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Expression and Configuration Highlighter

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During development of SSIS packages, it can be easy to overlook that tasks or connection managers are controlled by expressions or package configurations. The purpose of this BIDS Helper feature is to give a visual indicator so that the influence of expressions and package configurations can be seen at a glance.

When an expression or package configuration is in effect in a control flow task, data flow task, event handler task, or connection manager, the icon is altered. An expression is indicated with a magenta triangle, a package configuration is indicated with an aqua triangle, and if both an expression and a package configuration are in effect on the same object, a multi-color triangle is used as the indicator:



All types of package configurations are supported. However, SQL Server package configurations are ignored when the Work Offline setting is checked.

As part of the Variables Window Extensions feature, package variables also show an altered icon when controlled by an expression or a package configuration.

Performance Warning: On very large packages, the expression and configuration highlighting can cause noticeable pauses in the package designer UI. The 1.3 release includes a major revamp of this feature that significantly improves performance. If you find the performance sluggish, consider disabling this feature with the Enabled Features dialog which can be found by choosing Tools... Options... then by choosing BIDS Helper on the left. The Expression List feature can be used as an alternative, as you can control when the expressions are refreshed.

Note: Starting in release, you can edit the colors of the triangles in the Preferences screen.

In SSIS 2012, limited expression highlighting is built-in to Integration Services. BIDS Helper highlighting has been modified to work properly:


Last edited Oct 2 at 3:44 AM by furmangg, version 9