Data Transformation Services


Data Transformation Services (DTS) is a set of utilities provided by Microsoft SQL Server that allows users to import, export, and transform data between databases or files. It is a tool that manages data from different sources, providing capabilities for data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL). DTS is often used for automating updates to databases and for integration between different databases.


The phonetics for “Data Transformation Services” are: /ˈdeɪtə ˌtrænsfɔːˈmeɪʃən ˈsɜːrvɪsɪz/

Key Takeaways

  1. Data Transformation Services (DTS) can perform data importing, exporting and transformations from multiple data sources.
  2. They include a set of graphic tools and programmable objects that allow usage of SQL Server data and its transformation to/from other applications.
  3. DTS supports executing scripts and packages on the destination servers, thereby enhancing job scheduling and data manipulation tasks.


Data Transformation Services (DTS) is an essential technology term particularly in the field of database management and business intelligence. This is because it refers to a set of tools and utilities that allow developers to extract, transform, and load data from various sources to a data warehouse in an automated, efficient manner. These services are important to manage data integration, facilitate data migration, ensure data accuracy and consistency across systems, and support business decision-making processes. DTS also plays a significant role in data cleansing, as it offers mechanisms to identify and correct errors, remove duplicates, and standardize data formats, thereby contributing significantly to the overall data quality and reliability.


Data Transformation Services (DTS), as the name suggests, is primarily used to transform data from one format to another, making it adaptable and functional across various systems or databases. It plays a fundamental role in ensuring seamless data flow, cleaning, or validation between different data sources like spreadsheet files, various database types, and even external/online sources. Users can extract and combine data from disparate sources, apply specific rules or functions to transform the data, then load the processed data into a destination source, often to support business operations or decision-making.Moreover, DTS can also be used to automate the process of data transformation and movement. This automation assists in updating data warehouses, populating data marts, processing text files, and more. Regular tasks can be automated to schedule data movements, transformations, or loading at specific times. This feature helps businesses handle large datasets more efficiently, leading to improved data management, operational efficiency, and informed decision making.


1. E-commerce: Retail businesses like Amazon make use of data transformation services to convert data obtained from structured and unstructured sources into a comprehensible format for the utilization. For instance, the reviews, comments, and ratings provided by customers are transformed into data sets which can then be analyzed to guide business decisions such as product modifications, determining pricing strategies, or tailoring marketing campaigns.2. Healthcare: Hospitals and healthcare providers use data transformation services to process large volumes of patient data coming from different sources (like patient records, test results, medical histories). These services transform the diverse data into an interoperable format, which helps in efficient data management, research, predicting disease patterns, and making informed healthcare decisions.3. Telecommunication: Telecom companies need to process huge volumes of data generated from several sources like call records, customer complaints, or network performance stats. Data transformation services help to structure this data and draw meaningful insights from it to enhance service quality, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is Data Transformation Services (DTS)?**A: Data Transformation Services is a set of tools and utilities that allow you to extract, transform, and load data from one location to another. It was initially introduced by Microsoft in SQL Server 2000 as a tool for SQL Server database administrators and developers. **Q2: What are the core functionalities of DTS?**A: The core functionalities of DTS include Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL) of data, data validation, file transfer and execution of other SQL Server jobs, such as stored procedures, command line applications and scripts.**Q3: Have Data Transformation Services been replaced?**A: Yes, DTS has been replaced by SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) starting from SQL Server 2005 onwards. However, a legacy DTS runtime support is available for backward compatibility.**Q4: What is ETL in the context of DTS?**A: ETL stands for Extract, Transform, Load. It is a type of data integration that refers to the process of extracting data from different sources, transforming it to fit business needs, then loading it into a database or data warehouse.**Q5: Can I still use DTS packages in newer versions of SQL Server?**A: Beyond SQL Server 2000, Microsoft does not provide support to create or modify new DTS packages but only supports execution of DTS packages through SSIS. Therefore, it is recommended to migrate your DTS packages to SSIS packages for ease of use and support.**Q6: How can I convert my DTS packages to SSIS packages?**A: SQL Server provides a tool known as DTS Migration Wizard. This tool can assist you in directly converting your DTS packages to SSIS packages.**Q7: What is the difference between DTS and SSIS?**A: While DTS and SSIS serve similar purposes, SSIS is more advanced and robust. SSIS includes graphical tools & wizards for building and debugging packages, tasks for performing workflow functions etc. Moreover, SSIS has significantly better error and event handling.**Q8: Is there any training available for understanding Data Transformation Services?**A: Yes, there are several online resources, tutorials, and training programs available to understand DTS, though it’s advised to focus on learning SSIS since DTS is considered deprecated.

Related Finance Terms

  • ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)
  • Data Warehousing
  • Data Integration
  • Data Mapping
  • Business Intelligence

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