The one exception is if you want to run collation-dependent queries on the file with OPENROWSET(BULK). There are a few options that are specific to BCP. But if you have an explicit column list or add the simplest of WHERE clauses, the NULLABLE attribute comes into play. Not the least due to the fact that since the BCP command must be on a single line, it does not get pretty. And because BCP is a command-line tool of that era, it assumes that when no collation is specified that the data is in the OEM code page.

2           This line, does in fact include a comma. For a .NET application there is the SqlBulkCopy class which is a yet another implementation of the bulk-load concept. When you use any of the options in, out or format (but not queryout) and you specify ‑q, BCP will parse the object name, and wrap each component in brackets. Presumably, BULK INSERT applies byte-swapping on BE files before it looks for terminators. We have now learnt the meaning of the properties of the format files. At a command prompt, enter the following command: At a command prompt, enter the following command: -f switch. In difference to old-style format files, you do not declare the number of fields in a record anywhere. I cannot really see the point in this warning, but just ignore it. You may prefer to use the queryout option with a query like: Not only does this save you from having a format file, but you also have all information about the widths the in same place as the query and the BCP command. Put the headers in an initial dummy column which is NULL for all rows but the first.
Use any of the three bulk-load tools that come with SQL Server: Make sure that your database does not have incorrect data.

That is, the quotes around the texts were stripped, and the doubled quotes on line three were reudced to single occurrences. This can be problematic, if you want a blank field in a fixed-length file to result in NULL. But as a general tip: if you run into problem with one of them that you can't understand or you don't seem to able to work around, try one of the other in trio – maybe it works with that guy. XML format files were added in SQL 2005. That is, for data types where there is no reasonable conversion of an empty string, the nullability in the format file serves as an assertion. That is, by default BCP and BULK INSERT do not fire them, while OPENROWSET(BULK) does. Some tables are reused from previous examples, and you may have to truncate them or drop and recreate them to get the result I present in the text. Here are some example commands for loading UTF‑8 files, one with BOM and one without. If the first field is not quoted, it becomes a lot more difficult. [table] in M:\data\xx.csv -f M:\format\XX.FMT … When you use a format file for UTF‑16 data, the data type, the second property, needs to be SQLNCHAR. The reason to use one or the other is largely related to the processor architecture. The following command will use the bcp utility to generate a non-xml format file, myNulls.fmt, based on the schema of myNulls. Caveat: If your table has a column with spaces in the name, you cannot use the format file that BCP generates out of the box, but you will need to edit it to remove the spaces. With BCP, you use the option ‑w to specify that the file is a Unicode file. For this reason, the bulk-load tool offer the possibility to commit rows regularly, so that the log can be truncated (which requires that you are in simple recovery or back up the transaction log while the operation is running). The only way they can register that they have reached the end of the record is by reading the last field. I find this approach for fixed-length files a little cleaner. As reminder, this is formatdemo.txt: As you can see, both dates violate the constraint.

This avoids surprises when loading the data on the target instance, not the least if collations are different. They read one field at a time, consuming a binary data stream. However, in difference to CSVfile.txt above, this file can be imported with any version of BULK INSERT and BCP, provided that you use a format file. A note about character encodings. Since BULK INSERT binary to its soul, there is little reason to expect it to use heuristics to determine that it is looking at a big-endian file.). A common case are files where one or more fields are quoted to protect field terminators that occur in the data. But this time it has to be added to the data we export and we can use queryout option to add an extra NULL column to the result set. So far about importing data. However, they are of fairly marginal benefit. in data. Note: The ‑h option to BCP is used for a number of so-called load hints. Generally, it is better to read the file with OPENROWSET(BULK) and count lines and then use LASTROW to eliminate the footer, as we saw earlier. If you want to use BULK INSERT or OPENROWSET(BULK) in a stored procedure that is to be executed by plain users without elevated permission, you can arrange this by signing the procedure with a certificate and from that certificate create a login which has the required permissions. The best choice in that case may be to detect that the file or table is empty and then write a file with the headers using ECHO. Here is a quick summary of the properties: In the following, we will look closer at these properties. I much prefer the former, and the article focuses on them. With BCP this option is ‑C and with BULK INSERT and OPENROWSET(BULK) the option is CODEPAGE. With BCP this should not be much of a problem as it is like any other file permission. In a text file, an empty string is interpreted as NULL when you bulk in data. However, if you log in on computer A, SQL Server is on computer B and the file is on a share on computer C, this may fail for a number of reasons.

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