Executive Summary: Pragmatic Works’ DTS xChange converts Data Transformation Services (DTS) packages to native Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages for use with SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005.

Pragmatic Works’ DTS xChange converts DTS packages to native SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages for use with SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005. DTS xChange takes a three-phase approach to DTS-conversion projects: profiling, migration, and monitoring. DTS xChange Profiler analyzes existing DTS packages, reporting the tasks that comprise the packages. For project planning, the profiler lets you enter the estimated time that staff will need to complete the conversion of each task type, and produces project totals. The DTS xChange Migration tool converts the packages. Once the conversion is complete, you can use the Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) to manage and modify the new SSIS packages. DTS xChange is available in two editions: one for unlimited use and one that performs unlimited migrations of 50 unique DTS packages. You can also purchase DTS xChange Profiler as a standalone product, and the DTS xChange free trial runs with only the Profiler enabled.

Pros: Easy-to-use, wizard-driven DTS migration tool offers more functionality than Microsoft’s DTS Migration Wizard; you can add support for SSIS features (e.g, Checkpoints); outputs standard, modifiable SSIS packages

Cons: Very little documentation available; falls short of 100 percent conversion

Rating: 3½ out of 5

Recommendation: You’ll still have some work to do after you migrate packages, but DTS xChange will save you a lot of time. You’d be crazy to undertake a DTS migration project without at least giving this product a try.

Contact: Pragmatic Works • www.dtsxchange.com • 904-638-5743

Installation runs quickly on any 32-bit Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows XP system with SQL Server 2005’s SSIS components and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed, but documentation is sparse. A Quick Start Guide in PDF format is the only documentation that accompanied the product, and the link to online help led to an “under construction” web page. However, the Quick Start Guide got me started.

For my testing, I downloaded and used a set of DTS packages supplied by Pragmatic Works. I ran DTS xChange Profiler against the test packages; profiling took less than a minute. As Figure 1 shows, DTS xChange Profiler’s report summarized the occurrence of each type of DTS task and data provider found in the packages, then estimated each package’s conversion time and cost. I also opened and saved several of the packages on a remote SQL Server 2000 system. DTS xChange Profiler worked with that system as well as it did with local packages.

The package-migration tool has capabilities that SQL Server 2005’s DTS Package Migration Wizard lacks, including the ability to migrate Dynamic Properties tasks. The migration tool also handles most flat-file scenarios and supports migration of ODBC connections.

A Work In Progress

DTS xChange is a work in progress; in fact, Pragmatic Works released several enhancements during the writing of this review. As it stands, the product has some weaknesses. Documentation is sparse, and in my tests, not every DTS package migrated completely. Still, DTS xChange does a much better job than the Microsoft DTS Migration Wizard, and your SSIS packages require little effort to complete. If you want a tool that eliminates many hours of labor and lets you take advantage of new SSIS facilities, DTS xChange is for you.