22 Apr


There are two kinds of spurs, my friend. Those that come in by the door; those that come in by the window.
Tuco – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

Once again, something that popped up in the MeasureUp practice test, that I missed, and so, a post.

The MaxConcurrentExecutables is set by right-clicking the Control Flow and selecting properties.  The following are valid values for this property:

  • -1: Sets the maximum numbers of concurrently running executables to the number of processors, plus 2.
  • 1 or greater: The number of threads that a package can execute.

Any value of 0 or less, except -1, will result in an error.

What I missed wasn’t that it set the number of threads, rather, that -1 is equal to the number of processors plus 2.


20 Feb

Knight’s Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Integration Services 24-Hour Trainer

I’ve been studying for the 70-463 test and I’ve been having serious problems with the 70-463 Training Kit.  Things just aren’t working.  Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the book, who knows. SSIS can be really messy and easy to mess up when you are following instructions because it’s so easy to skip a step. All I know for sure is that it was taking me too much time to process parts of that book.

So I switched books to Knight’s 2012 Integration Services 24-Hour Trainer and it’s been a massive improvement.  The explanations are clear, concise and most importantly, they work.  The book also covers a fairly broad spectrum of topics ranging from installation, to data and control flow tasks, variable usage, deployment, error handling and even administration.  None of it is super in-depth, meaning that no way is it top-end test preparation, but it’s more than enough to get you going in a positive direction.

I also have the 2008 version but SSIS has changed in 2012 so I repurchased the book.  From what I can tell a fair amount of the book is similar but there is a stronger emphasis on data warehousing and BI solutions than in the 2008 version.  The 2008 book is mostly, “here’s a EXECUTE SQL TASK and this is what you do with it”.  The 2012 version still does this but it will go deeper in a later lesson by using it in the context of building a fact table or something like that.  Data warehousing topics were barely mentioned in the 2008 edition from what I remember.

The book is also longer than the 2008 version by 140 pages and 13 lessons.  Some of that is just due to the version change but it really is a more substantive book than the prior edition.

I highly recommend the book to someone trying to get their hands dirty with SSIS 2012 for the first time.


  • I’m at chapter 44, and with one minor exception, everything has worked.
  • Much expanded from the 2008 version.
  • A great introduction to the product.
  • Easy to follow exercises.


  • The CD doesn’t include exercise content.  It’s just videos so you still have to download everything.

This and the 2008 edition are available at amazon.com.

Knight’s Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Integration Services 24-Hour Trainer

Knight’s 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services