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«October 2015»

Data Warehouse from the Ground Up at SQL Saturday Orlando, FL on Oct. 10th

SQL Saturday #442SQL Saturday #442 is upon us and yours truly will be presenting in Orlando, Florida on October 10th alongside Mitchell Pearson (b|t). The session is scheduled at 10:35 AM and will last until 11:35 AM. I’m very excited to be presenting at SQL Saturday Orlando this year as it’ll be my first presenting this session in person and my first time speaking at SQL Saturday Orlando! If you haven’t registered yet for this event, you need to do that. This event will be top notch!

My session is called Designing a Data Warehouse from the Ground Up. What if you could approach any business process in your organization and quickly design an effective and optimal dimensional model using a standardized step-by-step method? In this session I’ll discuss the steps required to design a unified dimensional model that is optimized for reporting and follows widely accepted best practices. We’ll also discuss how the design of our dimensional model affects a SQL Server Analysis Services solution and how the choices we make during the data warehouse design phase can make or break our SSAS cubes. You may remember that I did this session a while back for Pragmatic Works via webinar. I’ll be doing the same session at SQL Saturday Orlando but on-prem! ;)

So get signed up for this event now! It’s only 11 days away!

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Create Date Dimension with Fiscal and Time

Here are three scripts that create and Date and Time Dimension and can add the fiscal columns too. First run the Dim Date script first to create the DimDate table. Make sure you change the start date and end date on the script to your preference. Then run the add Fiscal Dates scripts to add the fiscal columns. Make sure you alter the Fiscal script to set the date offset amount. The comments in the script will help you with this.

This zip file contains three SQL scripts.

Create Dim Date

Create Dim Time

Add Fiscal Dates

These will create a Date Dimension table and allow you to run the add fiscal script to add the fiscal columns if you desire. The Create Dim Time will create a time dimension with every second of the day for those that need actual time analysis of your data.

Make sure you set the start date and end date in the create dim date script. Set the dateoffset in the fiscal script.

Download the script here:


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Copy and rename a file in SSIS using the File System Task

  • 12 January 2012
  • Author: Keith Hyer
  • Number of views: 164214

"" asked a question about moving files around in SSIS using the File System Task and variables in the SSIS forum.

Based on that question, I decided to put together a "Step-By-Step" walk through demonstrating how to do a portion of the issue. 

From the question, there are 3 folders and to start, 2 files:

  • Folder A\
  • Folder B\
  • Folder C\ 
  • In "Folder A", a file named "a20120111.txt" gets created.
  • In "Folder B", a file named "b20120111.txt" gets created.

 The question ( goal ) is to rename a COPY "a20120111.txt" of the file to "c20120111.txt" which will be placed in the "Folder C". 

I'm going to "stage" some test files as shown below and assume that we've gotten this far successfully. 

Starting point

Ok, with those in place, let's look at that final step:

First, I define some variables.  They're not dynamic ( expression-based ) yet - just regular fixed string variables.

Variable declarations

Next, we will add the expression to the FileNameDate variable to make it "build" today's date at runtime.  To do this, highlight the FileNameDate variable as shown above and then go over to the properties window.  It should look similar to the ( edge of ) the window pictured below:


Date variable setup 

For the property for "EvaluateAsExpression" - set this to True.  Then click into the "Expression" property just below it.  An "..." ellipse button should appear.  Click on it, which opens the Expression builder.  Put in the expression as shown here:

(DT_STR, 4 , 1252)DATEPART( "year" , GETDATE() ) + "" + RIGHT( "00" + (DT_STR, 2 , 1252)DATEPART( "month" , GETDATE() ) , 2 ) + "" + RIGHT( "00" + (DT_STR, 2 , 1252)DATEPART( "day" , GETDATE() ) , 2 )

Click "Evaluate Expression" to see the value and ensure that the formula is correct.

If everything is working, click "OK" to save the variable's expression.


Now repeat those steps selecting the "DestName" variable - in this example, I have given it  the following expression code:

@[User::DestPath] + "c" +  @[User::FileNameDate] + ".txt"

Note that I assumed a few thing there - I assumed the file would always have the "c" portion and the ".txt" portions on the filename.  If that is not the case, create variables for them - or adjust them accordingly.


Finally, repeat the steps again selecting the "SourceName" variable.  I gave that one the following expression code:

@[User::SourcePath] + "a" +  @[User::FileNameDate] + ".txt"

Again, I have assumed what the filename will look like for the source file - you may need to adjust it to your needs.


** Make sure you click "Evaluate Expression" after each one as a test.  Also of note:  SSIS doesn't automatically update a variables value until this is clicked - so if you come back and something is blank - go back in and evaluate the expression to see if it shows up the way you expect it to.

Once you're done, your variable window should now look like the following ( with today's date ):

 Final variable setup


Now we just configure the File System Task for copying.

File System Task properties

From the top down, we set the "IsDestinatinationPathVariable" to True and set the "DestinationVariable" to our "DestName" variable.

Verify that the Operation is set to "Copy file" - this is the default.

Finally set the "IsSourcePathVariable" to True and set the "SourceVariable" to our "SourceName" variable.


Save the package and then it's test time:

Let 'er rip

The package runs successfully and...

New file as expected

When we check "Folder C" - there is our new file as expected.


Hope that helps!

Keith Hyer

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