Forgive me if this is an inappropriate question for this forum (being DBA and all, I thought it may fit).

I have an SSIS package that I've recently upgraded and moved from BIDS to VS 2019.

It's a very straightforward process to create and write an annotation, however, there are a number of annotations on the flow diagram which I need to edit, but I simply cannot find an option to do this. Does anyone know of a way, bar actually editing the XML (dtsx) file and manually using a text editor?

To Clarify...

This was all my fault for being a trendy developer and using a dark scheme on my VS install! It turns out that you can't see the cursor as it's black on black.

Kudos to billinkc, below, for pointing out my stupidity!

1 Answer 1


You've answered with your options. Either click and edit each individual annotation or open with your favorite text editor and be prepared to write XML safe comments i.e. runs when sales_amount > 30

Now that I have cracked open a 2017 version SSIS Package, the annotation XML is far friendlier for text editing than it was in the 2005/2008 era.

Given a package that looks like

enter image description here

That Inner Annotation > 30 is out in the "clear" down in the DTS:DesignTimeProperties in a CDATA field. Update all the Text attributes, save and reopen and you should be good.

      Text="Inner Annotation &gt; 30"
      ParentId="Package\SEQC Placeholder"
            <av:TextDecorationCollection />

Normally, I'd put a plug in for Biml as you can reverse engineer a package to a simplified XML markup, edit there and re-generate your SSIS package.

This is what the above package would look like (assuming I imported the SSIS Annotations which is not a default)

<Biml xmlns="http://schemas.varigence.com/biml.xsd">
        <Package Name="dba_288939" Language="None" ConstraintMode="LinearOnCompletion">
                <Annotation Tag="Varigence.Biml.SsisImporter.ImportedFromPackage">dba_288939</Annotation>
                <Annotation Tag="Varigence.Biml.SsisImporter.OriginalName">dba_288939</Annotation>
                <Container Name="SEQC Placeholder" ConstraintMode="LinearOnCompletion">
                        <Annotation AnnotationType="Description">Sequence Container</Annotation>
                        <Dataflow Name="Data Flow Task">
                                <Annotation AnnotationType="Description">Data Flow Task</Annotation>

However, the emitted SSIS package doesn't have annotations in it. I'll reach out to the fine folks as Varigence and see what I'm doing wrong in the package generation phase.

Visual Studio 2019 annotation edit experience

enter image description here

  • Many thanks for your help. Either click and edit each individual annotation..., unfortunately, is not an option - there is no way in the SSIS plugin for 2019 to modify the annotations. With this being an open XML format for the package, editing with a text editor is not an issue, more an annoyance that something so straightforward and necessary has been overlooked.
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 10:02
  • 1
    Oh, maybe I misunderstood the problem. You can't double click an annotation in VS 2019 project? You upgraded BIDS to SSDT - was that a 2005 BIDS or 2008/2008R2 upgrade path?
    – billinkc
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 13:34
  • Actually, I've just seen what the issue is - my interface is dark, not light, like yours. When I click inside the annotation I don't see the cursor - it's black on black! <facepalm>. billinkc, you are a star - thank-you so much!
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 13:40

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