Developing a Custom Transformation Component with Synchronous Outputs

Transformation components with synchronous outputs receive rows from upstream components, and read or modify the values in the columns of these rows as they pass the rows to downstream components. They may also define additional output columns that are derived from the columns provided by upstream components, but they do not add rows to the data flow. For more information about the difference between synchronous and asynchronous components, see Understanding Synchronous and Asynchronous Transformations.

This kind of component is suited for tasks where the data is modified inline as it is provided to the component and where the component does not have to see all the rows before processing them. It is the easiest component to develop because transformations with synchronous outputs typically do not connect to external data sources, manage external metadata columns, or add rows to output buffers.

Creating a transformation component with synchronous outputs involves adding an IDTSInput100 that will contain the upstream columns selected for the component, and a IDTSOutput100 object that may contain derived columns created by the component. It also includes implementing the design-time methods, and providing code that reads or modifies the columns in the incoming buffer rows during execution.

This section provides the information that is required to implement a custom transformation component, and provides code examples to help you better understand the concepts. For a sample transformation component with synchronous outputs, see the Integration Services samples on Codeplex.

The design-time code for this component involves creating the inputs and outputs, adding any additional output columns that the component generates, and validating the configuration of the component.

Creating the Component

The inputs, outputs, and custom properties of the component are typically created during the ProvideComponentProperties method. There are two ways that you can add the input and the output of a transformation component with synchronous outputs. You can use the base class implementation of the method and then modify the default input and output that it creates, or you can explicitly add the input and output yourself.

The following code example shows an implementation of ProvideComponentProperties that explicitly adds the input and output objects. The call to the base class that would accomplish the same thing is included in a comment.

Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Pipeline
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Pipeline.Wrapper
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime

<DtsPipelineComponent(DisplayName:="SynchronousComponent", ComponentType:=ComponentType.Transform)> _
Public Class SyncComponent
    Inherits PipelineComponent

    Public Overrides Sub ProvideComponentProperties()

        ' Add the input.
        Dim input As IDTSInput100 = ComponentMetaData.InputCollection.New()
        input.Name = "Input"

        ' Add the output.
        Dim output As IDTSOutput100 = ComponentMetaData.OutputCollection.New()
        output.Name = "Output"
        output.SynchronousInputID = Input.ID

        ' Alternatively, you can let the base class add the input and output
        ' and set the SynchronousInputID of the output to the ID of the input.
        ' base.ProvideComponentProperties();

    End Sub

End Class

Creating and Configuring Output Columns

Although transformation components with synchronous outputs do not add rows to buffers, they may add extra output columns to their output. Typically, when a component adds an output column, the values for the new output column are derived at run time from the data that is contained in one or more of the columns provided to the component by an upstream component.

After an output column has been created, its data type properties must be set. Setting the data type properties of an output column requires special handling and is performed by calling the SetDataTypeProperties method. This method is required because the DataType, Length, Precision, and CodePage properties are individually read-only, because each depends on the settings of the other. This method guarantees that the values of the properties are set consistently, and the data flow task validates that they are set correctly.

The DataType of the column determines the values that are set for the other properties. The following table shows the requirements on the dependent properties for each DataType. The data types not listed have their dependent properties set to zero.








Greater than 0 and less than or equal to 28.










Greater than 0 and less than or equal to 28, and less than Precision.

Greater than or equal to 1 and less than or equal to 38.



Greater than 0.





Greater than 0 and less than 8000.



Not 0, and a valid code page.


Greater than 0 and less than 4000.




Because the restrictions on the data type properties are based on the data type of the output column, you must choose the correct Integration Services data type when you work with managed types. The base class provides three helper methods, ConvertBufferDataTypeToFitManaged, BufferTypeToDataRecordType, and DataRecordTypeToBufferType that assist managed component developers in selecting an SSIS data type given a managed type. These methods convert managed data types to SSIS data types, and vice versa.

Generally, the implementation of the run-time part of the component is categorized into two tasks—locating the input and output columns of the component in the buffer, and reading or writing the values of these columns in the incoming buffer rows.

Locating Columns in the Buffer

The number of columns in the buffers that are provided to a component during execution will likely exceed the number of columns in the input or output collections of the component. This is because each buffer contains all the output columns defined in the components in a data flow. To ensure that the buffer columns are correctly matched to the columns of the input or output, component developers must use the FindColumnByLineageID method of the BufferManager. This method locates a column in the specified buffer by its lineage ID. Typically columns are located during PreExecute because this is the first run-time method where the BufferManager property becomes available.

