I like using raw files in SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). They are a quick way to build data repository that will be used else where in a package or for use with a separate package. In a recent project, raw files were used to move client data around in a new import process that consolidated business logic and improved performance.
As much as I like raw files, there is a place in SQL Server where the love I have for raw files is lacking. This is with the Import/Export Wizard in Management Studio. If you look through the wizard, you’ll find Excel love, Access love, and even some Oracle love. But there isn’t an option to import or export raw file data.
Stop the Madness
Susan Powter said it best, “Stop the Madness”. Ok, maybe this isn’t madness. But it sure is irritating when I have to write an SSIS package from scratch to import a raw file to my sandbox database to see what data is in it that is causing issues. If it were any other data source or destination, there wouldn’t be a need to do that extra work.
Is this extra work very hard? No, of course not. But this is a barrier to using this format. I’ve been pushed away from them before when explaining the need to build a package to view raw file data. When other formats can be imported with just a few clicks of a button. The five to ten minutes to stop and build the package and import the data can add up in some situations. And compating it to the minute or so to use the wizard, this can be a significant time savings when developing and testing SSIS packages.
There is certainly no sense in complaining without trying to fix. So here it goes…
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