Over the years, these quirks have caused me endless frustration and have aided in honing my search engine skills. If you are trying to learn Informatica PowerCenter, and even if you already work with it, knowing about these quirks will make your development easier.

As I explained in my last post, PowerCenter can seem to have a mind of its own. If you are wrangling the Blue Octopus for a living (or want to), then check out this list. If you don't know why I call Informatica PowerCenter the Blue Octopus, then you should really read this post.

Here are seven quirks that I wish I knew when I started my Informatica development career.

  1. If you find that your source queries or target pre/post SQL is not behaving as expected, check the workflow session to see if somebody overwrote the code at the workflow level. You can tell if there is a small revert button visible. The revert button doesn't mean that the code is different; it means that any changes made at the mapping level will not be carried over to the workflow level. This means that when running your workflow, the code at the workflow level will be executed. This can be a huge time-waster if you keep editing code at the mapping level and then run the workflow just to find it is still not working as intended.
  2. When using Monitor, if you "open" rather than "connect", you will not see the newly running workflows in real time. Instead, you'll have to disconnect and reconnect (and get previous runs) in order to see them.
  3. While using Workflow Manager, if you right click on a session to edit a task and you already have one or more tasks in the task developer, you will open the wrong task for editing. As a work around, make it a habit to right click and clear all within the white space of the task developer when you are finished editing each task to avoid wasting time by editing the wrong task.
  4. If you use an external monitor for development (who doesn't?) and drag the Edit Transformations window to it, the next time you open it you will no longer be able to expand the SQL Query box using the expand arrow. Follow the instructions in this post to fix it. This particular quirk drove me nuts for a good six months. Keep your Informatica on your main screen and use your external for your database, IDEs, email and whatever else you keep open.
  5. Pasting a query without expanding the SQL Query text box causes the query to fill several subsequent text boxes, overwriting what is already present. If you expand the SQL Query text box and paste it, it will work just fine. See quirk 4 if the text box doesn't expand.
  6. The session log will show any queries that are being sent. Unfortunately, if you have a really long query because you are using best practices and not using select *, the log cuts off the bottom of the query where all the good stuff is (like the where clause, joins and what not). Copy the query into a text file and then remove all columns that aren't necessary to investigate the query being sent. Then run it again and voila, the log will now have more room to show the query.
  7. If you are trying unsuccessfully to connect two ports and there is no pipeline error, check Layout -> Link Columns to make sure you did not accidentally unselect it. This has happened to me a few times. I still don't know how it became unchecked. In my current project, the option is greyed out so you might not have access to change this feature.

Hopefully, knowing about these quirks will save you some headaches and search engine time.