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Document your SSIS Packages with BI Documenter Part5: Scheduling your Documentation

December 30, 2011

The last entry in this introductory series to BI Documenter will cover how you can automate the documentation process.  The automation works by taking the existing solutions that have been created and in conjunction with Windows Scheduled Tasks sets up the documentation to be run on a schedule that you define. So lets get to it.

First select the solution you want to schedule.

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Next select the Schedule snapshot link from the tools menu on the right hand side of the screen.

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This will launch a new window where we will build the command line to schedule the snapshot. There are several options as well as an explanation on how to add the command line to the  Window Scheduled tasks.

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  1. Here you can again select the solution you would like to automate.
  2. Set the server name, username (if needed), password(if needed)
  3. The name of the metabase for the solution (the default is BIDocumenter)
  4. Select the output file type (CHM, or HTML)
  5. Set the Output file path
  6. Here you have the option to append a date time stamp to the end of the snapshot.
  7. You can choose to enable logging which will create a log for the creation of the snapshot and output to a file.
  8. For the executable you need to supply the file location for the BI Documenter executable file. The default location is supplied for you, but if you changed any of the defaults when installing the program you may have to navigate to that folder on your own.
  9. The Arguments section is the fully constructed command line that you will then use to schedule your job in the Windows Scheduled Tasks. You can also test the command line here which will run a complete snapshot of you solution from the command line.
  10. This section walks you through using the Windows Scheduled Tasks to schedule your BI Documenter Snapshots.

When I ran through this wizard myself I was able to leave the defaults for just about everything.  The only thing I changed was the timestamp for my output file.

Now lets walk through adding this to Windows Scheduled Tasks.

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I’m using Windows7 so to find the Task Scheduler I had to go to the control panel and under administrative tools I found the Task Scheduler. Once there select create Basic Task.

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This will open a new window where you will give the task a name and a description(optional)

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After clicking next you are presented with a list of options for when to start the task.

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Click next and set the frequency and day of the week(if you choose weekly) to run the task.

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Next specify what the task is to do. Select Start a Program

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On the next screen is where the BI Documenter wizard we ran through earlier will be a huge help.

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In box 1 enter the location of the executable for BI Documenter, and if you remember the wizard helped us find that.

In box 2 we add the arguments, which the wizard build for us after we selected all of the options.

Click next and Finish.  Now navigate to the task inside the Task Scheduler Library, right click and select run. Below you can see the newly created document.

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This might seem a little bit too daunting if you are new to using the Task Scheduler, but trust me if I can do this then just about anyone can.

I hope you found this series useful and you’ve had a chance to download and test drive BI Documenter.  Please feel free to leave any comments and let me know what you think of BI Documenter.

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