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Archive for June, 2014

Show Expression Logic in SSIS Task Links (Constraints)

June 16, 2014 1 comment

As part of my campaign to make logic discovery easier in SSIS for my future self I discovered by chance today a great little feature.
Often key logic can be build into the constraints (the red/green arrows) between tasks in the form of expressions. The logic is not visible without showing the properties of the constraint or by double clicking on it.

 

A simple SSIS package including some constraint expressions where the logic is not clear.

Often the logic for a package can be hidden in constraint expressions.

 

However in the properties for a constraint there is an item called “ShowAnnotation”. Set this to “ConstraintOptions” and the logic of the constraint is shown as an annotation next to the constraint. Brilliant!

There are a few other options, such as “ConstraintDescription” which can be useful to summarise the logic if it grows to long. An example is shown below.

 

Properties window in SSIS highlighting the 'ShowAnnotation' property.

Properties window in SSIS highlighting the ‘ShowAnnotation’ property.

 

Rather sadly the layout of the constraint annotation is not brilliant, so sometimes it overlaps other items when ‘Auto Layout’ is used. However, in allowing an understanding of process flow logicĀ at a glance, it’s great.

 

A simple SSIS package including some constraint expressions where the logic is made visible via annotations.

The logic of the constraint expressions shown by setting ‘ShowAnnotation’ to ‘ConstraintOptions’.