bcp Rows Taking Too Long To Show Up


When using bcp.exe to insert ~5000 rows from a file into a SQL Server table, sometimes it takes a while before all the rows are visible for queries.  Currently I'm using a shell statement in VB to execute the bcp, and have the program simply wait 10 seconds before continuing, but this is unreliable.

The question is this:
Is there a way to ensure the bcp has finished and all the rows are available without knowing the number of rows that should be inserted, thus allowing other queries to be exeucted?

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Use bulk insert command and then it will be synchronous and the call will not return unless all the rows are inserted. Check BOL for the syntax of bulk insert.
I do not think either bcp ot bulk insert return a value that you can use, when you use these commands with ShellExecuteA api. I would use ShellExecuteEx with WaitForSingleObject win API.

This is how I do in PowerBuilder, I did not do something like this in VB. But the same idea should work.

Integer WAIT_TIMEOUT =  258 //&H102
Function ulong WaitForSingleObject (ulong hHandle, ulong dwMilliseconds) Library "KERNEL32.DLL"

Add this l  after the call to ShellExecuteEx
     retval = WaitForSingleObject(lst_shellexecuteinfo.hProcess, 0)
Loop While retval = WAIT_TIMEOUT

MsgBox "Done"

Once bcp or bulk inserts completes I would definitely compare rowcount in file versus inserted rowcount in my code.

Alternative way.
Create a command file on the fly that inserts the bulk insert command as the first command and "echo done > c:\done.bat" as the second command into a command file. Once you create the command file execute this command file using ShellExecuteA function. Once bcp complete echo command will create done.bat file.

DO While FileExists('c:\done.bat')
 ' Sleep for a second

When this file exists you know that BCP/BULK INSERT has completed. Now, compare inserted rowcount with file rowcount.

Execute other commands after bcp is complete.


Namasi Navaretnam

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paulottAuthor Commented:
Hey guys. Thanks for the help.

I guess no more solutions are coming.

I tried the bulk insert instead of the bcp.exe but this required that the server with SQL Server to have a UNC for the data files. I think this would require mapping on the server all the possible computers that might run this program, and that is a little more involved than what I was looking for. Thanks anyway.

I was curious if there was a tool or mechanism in SQL Server of which I was not aware, but I appreciate your suggestions. I do think I am going to have to use a API. I'll probably do the one as outlined here:


    Declare Function GetProcessVersion Lib "kernel32" (ByVal ProcessId As Long) As Long
    Dim lProcId As Long
    lProcId = Shell(PathName, WindowsStyle)
    'wait for it to finish.
    Do Until GetProcessVersion(lProcId) = 0

If there are no more comments, I think I'll post a new question for you two and give you each 50 points and an "A" for the suggestions, and have the moderators close this one.

Thanks again.

- Paul
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You can use UNC path (//ServerName/ShareName) in the bulk insert. There is no need to map a drive. Obviously you have taken another approach and if it works it works.

You don't have to post another question with points. Post a question in community support to close this question and refund your points. Make sure that you ask to PAQ this question and not delete it.
paulottAuthor Commented:
Hey amit_g.

> > You can use UNC path (//ServerName/ShareName) in the bulk insert. There is no need to map a drive.  < <

The problem is that the files I'm inserting aren't on the Server. They're going to be scattered around on various computers on the network.  When I try to use bulk insert, I *think* the SQL Server computer has to have access to all of these computers that have the files.  Does that sound right?

Honestly, I'm not much of a network guy.
Yes it would.

How have you done it now? Does every client machine has bcp.exe?

Thats all the the suggestions I have.  I am sure this will work. I have very similar code in PowerBuilder that works without any troubles.

Declare Function GetProcessVersion Lib "kernel32" (ByVal ProcessId As Long) As Long
    Dim lProcId As Long
    lProcId = Shell(PathName, WindowsStyle)
    'wait for it to finish.
    Do Until GetProcessVersion(lProcId) = 0
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