At the 2011 PASS Summit I presented a Top 10 list of features that had been added since CTP3, or hadn’t gotten much attention so far. Now that the SQL Server Release Candidate 0 (RC0) available, I can start blogging about them! I’ll continue to post more details over the next couple of weeks.
Top 10 Features You Didn’t Already Know About (from PASS)
#1 – Change Data Capture
We’ve partnered with Attunity to provide some great CDC functionality out of the box. This includes a CDC Control Task, a CDC Source component, and a CDC Splitter transform (that splits the output based on the CDC operation – insert/update/delete). It also includes CDC support for Oracle. More details to follow.
#2 – ODBC Support
ODBC Source and Destination components, also from Attunity, and included in the box.
#3 – Connection Manager Changes
RC0 makes some minor improvements to Shared Connection Managers (they are now expressionable), and changes the icons used to designate connection managers that are shared, offline, or have expressions on them. We also added a neat feature for the Cache Connection Manager – it can now share it’s in-memory cache across package executions (i.e. create a shared connection manager, load the cache with a master package, and the remaining child packages will all share the same in-memory cache).
#4 – Flat File Source Improvements
Another feature that was added in CTP3, but worth calling out again. The Flat File Source now supports a varying number of columns, and embedded qualifiers.
#5 – Package Format Changes
Ok, another CTP3 feature – but when I demo’d it at PASS, I did a live merge of two data flows up on stage. And it worked. Impressive, no?
#6 – Visual Studio Configurations
You can now externalize parameter values, storing them in a visual studio configuration. You can switch between VS configurations from the toolbar (like you can with other project types, such as C# or VB.NET), and your parameter values will automatically change to the value within the configuration.
#7 - Scripting Improvements
We upgraded the scripting engine to VSTA 3.0, which gives us a Visual Studio 2010 shell, and support for .NET 4.
Oh… and we also added Script Component Debugging. More about that to follow.
#8 – Troubleshooting & Logging
More improvements to SSIS Catalog based logging. You can now set a server wide default logging level, capture data flow component timing information, and row counts for all paths within a data flow.
#9 – Data Taps
Another CTP3 feature that didn’t get enough attention. This feature allow you to programmatically (using T-SQL) add a “tap” to any data flow path on a package deployed to the SSIS Catalog. When the package is run, data flowing through the path will be saved out to disk in CSV format. The feature was designed to make debugging data issues occurring in a production environment (that the developer doesn’t have access to).
#10 – Server Management with PowerShell
We’ve added PowerShell support for the SSIS Catalog in RC0. See the follow up post for API examples.
- Updated look for the Control Flow and Data Flow
- Pivot UI
- Row Count UI
- New Expression:
- BIDS is now SQL Server Data Tools
- Many small fixes and improvements based on CTP feedback – thank you!!