This is my first blog post since I moved to Redmond. A lot of time has passed, sorry for that! I kept busy filling out forms, forms and some more forms. After that came more forms. I dream about forms, I breath forms. I am a form. Wait, let’s stop there.

Recently I had to figure out how to pass in settings to an SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) package when calling it using dtexec from bash on Linux.

The dtexec utility is utility to execute a SSIS packages. The name goes back to the time that SSIS was called Data Transformation Services (DTS) – that is also the reason why SSIS packages carry the .dtsx extension. The dtexec utility is available for both Windows and Linux.

One of the interesting things you can do with dtexec is passing in values to variables (using the /Par(ameter) option or even change a connection string at runtime (using the /Conn[ection]). I had to do the latter. Here is where the fun started. The /Par and /Conn options (and maybe others) expect something like this: [name];[value]. For example:

Notice the ‘;’ between the name of the source connection and the connection string. This is all great, unless you are trying to call dtexec from the bash command line in Linux, because ; actually means something in bash: when bash sees ; it thinks the current command has ended and the next instruction follows. That is not what we want here.

I had to escape a number of items to get this to work correct in bash:

See what I did there? I had to escape the first ; (between ‘MasterSQL’ and ‘Data Source’) as well as escape the quotes that surround the data source definition itself and have it double quoted.

If you need to pass in a value to a string parameter you need to follow the same logic:

For a string variable you can pass in the value like this:

Hope this helps!