Brancing then Merge with SmartDiff

May 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM


Has anyone implemented brancing and merging withing TFS for SSIS? 

Our current branching stratergy is to create a "live branch" when we need to start redeveloping a package and then check the "live branch" back into TFS and then work on the other version, and then when we've finished developing, we archive the "live branch".

I was wondering if SmartDiff could be used with the merging back into the Trunk package and then you could branch for development.



May 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I'm not aware of anyone who has done this using SmartDiff to help, but if someone else is, please post a note here.

SmartDiff only runs from the custom SmartDiff UI, so I don't think you'll be able to natively launch it from the merge UI. Plus, SmartDiff runs an XSLT which gets rid of all the stuff which doesn't really impact execution of packages. However, we have definitely never tested the scenario around what happens if you actually save the SmartDiff'd dtsx and try to open it or execute it. I wouldn't be surprised if it caused problems since this feature was just intended to let you visually see what's different to help you manually recreate changes using the designer.

Honestly, if you're going to be doing branching and merging in SSIS package, I highly recommend you consider upgrading to SSIS2012. They changed the dtsx package XML format to be much more human readable and diffable/mergeable. Your mileage may vary, but it might at least work with SSIS2012, whereas I'm doubtful it will ever work with earlier versions.

May 24, 2012 at 9:55 PM
Edited May 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Hi thanks for your reply.  

 I will test what happens if you implement the XML code from smart diff and post back my findings, but I think you are probably right in assuming the diss will error as it seems to be sensitive to most changes no matter how small.

I will look at the capabilities of 2012, hopefully it will have the answer to my problem, it seems strange to me that in this day and age of team development that SSIS is has been overlooked for such a fundamental development task and it falls to great tools like BIDSHelper to fill the gaps.