8/31/2018

Automated Solution to Repetitive Coding

What if you were tasked with creating an SSIS package.  To pull from a database, send the data to Azure Data Lake Store as CSV.  Then pick up that data, flow to U-SQL database table.

Well, you'd probably need a source ODBC connection to the database.  And an SSIS package component to flow to Azure Data Lake Store.  And another to flow to U-SQL db.

So, once you go through the effort to complete the task, let's say you had to build 500 similar SSIS packages.  Well, it if takes 2 hours per package, and you don't make any errors, you may get done this month or next.

Or.  You could automate.  As in, build out each package, line by line, using an SSIS package Script component.  Maybe use XML template for repeatable code snippets, pass in data as variables, and create the 500 SSIS packages, in under a minute.

Well, that's what the team's been working on.  And it's been quite tasty.  Building c# code certainly is fun, different from writing standard SQL reports.  One of the great things about coding, you certainly get a different perspective every so often as projects change.

I've been working with SSIS package when they were DTS packages, not DTSX.  And pulling data from databases for a very long time.  Except flowing to Azure is sort of new.  I was lucky enough to figure out the solution, there's some documentation on the web, blogs and such, but for the most part, you have to figure it out yourself.  Those are the juicy projects and this is my 2nd one in the past few years.  The other project being the Hortonworks Hadoop Enterprise Data Warehouse using Visual Studio components and Polybase and Master Data Services.

Being an expert in anything is daunting task, as things change, nobody knows everything.  It's when you approach a project with fresh eyes, you stay open minded to see different options, try this, try that, see what works, document as you go.  And perhaps you become expert for a moment, until the next projects begins.

Programming is still a descent job.  I work out of my house, past 5 years actually.  You begin the day before most people, and you end the day after most people.  There's no commute.  There's no off button.  Yet, it seems to work just fine.  If you can work fast, if you're responsive, if you can deliver solutions to tough problems, what more can you ask for.

And so it goes~!