I'm forever getting stick from some of my dear colleagues on my current project that developing SSIS packages is nothing more than a bit of drag-and-drop. When the likes of .Net developers such as Andy say this (and its usually him saying it) I counter by saying that their kind only need 6 buttons on their keyboard - period, open curly bracket , close curly bracket , Up Arrow , Down Arrow & Enter :)
Well, today I had a go at using Yahoo Pipes and was pleasantly surprised to find that drag-and-drop is indeed alive and well in areas other than ETL. The best description for Yahoo Pipes, that uses verncacular that my usual audience will understand, is that it is like ETL for RSS feeds. Take a look at the Yahoo Pipes interface for one of Yahoo's example pipes:
It doesn't look all that similar from an ETL pipeline does it? Its got objects that are analogous to sources, transformations and destinations after all. The real difference is that the output is a browsable RSS feed that can be consumed by an RSS reader just as any other RSS feed can be.
I have created two pipes so far and, no surprise here, their topics are my two current favourite blogging topics, SSIS and Windows Live. Both of them collect information from Digg, Technorati & Del.icio.us and make them available as a single RSS feed. Here they are:
Already the SSIS RSS feed has enabled me to find this great article that I blogged about earlier today.
Posted to Windows Live (RSS feed), SSIS (RSS feed) & Yahoo (RSS feed)