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Sources in SSIS are components that allow to connect to a data source, be it a database, a file, or a service.
SSIS connect to any database that support the following drivers: ODBC, OLE DB, ADO.NET, ADO, and SQL Server Native Driver. Relational Data Management Systems with such connectivity include well known vendors ( Oracle's Oracle and MySQL databases, Microsoft's SQL Server, Access, and SQL Server in Azure, Sybase, IBM's database varieties, and not so well known such as Postgres, Ingres, SQL Lite, etc.)
SSIS allows to create variables and parameters of different data types to hold values used in between tasks, environmental values, and values used in dynamically created statements. Variable and parameters differ in their scope definition and corresponding design and run-time use.
In 2008, there are only variables. The SSIS 2008 does not have project model, and as such variables are the only way to introduce temporary storage. Starting with 2012, SSIS introduces the project model used in deployment and for shared connections, and parameters start playing a role of project or package level variable. Variables still exist and can be scoped at the package, container, task or event handler level.
The variables are used in the scenarios when their value should change within the scope of the package, container, task execution or event change. An example of their use is in loops, conditional or dynamic expressions.
Here are the examples of variable declarations:
Variables window may be opened many ways, with the most common two being right-clicking in the control-flow or data-flow area and choosing "Variables" or by choosing "View" -."Other Windows" ->"Variables" from the Visual Studio Menu pane.
Variables can be of many different data types, among the integers, string, datetime, object, DBNull and more.
Usually, in defining variable one would provide the scope followed by double colon and variable name