept of configurations a little.
Kirk Haselden has more information on his blog here.
Configurations are set to be one of the most useful features of SSIS, I can't think that anyone will be implementing SSIS without using them!