•Product is ‘free’ so we never really knew how long the support/commitment from the vendor was going to last.
•Only handles components delivered by Microsoft. So you couldn’t create a package that utilizes a 3rd party SSIS component.
•Quite difficult to troubleshoot issues when your BIML script fails when creating the SSIS packages.
•If you are creating lots of packages, the BIML package creation process sometimes fails (memory issue – might no longer be a concern for developers using 64bit OS though).
•Vendor documentation (which listed out all the objects/properties/methods) wasn’t always up to date. Caused us a big problem when the version was upgraded last year.
Fair points. My experiences with the product follow:
•The Biml engine is supplied with BIDSHelper as part of a (brilliant) marketing strategy. The purpose is to introduce data integration developers with the power and flexibility of Biml. While the Biml engine is fully functional - and updated regularly with new editions of BIDSHelper - the marketing strategy is designed to lead data integration developers who need / desire more functionality to invest in a licensed copy of Mist.
•Using Mist, you can create packages that utilize 3rd party SSIS components.
•It is difficult to troubleshoot issues when your BIML script fails when creating the SSIS packages. This issue is a priority and will be addressed in future product releases. Stay tuned!
•The 64-bit version of the product scales nicely. I've executed builds of greater than 1,000 packages without issue.
•There were challenges with documentation maintenance. I occasionally encounter the odd broken link but a quick search usually takes me to the answer I seek. I try to let Varigence know when I find an issue. I've found them very responsive to me and others.
However, it was nice once we resolved the issues. I'd still only limit the use to relatively straight forward SSIS processes.
I concur. I've learned Biml / Mist are not the answer for every SSIS project. My primary use case for the product is for solutions with a limited number of transformation rules for the domain of data. The best number of transformation rules is one (1), as in staging data. If the transformation rules are well-defined, it is likely Biml can help some (or tremendously). It depends on factors like "template-ability."
Another use I've found for Mist is maintenance. Even if the solution isn't "template-able," I create the SSIS package(s) manually and then import them into Mist. When something changes, it is sometimes easier to maintain inside the Mist environment than using Visual Studio. Again, it depends.
Thank you for reading the series here, and I welcome your feedback and experience.