In this Topic, you will learn about importing and working with data from heterogeneous, or various non–SQL Server, sources. In today’s enterprise environments, data may exist in many diverse systems, such as Oracle, DB2, Teradata, SQL Azure, SQL Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), Office documents, XML, or flat files, to name just a few. The data may be generated within the company, or it may be delivered through the Internet from a trading partner. Whether you need to import data from a spreadsheet to initially populate a table in a new database application or pull data from other sources for your data warehouse, accessing heterogeneous data is probably a big part of your job.
You can load data into SQL Server using SSIS through any ODBC-compliant, OLE DB–compliant, or ADO.NET managed source. Many ODBC, OLE DB, and .NET providers are supplied by Microsoft for sources like Excel, Access, DB2, FoxPro, Sybase, Oracle, Teradata, and dBase. Others are available from database vendors. A variety of Data Source Components are found in SSIS. These include Excel, Flat File, XML, ADO.NET (which is used to connect to .NET Sources), OLE DB (which allows connections to many different types of data), and Raw File (a special source used to read data that has been previously exported to a Raw File Destination). If the supplied Data Sources do not meet your needs, you can also create custom Data Sources.
SSIS can consume many of these sources from out-of-the-box features. In addition, Microsoft has also provided a set of free downloads in the SQL Server feature pack for advanced data source extraction. They include a set of source components from Attunity, third-party components that Microsoft has licensed for use with SSIS. The Attunity connectors allow advanced sourcing from Oracle (with bulk load capabilities), Teradata, and ODBC sources.
Below screen shot shows highlights the Source Assistant within the Data Flow Toolbox. It shows the various source options within SSIS. Many of them require the installation of a client tool; the gray information window at the bottom of the figure describes where to find the additional application if required.
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