Using a Master ETL Package

Putting it all together is perhaps the easiest part of the ETL process because it involves simply using SSIS to coordinate the execution of the packages in the required order.

The best practice to do this is to use a master package that executes the child packages, leveraging the Execute Package Task. The determination of precedence is a matter of understanding the overall ETL and the primary-toforeign key relationships in the tables.

The following steps assume that you are building your solution using the project deployment model. With the project deployment model, you do not need to create connections to the other packages in the project. If you are instead deploying your packages to the file system, you need to create and configure File Connection Managers for each child package, as documented in SQL Server our Tutorial Online.

  1. Create a new package in your project called Master_ETL.dtsx.
  2. Drag an Execute Package Task from the SSIS Toolbox into the Control Flow.
  3. Double-click the Execute Package Task to open the task editor.
  4. On the Package property page, leave the ReferenceType property set to Project Reference. For the PackageNameFromProjectReference property, choose the ETL_DimSalesTerritory.dtsx package.

Your Execute Package Task will look like the one pictured in below screen shot.
master etl package

The ETL packages for the dimension tables are executed, followed by the fact table ETL and concluding with the cube processing. The master package for the examples in this Loading a Data Warehouse Topic is shown in below screen shot.

master etl package

The related packages are grouped with Sequence containers to help visualize the processing order. In this case, the Dim Sales Territory package needs to be run before the Dim Employee package because of the foreign key reference in the DimEmployee table. Larger solutions will have multiple dimension and fact packages.

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