It is finally here! The new BimlExpress 2018 is now generally available for download :D
There are many bug fixes and improvements in BimlExpress 2018, and two new main features: Support for Visual Studio 2017, and a new Convert from SSIS to Biml feature. All the great features that were added in BimlExpress 2017 are still there, of course.
Support for Visual Studio 2017
You asked for it, I asked for it, and we have all been waiting for it. BimlExpress 2018 now works with Visual Studio 2017 and SSIS 2017! Yay :)
Convert from SSIS to Biml
The most important feature, and a real game-changer, is the new Convert from SSIS to Biml feature. This is the same Import Packages feature that you may have seen in BimlStudio or BimlOnline, now available for free in BimlExpress 2018! This means that you can import your existing SSIS packages and projects, reverse-engineer them to Biml, and not have to start from scratch writing all the Biml code manually.
Isn’t that awesome!?
You can Convert SSIS Packages to Biml from the BimlExpress toolbar, by right-clicking on the SSIS project, or by right-clicking on an SSIS package:
This will open the Import Packages editor, where you can choose between importing SSIS packages from .dtproj, .ispac, .dtsx or from the SSIS Package Catalog:
Once you have selected the SSIS project or package to import, you can choose what to include:
When you click Add To Project, a new BimlScript.biml file will be added with all your code. The Convert from SSIS to Biml feature will only generate flat Biml. I recommend that your next steps are to go through the code and ensure that everything is as expected, and then start adding BimlScript code – if needed. If you have multiple packages using the same pattern, I recommend that you import one package and use BimlScript to make it dynamic, instead of importing all packages in one or more flat Biml files.
Other BimlExpress 2018 Updates
Outside of the two main features, I’m happy to see many bug fixes and improvements, including (but not limited to):
- OLEDB source and destination for geography, geometry, hierarchyid, and image data types have been fixed
- Flat File Source ntext / nvarchar data type mappings have been fixed
- Excel GetDatabaseSchema data type mappings have been fixed
- GetDatabaseSchema for SQL Server now includes compression
ADF Support in BimlStudio
The other new, big feature is full support for ADFv2. Since this feature is only available in BimlStudio, I will not cover it in this post. Head on over to the BimlStudio 2018 release notes for more information.
There are many bug fixes and improvements in BimlExpress 2018, and two new main features: Support for Visual Studio 2017, and a new Convert from SSIS to Biml feature. For more information, read the full release notes.
Happy Bimling! :)
Updated: BimlExpress 2019 was released in May 2019! It supports Visual Studio 2019.