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CHAPTER 8 DATABASE INTEGRATION
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Load XML File Task
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The XML files to be stored in the project folder have the following trivial format: < xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" > <parameters> <parameter name="ConnectionString">My connection string</parameter> <parameter name="Another Name">Another Value</parameter> </parameters> The Load XML File task should then contain the following (VBScript) code: Function Main() Dim oXML Set oXML = CreateObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM") oXML.Async = False oXML.ValidateOnParse = False oXML.Load(DTSGlobalVariables("xmlPath").value) If oXML.XML = "" Then Main = DTSTaskExecResult_Failure Else Set oRootElement = oXML.documentElement for i = 0 to oRootElement.childNodes.length -1 strName = oRootElement.childNodes.item(i).getAttribute("name") strValue = oRootElement.childNodes.item(i).text DTSGlobalVariables(CStr(strName)).value = strValue next Main = DTSTaskExecResult_Success End If End Function
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Note Ugh! At least you only have to type it once; you can copy and paste from that point forward.
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Love VBScript or hate it, this task loads up the simple XML file and sets global variables for the package according to all of the entries in the XML file. In order for the task to work, there needs to be one preexisting global variable, which should be called xmlPath and which should point to the XML configuration file, as shown in Figure 8-19.
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Figure 8-19. Initial global variables settings After this step is executed successfully, the new global variables will also be present, as can be seen in Figure 8-20.
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Figure 8-20. Global variables after Load XML File task
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With all of the settings available as global variables, the Dynamic Properties task Set Variables can be used to push the variables into the settings of the other tasks for the package, as shown in Figure 8-21.
Figure 8-21. Configuring a Dynamic Properties task Generally speaking, global variables can be used to set just about any aspect of a DTS package, including properties that are exposed on custom tasks that you may use. You may find that these standards work well as they are. The result of this work for each DTS package is that when a package is deployed to another environment, the only configuration change that needs to occur is the correct setting of the xmlPath global variable a minimum of manual effort and risk.
Note There are other options as well. You could use a SOAP call or similar approach to dynamically load
the settings instead.
Summary
There has been a lot to learn in this chapter, but I hope you will agree that the results in terms of describing the beginnings of a database integration framework are satisfactory. The work highlights the fragility and lack of utility for such processes at this time, but with a toolset like SQL Bundle and NAnt and a little thought and creativity, these processes can work. Discipline
CHAPTER 8 DATABASE INTEGRATION
is required to actually carry through these concepts to a production scenario, and if you review the processes, you will identify risks that cannot easily be covered such as How do I roll back in the event of a failure The scripts provide an easy means to handle such issues, but they do not avoid the original problem. On the other hand, we suffer these problems daily in any case. In the next chapter, we will look at generating further efficiency to the delivery process and the scripts through the use of code-generation techniques.
Further Reading
There are several Internet papers on the subject of agile database management and development (as opposed to straightforward integration). These two are very worthwhile: Evolutionary Database Design (http://martinfowler.com/articles/evodb.html) XP and Databases (www.extremeprogramming.org/stories/testdb.html) This book contains a great deal of techniques and suggestions on the same subject: Agile Database Techniques: Effective Strategies for the Agile Software Developer by Scott Ambler (Wiley, 2003).
CHAPTER
Code Generation
he end of our exploration of automated builds and continuous integration (CI) approaches rapidly. In the last couple of chapters we have looked at complicated techniques that could be examined in even further detail. All of the configuration and script files we have used consist of XML, and so the opportunities for the transformation of this information naturally present themselves. This chapter explores these transformation and generation techniques, identifying some suitable areas for consideration. Then, we wrap up by considering what has been achieved through the Design to Deliver work.
Note Code generation may be too grandiose a term for the transformation and production work in this
chapter, as of course the generation is of XML configuration and script files rather than code for compilation. However, the term is a common and obvious one to use.
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