New Release: BimlExpress 2018!

BimlExpress 2018It 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:

BimlExpress 2018: Convert SSIS Packages to Biml

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:

BimlExpress 2018: Convert SSIS Packages To Biml - SSIS Asset Location

Once you have selected the SSIS project or package to import, you can choose what to include:

BimlExpress 2018: Convert SSIS Packages To Biml - Import Packages

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.

Summary

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! :)

Who is Cathrine Wilhelmsen?

Cathrine is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, author, speaker, blogger and chronic volunteer who loves teaching and sharing knowledge. She works as a consultant, architect and developer, focusing on Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence projects. She loves sci-fi, chocolate, coffee, craft beers, ciders, cat gifs and smilies :)

7 thoughts on “New Release: BimlExpress 2018!”

Great to finally get BIML onto VS 2017. My VS 2015 BIML project upgraded nicely to 2017. Noticed however that SsisAnnotation has stopped working with the new version.

Please report the issue to Varigence Support. They can check and fix, I can’t :)

Convert from ssis to biml is crucial and I am looking forward to using it. Unfortunately, I am getting “an error occurred” message right from the start. Any idea on what I should try to make it work?

I get that message in both vs2012 and vs2015

Hi David, Varigence is aware and working on this issue. In the meantime, please see if Andy Leonard’s workaround does the trick for you as well :)

I get the error even with that workaround. Granted I am trying to convert a kind of complicated package. I will try something very vanilla next.

Could not get anything working in VS 2013, but it’s working in 2017.

If you still have issues, please e-mail Varigence Support. They can check and fix, I can’t :)

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