Sign-up now and get instant access
Leave a comment
Customized training to master new skills and grow your business.
Beginner to advanced classes taught by Microsoft MVPs and Authors.
In-depth boot camps take you from a novice to mastery in less than a week.
Season Learning Pass
Get access to our very best training offerings for successful up-skilling.
Stream Pro Plus
Combine On-Demand Learning platform with face-to-face Virtual Mentoring.
Quick references for when you need a little guidance.
Summaries developed in conjunction with our Learn with the Nerds sessions.
Digital goodies - code samples, student files, and other must have files.
Stay up-to-date on all things Power BI, Power Apps, Microsoft 365 and Azure.
Community Discord Server
Start here for technology questions to get answers from the community.
Earn money by driving sales through the Pragmatic Works' Training Affiliate Program.
It's time to address your client's training needs.
Learn how to get into IT with free training and mentorship.
Discover the faces behind our success: Meet our dedicated team
How can we help? Connect with Our Team Today!
Find all the information you’re looking for. We’re happy to help.
In a blog post by Jason Brooks, he describes his love of Task Factory and its components that have helped him save time on development and lots of headaches. It's a great testimonial to Pragmatic Works' Task Factory and something we just had to share. His post is below or you can read his original blog post here.
I’ve been using Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools/BIDs for about 8 Years and a large portion of that time was spent using SSIS. I remember when I first started using SSIS, it wasn’t as part of creating a business intelligence solution. It was a tool I realised could be used to automate the handling of data. SSIS, I found, was almost the ultimate Swiss army knife for automated data manipulation.
Before I found SSIS, every time a supplier sent us a new pricelist, we would have to perform time consuming data manipulation in Microsoft Excel to get the data into a format we could then import into our company database. More often than not, the data manipulation process was exactly the same every month, time consuming and labour intensive.
SSIS changed that for me, now I would design a flow process that automatically picked up those files, performed the transformations/data cleaning automatically and would do so without any human operator mistakes, repeatedly month after month. The SSIS Jobs also allowed for error handling so that even if a supplier changed their data format, I would get an email alert to go and modify my package. Overall, I found the step change in business process time/speed and accuracy just amazing.
The only downside was the development time creating the packages in the first place. Each package could take a few days or more depending on the amount of data transformation necessary, but I would make that time back 100-fold or more.
Then after about 3 years of developing with SSIS, I found a product called Task Factory by Pragmatic Works. Task Factory is a set of additional components and connectors for SSIS, that helps speed up development of packages by alleviating a lot of the scenarios where you would have to write custom code in a script task/script component or having to do a lot of basic SQL plumbing code (update or merge scripts).
The product has around 60 components. I’m not going to go into detail about each one, but suffice to say I have regularly used about 50% of them in every day development tasks. The other 50% I have found to be just as useful, but they have more specific edge case uses, not something you would use all the time, but when that edge case arrives it’s nice to have them.
Some of my favourite components are:
At this point I realised I have many more favourites and I don’t want to turn this into a giant list, so if you’re interested in checking them out then go here:
Now that I have moved further on in my career into the world of business intelligence and am now using the full Microsoft BI stack, I am finding that I am using even more of the Task Factory components more often in daily use. Not only that, but quite a few other products and services from Pragmatic Works, including their excellent training on-demand product.
So, the reason why I wrote this article? Well, I feel Pragmatic Works has helped me achieve more and do more in a lot less time and helped me avoid many headaches in the process, so this is really me saying a big thank you to them.
If you’re a SSIS/SQL developer and you’re not using Task Factory, give the trial download a go. It's fully functional for development use only, but packages can only be run in Visual Studio/SSDT/BIDs and not on the server as a SQL agent job for example, unless you buy a licence. I am sure you will love it as much as I do. The development time savings are huge.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm a big fan of the Microsoft technology stack. I've used SQL Server Integration Services heavily to help my company solve key issues around business process automation and quality assurance. I'm now working with the Business Systems team towards delivering a company-wide BI platform which will enable us to provide insights into our data and give us a competitive advantage.
Join other Azure, Power Platform and SQL Server pros by subscribing to our blog.