Pro SQL Server 2005 Integration Services
by James Wightman, Apress 2007. $49.99.
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I was interested to read this book as I hadn't done a lot with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) in SQL Server 2005 and this was a good second reference for me. The other one being Professional SQL Server 2005 Integration Services from WROX.
As I started to work through this book, the first thing that I noticed was that it is written from the perspective of a developer. Not a SQL Server developer, but a Visual Studio developer and at one point I went back to check the author's bio and it confirmed what I thought: the author isn't a DBA.
Now that's not a knock on the author, but it does mean that the perspective of this book is from someone used to working extensively in Visual Studio, not Management Sudio or Enterprise Manager. Thus the book seems to assume some more knowledge about programming and even at some intermediate level of skill with building applications. Often the book dives into a task and brings out more details about the code required and XML based configuration files than a DBA might want, or need, to know. There is also more of a focus on properties and settings, again, from a programmer perspective.
The data source components, transformations, and control of flow items are described fairly well and they include a fair amount of detail about what each does, but they are not tied together. They are almost like basic reference pages, but without a tremendous amount of technical detail you might want in a reference, but not detailed examples either. I would prefer to see an application, or a set of transformations related to a series of real-world tasks that would help the reader gain perspective on when to choose some particular object.
The book has a chapter on maintenance plans, since they are an SSIS subset of specific tasks, but it doesn't do much more than show the tasks and doesn't even explain the meanings of the options for each.
The author plainly gets more excited with .NET programming as used by SSIS and the chapters on scripting (chapter 14) and custom components (chapter 15) are more detailed and longer with a examples that you might use, such as accessing the spell checker from Word.
The appendices include an interview with Donald Farmer, the PM for SSIS, and then detailed properties and methods for control flow objects, package objects, and maintenance plan objects. All of these are easily found in the SSIS documentation,so I'm not sure why they're reprinted here. However they are gathered together for offline use.
Overall I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book for DBAs looking to learn SSIS, but I think that developers being forced to work with SSIS might like this approach more than that used in most other SSIS books catering to the DBA.
I'd rate this as a 3 out of 5 from the SQL Server DBA perspective.