Brick Wall – Bang Head

I had 17 (the number is not important except that it is more than one) Excel files I needed to get into a database and since wee happen to use SQL Server – I thought of SSIS. I was going to leave my trusty C# hammer in the tool bag for a more specialized tool. I was confident that even though I had not used SSIS for much (mostly trivial imports from SSMS) that I could get something running pretty quickly.

Well I could not have been more wrong.

I spent the entire day working through a series of SSIS issues specific to the problem I was trying to solve . The final issue was that a couple of the cells in Excel have more than 255 chars of data; what I nightmare trying to get the Excel driver to read more. And now that it is – its in an NTEXT data type which is practically useless when I really want a String. What a mess! Not to mention that I enlisted (wasted?) some help from other people (at least 4) who are much more knowledgeable on this technology than I.

The question I am asking myself is not whether to use a different tool (my trusty C# knife); but when I should have “cut bait and run”?

Every time I ran into an issue yesterday it felt like I was getting closer and closer to being done. Problem is that now feels like there was an infinate distance to travel; so closer being relative – i was never going to be done. At what point do I should I have realized this? Is one day too long to have been doing this? Is this just a case of arrogance and/or stuborness?

Just one of those things that makes me say Hmmmm.

It’s hard to explain to people who don’t do what I (we) do for a living this type of situation. I wonder how much time is spent / wasted doing just this sort of thing; using the wrong tool for the job. How many pople just keep banging a bent nail? Sure it works, but it’s so britile you can never change it. I guess I could have just dropped a script component on the SSIS design surface and written the entire thing in C#. Too bad the debugger does not work. I am just too old to debug something using MessageBox.Show(). Geez! I am so anal about debuggers that a friend and I (he did most of the heavy lifting) wrote our own debugger for a Basic compiler we were using back in the early 90′s!

I think I gave SSIS a fair chance. Now it’s time to get this thing done.