How to: Create a Bulk Copy Format File (ODBC)

New: 14 April 2006

A complete sample shows how to use bulk copy functions to create both a data file and a format file. The complete sample code is in the file BulkCopyWithFormat.cpp, which you can download from the SQL Server Downloads page on MSDN. This sample was developed using Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 and was developed for ODBC version 3.0 or later.

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When possible, use Windows Authentication. If Windows Authentication is not available, prompt users to enter their credentials at run time. Avoid storing credentials in a file. If you must persist credentials, you should encrypt them with the Win32 crypto API.

  1. Allocate an environment handle and a connection handle.

  2. Set SQL_COPT_SS_BCP and SQL_BCP_ON to enable bulk copy operations.

  3. Connect to SQL Server.

  4. Call bcp_init to set the following information:

    • The name of the table or view to bulk copy from or to.
    • The name of the data file that contains the data to copy into the database or that receives data when copying from the database.
    • The name of a data file to receive any bulk copy error messages (specify NULL if you do not want a message file).
    • The direction of the copy: DB_OUT to the file from the table or view.
  5. Call bcp_columns to set the number of columns.

  6. Call bcp_colfmt for each column to define its characteristics in the data file.

  7. Call bcp_writefmt to create a format file describing the data file to be created by the bulk copy operation.

  8. Call bcp_exec to execute the bulk copy operation.

A bulk copy operation run in this way creates both a data file containing the bulk copied data and a format file describing the layout of the data file.

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