New SSIS toolbox. This is a new toolbox pane used only by SSIS and its items have a flashy look and are organized into a number of pre-defined groups similarly to earlier versions. However, something that seems to be missing from the previous version is the ability to create additional custom groups of items or Tabs – Not a big deal if you asked me, but something you may miss if your way of organizing toolbox items do not align with the one provided.
Flexible Authoring (data flow). Do you remember the annoying ‘Restore Invalid Column References’ Editor? In case you don’t, it used to get in your way when trying to edit data flow components after breaking downstream changes were detected. I hated that editor as none of its 3 options did really help you, and it would get in your way again if you picked the wrong option. As far as I can tell, now you can:
- Edit transformations and components with invalid references. Now, the invalid references are marked in the linkage between components (yes, the green arrows) while you can still access the downstream transformations. When you double click on invalid linkages you get a nice ‘resolve reference’ editor that allows you to re-map input and output columns. You can also export/import the mappings to/from excel – something handy when you have too many columns – or just delete the invalid references.
- Add destination components without having any input connected to it and being able to add the connection settings and target object information only. Why would you want to do that? I am not sure either, but we are talking about being flexible. Right?
Destination and Source Assistants (data flow). Just a convenience feature that allows saving few clicks when adding destinations and sources to your data flows. It also allows you to see the connection types for which you have drivers install if you wish.
Grouping of control and data flow items. Now, you can select multiple items and group them. This is a design time only feature that may come handy to keep packages with lots of tasks and components visually clean and organized. It has no run time effect.