The following code example shows a component that locates indexes of the columns in its input and output column collection during PreExecute. The column indexes are stored in an integer array, and can be accessed by the component during ProcessInput.

Public Overrides Sub PreExecute()

    Dim input As IDTSInput100 = ComponentMetaData.InputCollection(0)
    Dim output As IDTSOutput100 = ComponentMetaData.OutputCollection(0)

    ReDim inputColumns(input.InputColumnCollection.Count)
    ReDim outputColumns(output.OutputColumnCollection.Count)

    For col As Integer = 0 To input.InputColumnCollection.Count

        Dim inputColumn As IDTSInputColumn100 = input.InputColumnCollection(col)
        inputColumns(col) = BufferManager.FindColumnByLineageID(input.Buffer, inputColumn.LineageID)

    For col As Integer = 0 To output.OutputColumnCollection.Count

        Dim outputColumn As IDTSOutputColumn100 = output.OutputColumnCollection(col)
        outputColumns(col) = BufferManager.FindColumnByLineageID(input.Buffer, outputColumn.LineageID)

End Sub

Processing Rows

Components receive PipelineBuffer objects that contain rows and columns in the ProcessInput method. During this method the rows in the buffer are iterated, and the columns identified during PreExecute are read and modified. The method is called repeatedly by the data flow task until no more rows are provided from the upstream component.

An individual column in the buffer is read or written by using the array indexer access method, or by using one of the Get or Set methods. The Get and Set methods are more efficient and should be used when the data type of the column in the buffer is known.

The following code example shows an implementation of the ProcessInput method that processes incoming rows.

Public Overrides Sub ProcessInput(ByVal InputID As Integer, ByVal buffer As PipelineBuffer)

        While (buffer.NextRow())

            For x As Integer = 0 To inputColumns.Length

                if buffer.IsNull(inputColumns(x)) = false then

                    Dim columnData As Object = buffer(inputColumns(x))
                    ' TODO: Modify the column data.
                    buffer(inputColumns(x)) = columnData

                End If

        End While
End Sub

The following sample shows a simple transformation component with synchronous outputs that converts the values of all string columns to uppercase. This sample does not demonstrate all the methods and functionality discussed in this topic. It demonstrates the important methods that every custom transformation component with synchronous outputs must override, but does not contain code for design-time validation. For a complete sample transformation component with synchronous outputs, see the Readme_Change Case Component Sample.

Imports System 
Imports System.Collections 
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Pipeline 
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Pipeline.Wrapper 
Imports Microsoft.SqlServer.Dts.Runtime.Wrapper 
Namespace Uppercase 

 <DtsPipelineComponent(DisplayName="Uppercase")> _ 
 Public Class Uppercase 
 Inherits PipelineComponent 
   Private m_ColumnIndexList As ArrayList = New ArrayList 

   Public  Overrides Sub ProvideComponentProperties() 
     ComponentMetaData.InputCollection(0).Name = "Uppercase Input" 
     ComponentMetaData.OutputCollection(0).Name = "Uppercase Output" 
   End Sub 

   Public  Overrides Sub PreExecute() 
     Dim input As IDTSInput100 = ComponentMetaData.InputCollection(0) 
     Dim inputColumns As IDTSInputColumnCollection100 = input.InputColumnCollection 
     For Each column As IDTSInputColumn100 In inputColumns 
       If column.DataType = DataType.DT_STR OrElse column.DataType = DataType.DT_WSTR Then 
         m_ColumnIndexList.Add(CType(BufferManager.FindColumnByLineageID(input.Buffer, column.LineageID), Integer)) 
       End If 
   End Sub 

   Public  Overrides Sub ProcessInput(ByVal inputID As Integer, ByVal buffer As PipelineBuffer) 
     While buffer.NextRow 
       For Each columnIndex As Integer In m_ColumnIndexList 
         Dim str As String = buffer.GetString(columnIndex) 
         buffer.SetString(columnIndex, str.ToUpper) 
     End While 
   End Sub 
 End Class 
End Namespace
Integration Services icon (small) Stay Up to Date with Integration Services

For the latest downloads, articles, samples, and videos from Microsoft, as well as selected solutions from the community, visit the Integration Services page on MSDN or TechNet:

For automatic notification of these updates, subscribe to the RSS feeds available on the page.

Community Additions