SSIS Project Connection Manager Naming Error

I am sometimes asked, “Andy, how do I start a technical blog?” I demonstrate one way here – a way that has served me well with search engines.
1. Describe how the error occurred.
2. Copy the error message, post it as text.  
3. Describe the solution.

I am helping a large enterprise client migrate their data integration from another data integration platform to Azure-SSIS. It’s a two-step process:

Step 1: Convert the existing data integration operations to SSIS and test the conversion by deploying to an on-premises SSIS Catalog.

Step 2: Lift and shift the SSIS Catalog configurations from on-premises to Azure-SSIS (we will be using SSIS Catalog Compare for this part).

An SSIS Error

In the midst of designing SSIS solutions we encountered an interesting SSIS error:

Failed to start project

Exception deserializing the package “Operation is not valid due to the current state of the object.”. (Microsoft.DataTransformationServices.VsIntegration)

As a professional consultant who has been blogging about SSIS for 12 years and authored and co-authored a dozen books related to Microsoft data technologies, my first response was:


I bingled (credit for the term, “Bingle”: Ed Danger Watson) and found nothing helpful. I was beginning to think something unfortunate had happened to the client’s SQL Server Data Tools SSIS template when a crazy idea popped into my noggin. I said to myself:

Self? Could it be the odd-looking name of the Project Connection Manager?

Andy – circa 2019

The Odd-Looking Name of the Project Connection Manager

When you create a new SSIS Connection Manager, SSIS automagically names it for you. Awesome, right? Most of the time. But sometimes the default name created for a package connection manager doesn’t play nice with Project Connection naming requirements.

Don’t believe me? Try this:

Create a new SSIS package.
Add a package connection manager aimed at a named instance of SQL Server, such as “vDemo\Dev”:

Next, (attempt to) promote the package connection manager to a project connection manager:

Note the error:

The error message in this case reads:
Failed to convert the package connection mananager ‘vDemo\Dev.WeatherData’ to a project connection manager because ‘vDemo\Dev.WeatherData’ is not a valid stream name in the project. Rename the package connection manager and do the conversion again.
Object name ‘vDemo\Dev.WeatherData.conmgr’ is not valid. Name must contain only alphanumeric characters or underscores ‘_’.

The backslash – “\” – in the connection manager name – which works just fine for the Package Connection Manager – blocks promotion of the package connection manager to a Project Connection Manager.


Back to the problem at hand…

My client’s Project Connection Manager name included square brackets (it’s an Oracle thing…). Renaming the project connection manager – simply removing the square brackets – cleared the error:

The package now executes in the SSIS debugger:

SSIS is a complex and flexible software development platform. I learn new things with each and every consulting project. Why did I think of the connection manager name? In testing SSIS Catalog Compare version 4, I tried out a bunch of naming combinations. I was shocked to learn some characters are permitted (did you know you can create an SSIS Catalog Folder name that contains an apostrophe??).

Happy Integrating!


Andy Leonard

Christian, husband, dad, grandpa, Data Philosopher, Data Engineer, Azure Data Factory, SSIS, and Biml guy. I was cloud before cloud was cool. :{>