Have SSIS' differing type systems ever caused you problems?

Posted by jamiet on SQL Blog See other posts from SQL Blog or by jamiet
Published on Mon, 14 Mar 2011 16:46:00 GMT Indexed on 2011/03/15 0:15 UTC
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One thing that has always infuriated me about SSIS is the fact that every package has three different type systems; to give you an idea of what I am talking about consider the following:

  1. The SSIS dataflow's type system is made up of types called DT_*  (e.g. DT_STR, DT_I4)
  2. The SSIS variable type system is based on .Net datatypes (e.g. String, Int32)
  3. The types available for Execute SQL Task's parameters are based on something else - I don't exactly know what (e.g. VARCHAR, LONG)

Speaking euphemistically ... this is not an optimum situation (were I not speaking euphemistically I would be a lot ruder) and hence I have submitted a suggestion to Connect at [SSIS] Consolidate three type systems into one requesting that it be remedied. This accompanying blog post is not however a request for votes (though that would be nice); the reason is actually subtler than that. Let me explain.

I have been submitting bugs and suggestions pertaining to SSIS for years and have, so far, submitted over 200 Connect items. If that experience has taught me anything it is this - Connect items are not generally actioned because they are considered "nice to have". No, SSIS Connect items get actioned because they cause customers grief and if I am perfectly honest I must admit that, other than being a bit gnarly, SSIS' three type system architecture has never knowingly caused me any significant problems.

The reason for this blog post is to ask if any reader out there has ever encountered any problems on account of SSIS' three type systems or have you, like me, never found them to be a problem? Errors or performance degredation caused by implicit type conversions would, I believe, present a strong case for getting this situation remedied in a future version of SSIS so if you HAVE encountered such problems I would encourage you to leave a comment on the Connect submission accordingly. Let me know in the comments too - I would be interested to hear others' opinions on this.


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