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How to create a bulk copy format file (ODBC)

SQL Server 2000

  New Information - SQL Server 2000 SP3.

To create a bulk copy format file

  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 Microsoft® 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.


The example shows using bulk copy functions to create both a data file and a format file. Error-checking code was removed to simplify this example.

The complete sample code is in this file: BulkCopyWithFormat.cpp. You can download an archive containing the sample from the SQL Server Downloads page at this Microsoft Web site.

This sample was developed for ODBC version 3.0 or later. It was developed with Microsoft Visual C++® version 6.0, and may expose properties of the Microsoft Foundation Classes.

Security Note  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 cryptoAPI.

To bulk copy this data file back into the database, see How to bulk copy using a format file. To use this data file as the input to the bcp utility, enter at a command prompt:

bcp pubs..BCPDate in C:\Bcpodbc.bcp /fc:\Bcpfmt.fmt /SMyServer
/Usa /PMyPassWord

See Also




How to bulk copy by using a format file (ODBC)


Using Data Files and Format Files


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