SSIS can offer you more than just simple ETL. Even though I dislike VB.Net its inclusion in SSIS allows you to do virtually anything you can think of. I’ve used SSIS for testing other bits of software, categorising keyword and search terms, and monitoring Windows Servers with WMI. SSIS comes with a lot in the box but with third-party components you can get even more creative.
Here’s a recent example where I used SSIS to test a GPS tracking system. Basically the system is fed text files providing the speed, heading, location and identity of individual vehicles. By using some data gathered from a live system I was able to feed this back into a test system.
Here’s what my testing package did;
- Extract a single row of data from a table.
- Use a Script Component to write this data to a text file.
- Increment the counter and repeat.
This quick bit of work allowed the system to be tested under a real-world load. What non-traditional tasks have you used SSIS for?