Thursday, January 22, 2009

SSIS transactions, or Another Reason To Hate Windows Firewall

I created an SSIS package today to archive a bunch of tables from a source server into one table on a destination server and then drop them on the source. I wanted the process to be idempotent, such that the tables would either be fully archived and dropped or the whole thing rolled back. Thus the process could be re-run if it failed in the middle without fear of duplicating data or prematurely dropping tables.

The obvious solution was a transaction. I set the TransactionOption property on my ForEach loop to Required and ran the package. However, MSDTC was not cooperating, and I got this failure:

With the following error message: "The transaction has already been implicitly or explicitly committed or aborted."

I checked MSDTC on both servers involved, and they each seemed to be set up correctly, albeit with slightly different settings. MSDTC on my machine was also configured correctly. Then I remembered that my desktop has Windows Firewall running. Don't ask me why, it wasn't my idea, but I can't turn it off.

So I added an exception to Windows Firewall for c:\windows\system32\msdtc.exe (port 135) and the package started working. Hooray!

Except that when I killed it midway through to simulate a network or SSIS host failure, it rolled back the whole thing. I wanted the ForEach loop to commit each table load and drop as it went so that I wouldn't have to start from scratch if the package failed after a few tables. So I created a Sequence container inside the ForEach container, set the TransactionOption to Required for that container, moved the Transfer and Drop tasks inside it, and set the TransactionOption to Supported for the ForEach.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

sql_variant causes SSIS metadata validation error

Just a quick note about an error that stumped me for a minute.

I was setting up a Lookup task in SSIS 2005 using the results of a SQL query as the lookup, but I kept getting the following error when attempting to create the column mappings:

TITLE: Microsoft Visual Studio

Error at Load Position Limit Data [Lookup [49]]: SSIS Error Code DTS_E_OLEDBERROR. An OLE DB error has occurred. Error code: 0x8000FFFF.

Error at Load Position Limit Data [Lookup [49]]: The call to Lookup transform method, ReinitializeMetadata, failed.


Exception from HRESULT: 0xC02090F0 (Microsoft.SqlServer.DTSPipelineWrap)

This didn't seem like a very helpful error, until I thought about what ReinitializeMetadata probably did, and then realized that my query selected a sql_variant column without casting it. Casting the sql_variant to a more appropriate data type (varchar, in this case) resolved the error.