Dynamic Row Delimiter and Column Delimiter in SSIS

There are times that you want to make Row Delimiter and Column Delimiter dynamic in Flat File source, and you want to change these values dynamically with package variables.

usually you can use EXPRESSION properties for making things dynamic in SSIS, such as ConnectionString and bind it to a package variable.

As you may know there is no Column Delimiter in Flat File Connection manager, I think this is because limitation of SSIS Data flow task which is STATIC METADATA. actually SSIS can not solve columns on the fly in Data flow task, so It needs to define columns exactly at design time.

So there is no way to make Dynamic Column Delimiter in Flat File Connection manager .

On the other hand you can find RowDelimiter Expression property in Flat File Connection Manager, But after a simple test you will find that this will not work correctly, maybe this is a hidden bug in SSIS.

So what is work around?

If you want to read data from flat file into SQL Server table, use BULK INSERT TASK instead of Data flow.

in the BULK INSERT TASK you can set these EXPRESSION properties:(you can find them in the expression tab of Bulk Insert Task Editor)


and this will work with binding to variables,this is I think because of physical layer behind of bulk insert task which probably use Bulk Insert ( T-SQL command ).

If you want to read data into other Data Source, You need Scripting for this. you can use Split(‘delimiter character’) .NET Method for creating dynamic delimiters in Script task .

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Reza Rad
Trainer, Consultant, Mentor
Reza Rad is a Microsoft Regional Director, an Author, Trainer, Speaker and Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 20 years’ experience in data analysis, BI, databases, programming, and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP for 12 continuous years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. Reza is an active blogger and co-founder of RADACAD. Reza is also co-founder and co-organizer of Difinity conference in New Zealand, Power BI Summit, and Data Insight Summit.
Reza is author of more than 14 books on Microsoft Business Intelligence, most of these books are published under Power BI category. Among these are books such as Power BI DAX Simplified, Pro Power BI Architecture, Power BI from Rookie to Rock Star, Power Query books series, Row-Level Security in Power BI and etc.
He is an International Speaker in Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Business Applications Summit, Data Insight Summit, PASS Summit, SQL Saturday and SQL user groups. And He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer.
Reza’s passion is to help you find the best data solution, he is Data enthusiast.
His articles on different aspects of technologies, especially on MS BI, can be found on his blog: https://radacad.com/blog.

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