Biml Annotations and ObjectTags

Biml Annotations and ObjectTagsBiml objects have many built-in attributes. For example, all Tables have SchemaName and all Packages have ProtectionLevel. When your Biml solution starts to grow, you will quickly see the need for adding additional metadata that can be used in other Biml files. A common use case in Data Warehouse Staging projects is to store the source schema and source table name on your staging table objects. This allows you to use the source metadata in a higher tier Biml file that generates the SSIS packages to load the tables. To store and use this additional metadata, you can use Biml Annotations or ObjectTags.

Biml Annotations and ObjectTags are both Key/Value pairs. Annotations are String/String pairs intended for storing simple text metadata, while ObjectTags are String/Object pairs that can also store more complex metadata in .NET objects.

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Biml Precon at SQLSaturday Chicago 2018

SQLSaturday Chicago 2018Do you want to learn more Biml? Have you always wanted to visit Chicago? Are you free on March 16-17? Then check out this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime offer just for you! …

Ok, ok, ok, I may have gotten a little carried away :) But I am excited to announce that I will be presenting a precon at SQLSaturday Chicago 2018! The precon will be held on Friday, March 16th, and is called Level Up! From Basic Biml to Automated Data Warehouse Frameworks. I will also present a general session on Saturday, March 17th.

Cathrine Wilhelmsen - Level Up! From Basic Biml to Data Warehouse Automation

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Don’t Repeat Your Biml – Tiered Biml Files

Biml (Business Intelligence Markup Language) - Tiered Biml FilesMany Biml solutions start off very simple, with just a single Biml file that generates a few SSIS packages. Most developers quickly see the need for a more complex solution for multiple sources. One way to reuse code and apply the Don’t Repeat Yourself software engineering principle in Biml is to use Tiered Biml Files.

In addition to using Tiered Biml Files, there are four other main ways you can avoid repeating your Biml code:

In this post, we will look at how to use Tiered Biml Files.

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Dealing with Disappointment and Learning from Failures

I have written posts in the past about how to deal with technical failures as a speaker: Be prepared. Have backups of your files. Take screenshots or videos of your demos. Rehearse presenting your session with and without your slide deck. I have made plenty of I-wasn’t-prepared-for-that mistakes in the past, and I learned from them.

Last weekend was different. I was supposed to do a precon and a session at SQLSaturday Nashville. I didn’t experience any technical failures. I experienced what felt very much like personal failures.

On Friday, our precon got canceled due to weather.

On Saturday, no one showed up to my session.

I had not prepared for either of those things to happen, and I definitely had not prepared for both of those things to happen on the same weekend. I went through a whole range of emotions in a short amount of time, from embarrassment to disappointment to amusement.

Since then, I have debated with myself about whether or not to write this blog post. I have written and re-written it several times. I did not want to write a blog post full of whining and complaining, but I did want to share my experience as a reminder to both myself and others that:

  • These things happen. It’s ok to feel disappointed, but don’t let it stop you from trying again.
  • There is always something positive to take away from a negative experience.
  • Life is full of ups and downs. Social media (especially my own) often focus on the ups, but life is not amazing all the time.

If you only needed a few reminders, feel free to stop reading here :) The rest of the post is quite long and a little more like a journal entry, really.

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Precon and Speaking at SQLSaturday Nashville 2018

SQLSatNashWoohoo! I’m very happy to announce that Jason Horner (@jasonhorner) and I will be presenting a precon at SQLSaturday Nashville 2018! The precon will be held on Friday, January 12th, and is focused on SSIS and Biml. We will also be at the SQLSaturday where Jason will be presenting about Dimensional Modeling and I will be presenting about Biml. This will be my first time visiting Nashville, so I’m very much looking forward to it :)

SQLSaturday Nashville 2018 Precon (Jan 12)

Jason Horner and Cathrine Wilhelmsen presents ETL Design Patterns at SQLSaturday Nashville 2018

Jason had been working on a precon idea for a while that would bring together all his experience using SSIS to deliver ETL projects. I wanted to develop a new precon focusing on Biml and SSIS. Instead of working on two separate precons, we decided to team up and combine our knowledge. We will be delivering this precon for the first time in Nashville, and we’re looking forward to helping attendees by providing guidance on how to solve challenges they might face in their projects.

You can read more about why we wanted to present this precon in our interview on the Nashville BI User Group website.

Check out the full abstract and register for our precon on bit.ly/ETL-Precon-Nash. A regular full-day is only $129, and for only $165 you can also attend one of the half-day precons on Thursday. What a bargain!

SQLSaturday Nashville 2018 Sessions (Jan 13)

Jason and I are also presenting a regular session each. Jason will be presenting his Dimensional Modeling Design Patterns: Beyond the Basics session, and I will be presenting my Biml for Beginners: Speed Up Your SSIS Development session.

Check out the full SQLSaturday Nashville schedule and register today to get all the news and updates. You can also follow @SQLSatNash on Twitter and use the hashtag #SQLSatNash to join the conversation. Please help spread the word to all your friends and coworkers, and make sure you sign up before the event is full.

Hope to see you in Nashville in January! :)

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