Thursday, March 8, 2012

SSIS Documentation...

One of the important tasks when there are ETL SSIS packages being developed for a Data Mart/Datawarehouse project is ability to document the SSIS packages. It is sometimes very time consuming to open package by package and then go through all the tasks to understand what is being done in the package. The other issues here is that there is a dependency on Visual studio being present on the laptop/PC. One of the products available to perform this type of task is called SSISDocumentor, this product supports both SSIS 2005 and SSIS 2008. The product can be downloaded from the website: Once the product is downloaded, the installation is very straightforward. When the installation is complete in case BIDS/Visual studio is already open, save the work and exit out of VS/BIDS. Reopen Visual Studio/BIDS, open up the SSIS project/solution or the package. In the Solution explorer, right click on the SSIS package that requires documentation and once can see the Generate Documentation Option. Please see image below:

Click on the option, once the document is finished, a folder called Documentation is created and in the folder one can see the package documentation with a .html extension. The neat thing about the .html option is that the documentation can be viewed in a browser. Right click on the .html like shown in the image below and choose view in browser, the documentation will open up in the browser.

There are 2 types of documentation available Brief/Verbose. Each of the task in the SSIS package is depicted in a diagram and one can click on any task, then it takes you detail of the task. The script/sql statements are depicted in a neat way like an editor and once can copy the script/sql statements to the clipboard or any other tool to examine the statements. The documentation tool is very helpful for developers,architects and support folks who need to analyse the package and understand the flow of data from source to destination. This type of SSIS documentation can greatly enhance the stability of an ETL group and in cases where folks leave, it would be very helpful for developers who are coming on board to the team. Snapshot of the documentation below:

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