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How to enable/disable the BIDS/SSDT add-ins

By default BIDS integration is enabled when you install BI xPress. If BI xPress add-in is not loaded then perform the following steps:

1.   Click Tools -> Add-in Manager menu


2.   Check “BI xPress BIDS Integration” and also check “Startup” to load add-in

Accessing various options of BI xPress
After installing BI xPress when you open BIDS you will notice a couple of new menu items depending where you click. BI xPress installs the following items in the BIDS so you can easily access BI xPress options:

  Main menu bar

  Variable window extension

  Solution context menu

  Project context menu

  Project item context menu

  SSIS Designer context menu

  Expression window (By default it is attached with Error List at the bottom)

1.   Main menu bar

After installing BI xPress and launching BIDS, you will notice "BI xPress" menu in the main menu bar.

Important Note

The number of icons may vary depending which version you are running and what options are enabled.

2.   Variable Window Extension

After installing BI xPress you will also notice 2 new buttons on the variable window.

3.   Solution context menu

Each solution node has a context menu.

4.   Project context menu

SSIS Project right click displays the following options.

5.   Project item context menu

Depending on what items you clicked you will see different context menus in the solution explorer. For example under SSIS Project node if you click on "SSIS Packages" folder node you will see the following options.

6.   If you click on the package item node then you will see the following options

7.   SSIS Designer context menu

Certain options are also available from the package designer context menu. Right click inside a blank area of the package designer surface and you will see the following options.  

8.   Expression window

Expression window is by default visible at the bottom but depending on your window arrangement it may not be visible, in that case just click on "Expression List" option under "BI xPress" menu.

BI xPress commands


The BI xPress BIDS Integration Options command allows you to enable and disable the features used in BI xPress, view and/or edit profile information, and check for updated versions of the software.

 BI xPress Help

The BI xPress Help tool-tip will open the BI xPress help documentation.

 MDX Calculation Builder

This feature allows you create complex MDX Calculations in just a few clicks from several available MDX templates. This option is available when you are in SSAS Cube Designer and the Calculations tab is active.

Add/Update and Remove Auditing Framework

The Add/Update and Remove Auditing Framework command will open the Auditing Framework Wizard. The Auditing Framework Wizard will allow you to add, remove, or edit the auditing framework for each of the packages in the solution you are currently working in. You can specify Auditing Database Connection Information, generate Configuration Files for the packages, and specify logging options.

 SSIS Monitoring Console

The SSIS Monitoring Console allows you to monitor current or past SSIS executions. You can use control flow diagrams to see package execution visually just like BIDS while you debug packages. You can also view pre-defined reports that will display extraction and load details/trends, recent executions, any packages that may be currently running, package execution trends, execution dashboards, and execution alerts. The data in the reports can be filtered in a variety of way including by date, package, machine, execution account, and execution mode.

Add/Remove Notification Framework

The Add/Update and Remove Notification Framework command will open the Notification Framework Wizard. The Notification Framework Wizard will allow you to create notification event handlers on events such as OnError, OnWarning, OnSuccess, and OnComplete for any of the packages in the current solution. You can also choose to be notified on your mobile device by specifying a phone number and service provider.

 Add Snippet

The Add Snippet command will open the Snippet Wizard. The Snippet Wizard will allow you to add script code ( from the reusable code library.

 Deploy SSIS Package

The Deploy SSIS Package command will launch the Package Deployment wizard. The Package Deployment Wizard will allow you to quickly and easily deploy any of the packages in the current solution.

 Quick Deploy SSIS Package

The Quick Deploy SSIS Package command allows you to deploy selected packages in one click using predefined target location selection. Unlike other wizards this wizard runs in a separate thread so you can work with BIDS while deployment is in progress.

 Package Builder

Package builder option helps you build packages quickly from existing templates. There are 6 different options on the package builder wizard screen. You can create/modify templates or packages using this option.

 Secure Configurations

Using this option you can create secure configurations and add/edit configuration values easily in few clicks for one or multiple packages. You can also generate multiple shared configurations for selected connections and adjust naming convention using the smart rename feature.

 Expression List and Expression Editor

The Expression List add-in lists all objects with expressions along with object name, property name and expression. You can edit each expression by clicking edit link. BI xPress has a custom expression editor which has all the features from standard expression editor and reusable expression snippet library (more than 25 snippets provided).

 Variable Edit

Variable Edit add-in opens Value Expression. If a variable is set to EvaluateAsExpression then the BI xPress expression editor is displayed. With the value editor you can easily edit multiple line text which is not easily possible with standard BIDS functionality.

 Variable Copy/Move to New Scope

Variable copy/move feature allows to copy variables from one scope to another within the same or other packages with a single click.

 Expression Manager

Using this option you can add/edit user defined expressions. User defined expressions are listed under the "Snippets->My Expressions" node in the expression editor.

 Variable Dependency Scanner/Find Unused Variables

Variable Dependency Scanner is a SSIS Variable Toolbar Extension. Using this feature you can perform the following items:

Find unused variables

Rename or Delete Unused variables

Find dependent object for selected variables. BI xPress Dependency Scanner can find usage of selected variables inside tasks, variables, connections, configurations, Data Flow components, event handlers etc.

Scan selected variables or scan all variables including System Variables

 Sort Packages

With this option you can sort packages listed under the "SSIS Packages" node in solution explorer. You can sort packages by name, size and date modified.

 Compile Script Tasks/Components

This command generates compiled code for all script tasks and script components (inside Data Flow) for single or all packages of your SSIS Project.

 Config Edit

Using this option you can easily edit XML or SQL Configurations.

Important Note

The Auditing, Notification Frameworks and Deployment Wizard can be applied to individual packages, project level or at the solution level by right-clicking on the package, project or solution node in the BIDS Solution Explorer. You can also select multiple packages and launch the wizard.