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SQLRunner

This blog is syndicated from SSIS - SQL Server Tidbits(http://www.josefrichberg.com/)

Using the Error Output of the Derived Column

The other day I was building a simple data import package when I ran into a common situation; invalid conversions in a Derived Column.  The conversion was taking an ISBN13 which is usually defined as char(13) and converting it into a bigint.  All valid ISBN13s are valid bigint.  The flat file source I was importing had invalid ISBNs in it, the first set of which where simply blank.  I was about to modify my derived column to shunt all blank ISBNs to 0 when it turns out there is a second set of bad data; invalid ISBNs.  These are either ISBN10s, which contain a letter in the 10th position, or plain character garbage.  This changes the whole plan of attack.

The simple derived column was going to turn into a nightmare of nested if/then constructs to convert those invalid values into a 0.  To try and capture a sample of all invalid ISBNs, I modified the Data Flow as follows:

The error output is on Failure, not truncation, because I want to see all invalid data and I know this is more than just numbers that are too large for the data type.  Then it hit me.  There right in front of me was the solution.  With a little tweaking:

I know the Error Output is an invalid ISBN and I want that to be converted to a 0.  Open up the Invalid ISBN component and you simply see this:

There you go.  If you have the potential for numerous invalid values in a specific column, rather than build complex Derived Column formulas, build the one formula that is valid, shunt the invalid records to another data path and put your default values in.

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