Articles for the Month of April 2016

SSIS: What to do when AcquireConnection Fails

The deadline required X number of SSIS packages to be done in each day, a deadline which was tight but doable, as long as there were no technical surprises.  The packages were written in SSDT for SQL Server 2012, and most of them were SSISFailconnecting to other SQL Server 2012 databases with no problem. The next package and contained an Ole DB connection to a SQL Server 2008R2 database with a SQL Server defined ID and password.  I made the connection, which tested successfully, opened up the data task and was able to preview the data. Everything looked fine. I right clicked on the package to execute it, and it went along fine until it reached the data task to get data from SQL Server 2008R2. Surprise! The dreaded red X appeared. Failure.

AcquireConnection method call to the connection manager failed with error code 0xC0202009/0xC020801C

Try as I might, the only thing I was able to do after an hour was periodically change the error code from 0xC0202009 to 0xC020801C. Nothing I did worked. I created a new connection, created a new OleDB Source, changed the Run64BitRuntime to False in Configuration Properties in the Debugging Section of the project execution, set the Data Flow task DelayValidation from False to True. None of these various suggestions that I got from various websites worked at all.  I thought about changing the SSIS Service ID’s execution properties, but since I was running in Debug mode I determined that this would not make any difference, so I abandoned that idea. Nothing worked. The only thing I was able to do was change the error code, not eliminate it. I could log into SQL Server with the same ID and password in my package and run the simple query in the data flow task and return data.  I could preview the data, what I couldn’t do is execute the SSIS package.  Out of desperation I rebooted, which also did nothing.

EncryptSensitiveWithUserKey fixes error code 0xC0202009/0xC020801C

While I was thinking about what was left to try, I was wondering why I was getting a failure to connect message and was thinking about passwords. Because the project and of course the package were set to DontSaveSensitive, every time I SSISGreenCheckopened the connection, I had to enter the password again. News flash. DontSaveSensitive means what it says. It doesn’t save the password, so when you run the package, you have no password and therefore cannot acquire a connection.  The fix was to change the package to EncryptSensitiveWithUserKey. Once I did that, the magical green check appeared.

Hopefully if you ever get this message you will find this post quickly and not waste the time I did figuring this out.

Yours Always,

Ginger Grant

Data aficionado et SQL Raconteur


Making Linear Regression Understandable for Machine Learning

When starting with Azure Machine Learning, it is sort of hard to wrap one’s brain around what kind of insight that Machine Learning can provide. When doing data analysis, often times we are looking for patterns. Does the volume of data really go up at the end of the month or is just the additional processes that make it seem that way? Does anyone really know if sales really pick up in August or is that just legerdemain from the sales department? Linear Regression can help determine that.

Relationships between Different Items

There are two types of indicators for linear correlation, positive and negative as shown on the following charts. The Y axis represents Grades, and the x axis is changed to show positive and negative correlationlinear-Grades of the amount of X on grades. When X is the amount of studylinear-CatVideos hours, there is a positive correlation and the line goes up. When X is changed to watching cat videos, there is a negative correlation. If you can’t draw a line around the points there is no correlation. If I were to create a graph where X indicated the quantity of the bags of Cheese Doodles consumed on grades, it would not be possible to draw a straight linear-CheeseDoodlesline, where the data points cluster around it. Since this is Line-ar regression, if that line doesn’t exist there is no correlation. Knowing there is no correlation is also useful.


Calculating Linear Regression

While the variable relationship is really easy to see without Math, there is an underlying formula that describes Linear Regression, and lest all of the math majors get upset I thought I would include the formula

Yi = a0 + b0Xi + ei

Y –  is the value of the Y axis, which in our example is grades

a – Is the point where the line intersects Y, or more clearly stated, where the line is. Now ideally your data should intersect at those points but since the line is sort of a guide, this won’t exactly match.

b – Contains the slope of the line

X – Is the value of the X axis, which depending on the example you are looking at is

E – This contains the error

Machine Learning with Linear Regression

In the blog examples, there are only two values, grades and something else. Machine learning can take all of your input variables and determine which values, if any impact the result. Hopefully this information provides you with a good use case for machine learning. In case you were unaware, Azure ML is availablefor free. All you need to do is sign up for an account at . There are a few size limitations as far as how much data you can load, but you can load enough to determine if machine learning will work in your environment.


Yours Always

Ginger Grant

Data aficionado et SQL Raconteur

Data Platform MVP

I am very excited to be able to announce that Microsoft has made me a Data Platform MVP. This is a big thrill. The right words escape me, I will have to make do with these.

If I Only had a Brain

I love this song from the Wizard of Oz.  Unfortunately, the scarecrow never gets a brain, instead he gets a honorary degree.  I wish having an MVP award would make me smarter, but unfortunately, it does not do that.  Frankly it means I am in very intimidating mental company as when I wrote this, there were only 370 Data Platform MVPs. Most likely I need to learn a lot more and maybe write a book so I can keep up.


One thing I do try to do is share what I know by blogging and speaking, if for no other reason than I don’t want to be a hypocrite.  When I was learning SSIS, the person leading the project was tuning SSIS and he would not show me how.  He obfuscated, and made SSIS tuning out to be wizardry. I thought to myself at the time, that he should tell me what he knows as I would do that.  Later I found out the rules, and gave a few talks about SSIS, including one for the PASS Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter which was recorded here.  If I learn something, I want to tell other people, which is why I blog and speak.  I think this is the greatest profession in the world and I feel bad for people who have chosen to do something else as the data platform stuff and they are missing out.

Keeping Up

There are a ton of new technology things to learn coming up all the time. I keep up as much as I can and when I do learn something, I tend to blog or speak about it.  If you subscribe to this blog or follow me on twitter, hopefully keeping up will be easier.  I don’t want Microsoft to think that they made a mistake, so I plan on trying to increase the number of blog posts and speak when I am afforded the chance.

SQL Saturday Phoenix

I wanted to make sure to talk about the next place I will be speaking, SQL Saturday Phoenix, the largest data related sqlsat492_Phoenixtechnology event in the state of Arizona.  I know it is going to be a great event thanks to Joe Barth and the rest of us on the organizing committee who have volunteered to make this a great event.  The Arizona SQL Server Users Group was where I learned about the SQL Server Community and was where I started to really get motivated to start learning and I am happy to be a part of it. I hope to see you there.

Yours Always

Ginger Grant

Data aficionado et SQL Raconteur