Contrasting Integration Services And Pentaho Data Integration

Koen Verbeeck contrasts SQL Server Integration Services with Pentaho Data Integration:

For generating SSIS packages, you need to rely on Biml (much about that can be found on this blog or on the net), or older frameworks such as ezApi. Or you need 3rd party tools such as BimlStudio or TimeXtender. Using Biml means writing XML and .NET. Don’t get me wrong, I love Biml and I use it a lot in my SSIS projects.

But generating transformations in PDI is so much easier. First, you create a template (you create a transformation, but you leave certain fields empty, such as the source SQL statement and the destination table). Then you have another transformation reading metadata. This metadata is pushed to the template using the Metadata Injection Transformation. In this transformation, you point to the template and you map those empty fields to your metadata fields.

It’s interesting to see where each product stands out or falls flat compared to the other, and Koen’s comparison is definitely not a one-sided bout.

Replicating Solr Indexes

Nirmal Prabhu walks us through configuring replicated Solr instances:

Step 4: [Creating master Core]

First, we need to create a core for indexing the data. The Solr create command has the following options:

  • -c <name> — Name of the core or collection to create (required).
  • -d <confdir> — The configuration directory, useful in the SolrCloud mode.
  • -n <configName> — The configuration name. This defaults to the same name as the core or collection.
  • -p <port> — Port of a local Solr instance to send the create command to; by default the script tries to detect the port by looking for running Solr instances.
  • -s <shards> — Number of shards to split a collection into, default is 1.
  • -rf <replicas> — Number of copies of each document in the collection. The default is 1.

In this example, we will use the -c parameter for core name, -rf parameter for replication and -d parameter for the configuration directory.

Read on for step-by-step instructions.

Lazy Log Truncation

Paul Randal explains why Virtual Log Files might remain in status 2 even after they are cleared:

Earlier this year I was sent an interesting question about why the person was seeing lots of VLFs in the log with status = 2 (which means ‘active’) after clearing (also known as ‘truncating’) the log and log_reuse_wait_desc showed NOTHING.

I did some digging around and all I could find was an old blog post from 2013 that shows the behavior and mentions that this happens with mirroring and Availability Groups. I hadn’t heard of this behavior before but I guessed at the reason, and confirmed with the SQL Server team.

Read on for the answer.

Approved Powershell Verbs

Richard Siddaway on approved verbs in Powershell:

The other very useful set information are the synonyms for verbs that you shouldn’t use. For instance don’t use Append, Attach, Concatenate or Insert – use Add. Some of this information is contextual though as you shouldn’t use Pop or Out as a synonym for Exit BUT Pop is perfectly valid when removing an item off a stack (Pop-Location is the only cmdlet I know of that works in that way).

Read on for a link to the approved verbs list.

Going In-Depth On Powershell Arrays

Kevin Marquette has a tour de force on Powershell arrays:

When your array is a collection of string or integers (value types), sometimes you will want to update the values in the array as you enumerate them. Most of the iteration loops above use a variable in the loop that holds the value. If you update that variable, the original value in the array is not updated.

The exception to that statement is the for loop. If you are wanting to walk an array and update values inside it, then the for loop is what you are looking for.

 for ( $index = 0; $index -lt $data.count; $index++ ) { $data[$index] = "Item: [{0}]" -f $data[$index] }

This examples takes a value by index, makes a few changes, and then uses that same index to assign it back.

This is a book chapter-length blog post full of good information.

Safely Dropping Databases

Bob Pusateri notes a little issue when it comes to dropping databases:

At a previous employer, we had a well-defined process when dropping databases for a client. It went something like this:

  1. Confirm in writing the databases on which servers/instances to be dropped
  2. Take a final full backup of databases
  3. Take databases offline
  4. Wait at least two weeks to make sure nothing breaks in the absence of this database
  5. Drop databases

This is a pretty good and safe method. If taking the database offline causes some unforeseen system to stop working, it can be very quickly brought back online in-place, instead of having to locate the backup and restore it. But it there’s just one problem…

Read on for that problem and its solution.

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