Pragmatic Tools Week: Task Factory

If you’ve ever spent any time doing SSIS development work, you’ll eventually come to a point when developing something and you think to yourself “there has GOT to be an easier way of doing this”. We at Pragmatic Works feel the same way so our team of developer monkey ninjas put together a nifty toolset called Task Factory to help ease some of those pains!

So what is Task Factory? In SSIS you use various tasks such as Execute SQL tasks, FTP tasks, Derived Columns, Conditional Splits, etc. to complete a unit of work. Task Factory is a collection of custom, easy-to-use components that we’ve created that help streamline everyday tasks so instead of cobbling together multiple native tasks to get your desired result, you simply use one of our tasks to complete it for you!

Today, at 11am EST, we’re launching the latest version (2.0) of Task Factory. This is a rather exciting release as it has a ton of cool new tasks in addition to the slew of other awesome tasks in the product. I’m going to quickly cover some of our new ones as well as my favorites.

Dimension Merge SCD 2.0 (formerly known as Kimball SCD)

Hardcore SSIS developers have come to know and love the awesome Kimball SCD component written by Todd McDermid. Recently Todd and Pragmatic Works came to an agreement so now we offer and develop this component under the Task Factory banner. For the full story check out Todd’s post on it. What’s awesome about this task is that folks finally get the performance and flexibility of the Kimball SCD component along with the peace of mind of having vendor support stand behind the product.

XML Destination

One would think that having XML as a destination would be an option in native SSIS toolset, especially since they give you an XML Source task, but alas that isn’t the case. There are plenty of ways you can achieve this result natively but those methods tend to be slightly time consuming and often frustrating, especially for those not comfortable with scripting tasks. Thankfully, we now have an XML destination task that is quick and easy to use. This task made me cry out of joy due to my pure hatred for XML.

SharePoint Source/Destination Adapters

As more companies continue their migrations to SharePoint, or fleshing out their already existing ones, more and more data will be moving in and out of these environments. These new Source and Destination adapters will help SSIS developers quickly develop solutions to move data around your SharePoint environments with ease.

Data Cleanse Transform

Not new but extremely useful, especially for those ramping up in SSIS. This task lets you clean up data from a source with a bunch of pre-built and configurable actions to guide you. Rather than figuring out a bunch of derived column tasks and rules, this one task alone is a huge time-saver for any developer.

There are now 28 tasks in this release of Task Factory but the ones listed above are just the ones I thought really cool and useful. If you want to try it out yourself, go download a trial today and give it a shot!

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