Fuzzy Lookup is a component which, when used as part of a data flow in an SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) package, enables you to locate matching records in a reference table just like the standard Lookup transformation does, with the added value that it can also lookup close matches and not only those which are identical.
It is a very versatile transformation that, when used in conjunction with its exact match Lookup counterpart, can help you save a huge amount of time in data cleaning and guarantees cleaner and more accurate results. Beware though, that in order for the SSIS runtime to let you run this Fuzzy Lookup transformation, it requires SQL Server to be running an Enterprise Edition.
Trying to run it in any non-Enterprise edition will cause the SSIS runtime to throw error 8228 (The task "%1!s!" cannot run on installed %2!s! of Integration Services. It requires %3!s! or higher.) There is an exception to this rule though: if you run any package from the IDE (BIDS) in debugging mode, it will run no matter what edition of SQL is installed in the machine from where the transformation is being invoked. It has been deliberately decided to make it work that way so that developers don’t need to run an Enterprise edition in their development environments.
This post is part of the a series I decided to call “Understanding the value of the Enterprise Edition, one feature at a time” which I started in September 2011 and will grow on a weekly basis, having a new post incorporated to the family every Friday.