Twitter List Following Task

Description

Twitter List Following Task extracts a list of users (i.e. user ID, screen name) that are followed by a given screen name (Twitter handler).

Tutorial

Configuring Twitter List Following Task

Similarly to adding other SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) tasks, the Twitter List Following Task shown in Figure 1 can be added into the Control Flow pane in the following manner;

  1. Drag-and-drop the Twitter List Following Task into the Control Flow, or
  2. Double clicking the Twitter List Following Task
Twitter List Following Task - SSIS Toolbox

Figure 1

By default the Twitter List Following Task will throw validation errors shown in Figure 2.

Twitter List Following Task - Validation Error

Figure 2

To resolve the validation errors, we need to configure the Twitter List Following Task by using its editor (Twitter List Following Task Editor).

Twitter List Following Task Editor

The Twitter List Following Task has four parameters:

  1. Screen Name – The screen name of the user for whom to return results for with a maximum character value of 500 and default value is set to trevornoah
  2. Count – Number of tweets to return. The maximum value is 200 and the default value is 5
  3. Save To – path wherein the generated file will be stored
  4. Save As – which can either be JSON of TEXT file – by default, the results will be saved as TEXT file

Set Absolute Values

Providing absolute values for the parameters refers to hardcoding the values into the textboxes i.e. manually enter dstv as the Screen Name.

Twitter List Following Task - Absolute Value

Dynamically Set Values using Expressions

Instead of manually capturing values for the parameters, we can dynamically set them using package expressions. Expressions reads data from package variables at runtime. To configure expressions, click the Ex button. This will open up a Choose Variable dialog box. You can then select the variable you want to use and click the OK button.

Twitter List Following Task - Choose Variable

Once you have clicked the OK button, you will be redirected back to the Twitter List Following Task with textboxes set to variable names.

Twitter List Following Task - Expressions

Executing Twitter List Following Task

The execution of the Twitter List Following Task is usually quick. Similarly to executing other SSIS tasks, the simplest way of executing Twitter List Following Task is to right-click your mouse button, navigate to and click Execute Task option as shown in Figure 7.

Twitter List Following Task - Execute Task

Figure 7

If the configuration is done correctly, the Twitter List Following Task execution should be successful as shown in Figure 8.

Twitter List Following Task - Execution

Figure 8

The file generated after executing the Twitter List Following Task is shown in Figure 9 and it is prefixed with SST_TwitListFollowing_ followed by a date and time stamp.

Twitter List Following Task - Output File

Figure 9

Additional information

Additional Informational Events

As the Twitter List Following Task is being executed, it is important to take notes of custom additional information and Progress events that will appear in the Execution Results tab in the designer, shown in Figure 10. This information could be useful during troubleshooting, especially in cases where package variables are used to set parameter values.

Twitter List Following Task - Informational Events

Figure 10