Where’s My SSIS Toolbox?!

When I opened an existing SSIS project in the new SQL Server 2012 RC0, I came to an interesting discovery: an empty Toolbox pane!  Even with an SSIS package open in the designer.  Hmm, that’s funny!  So where are my SSIS components?

Take a good look at the following screenshot:

The Toolbox is no longer the SSIS Toolbox but the new SSIS Toolbox is!

That’s right, they are not in the Toolbox anymore but in the SSIS Toolbox instead.  This new toolbox is a bit different from the old one.  Besides the grouping of components that has changed, the most important change is that it will automatically detect any custom components.  You no longer need to right-click, select Choose Items, go fetch a coffee, wait until it cools down a bit, drink it and finally … select your custom component.  No, you’ll have to find another reason to get that coffee shot.  Actually, that’s not entirely true: you still need to right-click and then click Refresh Toolbox and then the custom components will be shown.

Another difference is that it’s split in two parts.  The bottom half of the pane now contains a description of the selected item, including a link that should lead to samples and a link to the Books Online.

The new SSIS Toolbox shows a description of the selected=

Out of curiosity I tried the Find Samples link a couple of times, but for now it doesn’t seem to deliver much content:

Not many results through Find Samples link

Okay, so one thing remains: how do you open the new SSIS Toolbox pane?  According to the Books Online it should be opened automatically when you open an existing project.  Well, apparently not all the time!

The first place I’d look is in the View menu.  But alas, SSIS Toolbox is not one of the menu items.  Not even in the Other Windows submenu.  Why oh why?!

Long story short: do you see those two buttons in the below screenshot?  They’re new!

Package designer has gotten two new buttons

The first button leads to the Variables pane, the second button will open the SSIS Toolbox.  Good to know isn’t it?!

Further investigation led me to the following: according to the Books Online, the SSIS Toolbox item should actually be located in the View > Other Windows menu.  As that is not the case and I think it’s only logical to have that pane added to the View menu as well, I’ve filed a bug on Microsoft Connect.  Go ahead and vote!

Have fun!



SSIS Toolbox


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  1. Rimon’s avatar

    Hi, How can I show the SSIS toolbox? The icon and the menu show the empty toolbox only :(


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Hi Rimon,

      Check that last screenshot above. Basically you need to open a SSIS project, open a package in the designer and then you should be able to see those buttons described above.



  2. Lorin LaFoe’s avatar

    Check you are not in debug.

    Blog is “technically correct but useless”


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Even though you’re right if you’re saying that the window layout is different in Debug mode, in this case it doesn’t have anything to do with it. So I guess “blog” is not useless after all…


  3. Peter’s avatar

    You’re a life-saver – thanks!


  4. Vishal’s avatar

    This article really helps me !!!!!


  5. David Plaut’s avatar

    OMG, What was MS thinking. Thanks!


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