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SQL Server. SSIS. PowerShell. Azure.
1 wife. 1 kid. 5 dogs. 10 cats.

In the series of learning something new, I started with analysing of the SSIS package XML. I know what I want to extract, so let the fun begin. I will use Powershell to get the data from the .dtsx files and save it to the database. The whole script is presented below with comments. For more information scroll down.

# I will use Out-DbaDataTable and Write-DbaDataTable from dbatools, so import it
Import-Module dbatools

# find recursively all Executable nodes in .dtsx file
function Find-Executables($fileName, $executable)
    foreach($item in $executable)
        # are we there, yet? (if no - recursion)
            Find-Executables $fileName $item.Executables.Executable

        # if yes - the result
        $prop = @{
            'refId' = $item.refId
            'creationName' = $item.CreationName
            'description' = $item.Description
            'objectName' = $item.ObjectName
            'executableType' = $item.ExecutableType
            'objectData' = $item.ObjectData.ExpressionTask.Expression



# get all Precedence Constraints; simpler than Executables, because all of them are in single node
function Find-PrecedenceConstraints($fileName, $precedenceConstraints)
    foreach($item in $precedenceConstraints)
        $prop = @{
            'refId' = $item.refId
            'from' = $item.From
            'to' = $item.To
            'logicalAnd' = [boolean]$item.LogicalAnd
            'evalOp' = [int]$item.EvalOp
            'objectName' = $item.ObjectName
            'expression' = $item.Expression
            'value' = [int]$item.Value


# the data collectors
$allPackagesInfo = @()
$allExecutables = @()
$allPrecedenceConstraints = @()

# loop through every .dtsx file in folder; all my packages' names start with 0, so there is an example how to filter it
foreach($file in (Get-ChildItem C:\Users\brata_000\Source\Repos\SSIS_Graph\SSIS_Graph\SSIS_Graph\* -Include 0*.dtsx))

    # read .dtsx into XML variable
    [xml] $pkg = Get-Content $file

    # create hash table with package information
    $pkgInfo = @{
        'Name' = $file.Name
        'Executables' = Find-Executables $file.Name $pkg.Executable
        'PrecedenceConstraints' = Find-PrecedenceConstraints $file.Name $pkg.Executable.PrecedenceConstraints.PrecedenceConstraint

    # add the table as PSobject to variable with all the package information
    $allPackagesInfo += New-Object psobject -Property $pkgInfo


# I don't want to confirm TRUNCATE TABLE for Write-DbaDataTable (when I'm running it few times)
$ConfirmPreference = 'none'

# Having all the information in one place - save it in the database; loop through all the packages (see the filter, again?)
$allPackagesInfo | Where-Object -Property Name -Like '0*' | ForEach-Object {

    $pkgName = $_.Name

    # all the Executables in the package
    $_.Executables | ForEach-Object {
        $d = @{
            'pkgName' = $pkgName
            'refId' = $_.refId
            'creationName' = $_.creationName
            'description' = $_.description
            'objectName' = $_.objectName
            'executableType' = $_.executableType
            'objectData' = $_.objectData

        $allExecutables += New-Object psobject -Property $d

    # all the Precedence Constraints in the package; casting to proper types will automaticaly create
    # columns of types other than nvarchar(max) when using -AutoCreateTable on Write-DbaDataTable
    $_.PrecedenceConstraints | ForEach-Object {
        $d = @{
            'pkgName' = $pkgName
            'refId' = $_.refId
            'from' = $_.from
            'to' = $
            'logicalAnd' = [boolean]$_.logicalAnd
            'evalOp' = [int\]$_.evalOp
            'objectName' = $_.objectName
            'expression' = $_.expression
            'value' = [int]$_.value
        $allPrecedenceConstraints += New-Object psobject -Property $d

# I'm using SQL Server for Linux, connecting to the VM, so I use SQL authentication (for now) - why not use 'sa' then?
$cred = Get-Credential sa

#save all Executables to the database
$allExecutables | Out-DbaDataTable | Write-DbaDataTable -SqlInstance `
                    -SqlCredential $cred -Database SSISGraph -Schema dbo -Table Executables -AutoCreateTable -Truncate

# save all Precedence Constraints to the database
$allPrecedenceConstraints | Out-DbaDataTable | Write-DbaDataTable -SqlInstance `
                    -SqlCredential $cred -Database SSISGraph -Schema dbo -Table PrecedenceConstraints -AutoCreateTable -Truncate

To get all the information I loop through all the files. In Control Flow the interesting data are Executable elements and Precedence Constraints. Because one Executable can contain another Executables (think: Sequence/For/ForEach Containers) I use recursion. It’s easier with Precedence Constraints because all of them are located under one XML node. Both functions get $fileName as the first parameter that is not used later. It’s because it’s one of the versions of the script and I didn’t want to remove it as I’m doing more tests for later.

Each information is collected into an array $allPackagesInfo. It looks a bit overcomplicated, but it works. When data is collected I prepare two arrays with objects containing Executables and Precedence Constraints. I cast some of the values to the proper data types - they will be used when preparing data for the database.

That gets me to the database layer. To ease the whole process I use dbatools. It contains a lot of great functions, but for now I will only use these two: Out-DbaDataTable and Write-DbaDataTable. The first one prepares data in format that is understood by the second that writes data to the database.

To ease the data inserting process I use -AutoCreateTable switch for Write-DbaDataTable. It creates table in database using object created with Out-DbaDataTable. It uses first data row to guess data types and when not found (or it’s a string) it creates NVARCHAR(MAX) columns - hence I provide extra info for fields other than string. The (MAX) doesn’t bother me too much for now as I build the prototype to be expanded later. Also - I may repeat the loading process few times, so I clear the tables each time with a -Truncate parameter. It will ask me to confirm the data removal, so I set the $ConfirmPreference to none as I don’t want to do it.

There is one thing I don’t like. When using -AutoCreateTable one of the parameters you have to provide is schema of the table to be created. There is a bug that sometimes prevents Write-DbaDataTable from finding the schema in target database. So for now I use dbo schema.

OK. When I run the script I get populated tables dbo.Executables and dbo.PrecedenceConstraints with fresh data.

Inserted SSIS data

If you want to go deeper into the .dtsx internals watch Andr√© Kamman’s (b | t) PASS Summit 2015 session “Analyzing your ETL Solution with PowerShell” (available to you for free on the PASS site).

The next step is to transform the gathered SSIS data to the graph format.

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