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Importing and Exporting Bulk Data

Microsoft SQL Server allows you to import and export data in bulk (bulk data) between a SQL Server table and a data file. This is essential to efficient transfer data between SQL Server and heterogeneous data sources. Bulk exporting refers to copying data from a SQL Server table to a data file. Bulk importing refers to loading data from a data file into a SQL Server table. For example, you can export data from a Microsoft Excel application to a data file and then bulk import that data into a SQL Server table.

Topic Description

About Bulk Import and Bulk Export Operations

Lists and briefly compares the various methods that are available for bulk importing and exporting data. Compares in-process and out-of-process operations, describes format files, provides information about the query processor and bulk-import operations, and offers performance considerations.

Basic Guidelines for Bulk Importing Data

Provides a list of important guidelines for bulk importing data.

Importing and Exporting Bulk Data by Using the bcp Utility

Provides an overview for using the bcp utility to bulk import or bulk export data.

Importing Bulk Data by Using BULK INSERT or OPENROWSET(BULK...)

Provides an overview for using the Transact-SQL BULK INSERT statement or OPENROWSET function to bulk import and export data. Also, presents security considerations and information about using Transact-SQL statements to bulk import data from a remote data file.

Creating the HumanResources.myTeam Table

Describes how to create a table that is used by the examples in several importing and exporting bulk data topics.

Data Formats for Importing or Exporting Data

Contains explanation of restrictions and considerations that are related to data format requirements. This topic also tells you how to specify data formats for compatibility.

Format Files for Importing or Exporting Data

Contains descriptions of format files. Format files provide a flexible way for SQL Server to write or read data files, and thereby increase performance. Also contains an explanation of how to use the bcp utility to create a format file.

Scenarios for Bulk Importing and Exporting Data

Contains descriptions of several typical scenarios for importing or exporting data.

Copying Databases to Other Servers

Contains introductions to alternative ways to copy databases to other servers.

Optimizing Bulk Import Performance

Contains descriptions of techniques to optimize performance for bulk-import operations.