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Fixed Width File Importing in SQL

Posted on 2008-06-20
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I have 8 large text files(approx 4GB each) , all of them are formatted in fixed width - each with the same layout. There are also roughly 400 columns on each file.

I have a layout guide telling me the field names, field start column and and field width.

My question is, is there an easy way to import the files into SQL server 2005, perhaps utilising the layout guide i have, rather than manually specifying column widths for the files in something like the Import wizard in SQL?
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Question by:adamcutting
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dbaSQL earned 125 total points
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oh yes.  you should use bulk insert, it is probably one of the fastest means of loading the data to sql, and you can specify the file formats (layout guide) using a format file.  
see here, very good information regarding bulk insert:
ms-help://MS.SQLCC.v9/MS.SQLSVR.v9.en/tsqlref9/html/be3984e1-5ab3-4226-a539-a9f58e1e01e2.htm

also, details regarding the format file you'll need to use to specify datatypes, lengths, order, etc.:
ms-help://MS.SQLCC.v9/MS.SQLSVR.v9.en/udb9/html/b7b97d68-4336-4091-aee4-1941fab568e3.htm

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