Logging options for SSIS

There are several logging options available for SSIS packages, and it can be difficult to know which is the best one to use. Let’s take a closer look at the different SSIS logging options, and what they can do.

SQL Server log provider saves log events into the sysssislog table in the msdb database by default, or in a database which you specify. The table can then be shared between users who can access the database.

Text files log provider stores the same information as the SQL Server log provider into a text file. This could easily be emailed to another user, or imported to a database or Excel spreadsheet later.

XML files log provider allows you to save the information as an XML file, which can add portability to the log data across different platforms, and also allow easy reading which viewed in an XML viewer or certain web browsers.

SQL Server Profiler, when used in SSIS, provides the same information as the other log providers, but saves the log events as a trace file so that it can then be correlated with Performance Monitor. This is a great way to monitor performance issues and pinpoint drags on performance. (See this great article by Brad McGehee for more info)

Windows Event Log log provider stores event information in Windows Event Viewer, which can then be used by system administrators. I feel this method is a little tedious when it comes to analysis, but some might find it useful.

For performance related diagnostics, I would store the log events in a trace file, otherwise I’d stick with the sysssislog table.

However, the log provider that is best for you will of course depend on the situation and how the log information will be used.


Google Trends Results for BI Software Packages

Update: The popularity of Power BI has skyrocketed in the past few months. Tableau has also received attention, but much of it for the wrong reasons. This may be a sign that Power BI is an emerging competitor in the data visualisation field. (14th March, 2016)

In my quest to be an expert BI consultant, I’ve been given a fair bit of advice about BI software packages from a lot of very intelligent people. The three BI packages I hear the most about are Power BI, Qlikview, and Tableau.

So, which one is the most popular? I did a quick search on Google Trends which gave the following result:

Google Trends snapshot

You can see the results of my search here, which may be a little misleading at first glance.

The results don’t seem to accurately reflect demand of those skills within the Australian jobs market.

A quick search on Seek reveals national job numbers as follows:
Tableau 240 jobs
Qlikview 104 jobs
Power BI 15 jobs

It appears as that Tableau skills are in very high demand, and while demand for Qlikview skills is high, demand for Power BI skills is close to nothing.

Alright, so my quick analysis leaves a couple questions unanswered:

Why is there such low demand for Power BI when so many people have been raving about it? Is it because it is a fairly new product?

Why are the Seek results so different to what is indicated by Google Trends?

Is the demand simply the same for all, yet there is a surplus of Power BI professionals and a shortage of Tableau professionals?

And more importantly, how has the demand for skills in all three packages changed over time? This is what is not clearly answered by my Google Trends search.

It would be great to have more data on this, but even all the data in the world is only as useful as the questions you ask it.

Thanks for reading.

(Results current as of 4th Sept, 2015)