Blog Post

First Impressions of Professional SQL Server 2005 Integration Services


I received a copy of Professional SQL Server 2005 Integration Services

a few weeks back from Kathi. Because of illness and a few things going

on around home, I've not gotten around to writing a full review of the book

yet, though I'm dilligently working towards that goal. However, I've

looked at enough of the book to give my first impressions.

First and foremost, I love the tutorial nature of the book. An area of

SSIS  is covered, explaining what it is and what it's used for,

and immediately following that is an exercise to reinforce the

concepts. For instance, chapter 4 talks about a For Loop Container.

Then there's an exercise to use a For Loop container with a simple

script to show how it works. This is a very useful technique to help

someone learn the technology. Don't get me wrong, I love many of the

O'Reilly books I have in my library, the majority of those not being

tutorial in nature. Those books present the knowledge and often give a

simple example or two, usually with code snippets. And I can learn from

those kinds of books. However, if I want to help someone learn the

subjects, I've got to find a book that's more tutorial in nature. Pro

SSIS is like that. It's a book I could hand to a developer to work

through and they'd come away with a good working knowledge of SSIS,

even if the developer didn't previously have a good background on

related technologies, like SQL Server 2000 DTS.

Second, this book is definitely in the format of the Wrox books of old.

In other words, it conveys the information in the most straight-forward

typeface and layout possible. That's one of the things I like about

Wrox books. I'm not having to fight with watermarks to try and read

text. Nor am I fighting with sidebar upon sidebar upon sidebar to try

and stay with the main flow of each chapter.

Finally, I like how there are useful examples sprinkled throughout that

aren't entirely germaine to SQL Server, but when it's appropriate. For

instance, when the WMI Data Reader is discussed, an example of hitting

the Windows event logs is presented, as is another example on getting

the free space available on disk. These aren't core SQL Server, but

they do represent areas where a SQL Server DBA who has any

responsibilities with respect to the operating system would be

interested. For someone like me, who sits more on the OS side now,

these little nuggets of information thrown in make the book more


With that said, I'll post to the blog when I've completed the review.

Overall, however, based on what I've read, it's certainly a book I'd

recommend to folks interested in SSIS.