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How do you import/export data with BCP or Bulk Insert?

Posted on 2004-09-02
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Last Modified: 2008-02-26
How do you import/export data with BCP or Bulk Insert?

I have always used DTS but for a very large file it does not seem to be the best option
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Question by:robrodp
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ram2098 earned 500 total points
ID: 11970521
BULK INSERT is basically used to trasnfer the data from a file to SQL Server. Remember this is a SQL Command and you can execute this using query analyzer (or) Stored Procedure directly.

Syntax as follows:

BULK INSERT Northwind.dbo.[Order Details]
   FROM 'f:\orders\lineitem.tbl'
   WITH
      (
         FIELDTERMINATOR = '|',
         ROWTERMINATOR = '|\n'
      )


BCP ..you can use to copy the data from a file to SQL Server (or) to a file from a SQL database. But, this you need to execute this from a command prompt. (or) using xp_cmdshell from query analyzer (or) Stored Procedures.

bcp "Northwind.Jane Doe.Jane's Orders" out "Jane's Orders.txt" -c -q -U"Jane Doe" -P"go dba"

You can see SQL Books online for more details about the arguments
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by:ram2098
ID: 11970530
And one more thing to add...

If you have files with specific delimiters to transfer to SQL (or) Vice Versa, using BCP (or) BULK INSERT is much simpler.

If you have files with fixed length, you need to use format files to do the transfer using BCP.
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