Will SSIS die?

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Well, this is a hard question and, in my opinion, SSIS seems that is going that way. At least the current experience it provides will definitely die and let me explain why.


As I said in a post before, SSAS multidimensional is dead! I mean, not exactly dead, but in the death row. Tabular took over with its promise of simplicity and consistency in all tools that use the same engine, therefore, Microsoft will, in my opinion, kill SSAS Multidimensional in the near future. Check my post about it below.

SSIS though doesn’t have the same problem as SSAS Multidimensional had when Tabular appeared. There isn’t a “Special SSIS” that Microsoft can push to users to replace the current experience. There is, nevertheless, the cloud experience. Azure offers the Data Factory tool which many say is the SSIS in the cloud but, there isn’t an official replacement for SSIS.

What is there then?

Power Query for on-premises and, its web evolution, Dataflows BI. I believe that a sort of replacement for SSIS will come from the usage of these tools. I truly believe this because Tabular was once also an add-in for Excel and then evolved to the entreprise solution that we have now.

How it will happen?

Power BI is evolving very fast and because of that is pushing a lot of changes in the way that companies work data. The goal is simple: faster, easier and bigger.

  • Business wants faster changes to quickly report some sort of analysis;
  • Easier updates: users want a set of clicks with the minimum code possible (it seems no one likes to read VBA walls of code…);
  • Bigger datasets for “routine” analysis. Few gigabytes of data is becoming the most common size of datasets. This also includes more data sources.

Power Query tool provides all of this and continues to evolve to allow more possibilities without compromising the goals I mentioned before.

I believe the killer of SSIS will then come from Power BI experience. Can’t explain right now exactly how it will be but the experience will be quite the same as we have now: we have several sources of data and then we have the opportunity to clean our data either by just clicking a set of buttons or going in a more advanced way, by tweaking the code.

Let’s see what Microsoft will bring to us but I truly believe that SSIS is coming to the end of the road.