Then comes a chapter about "advanced" options, including how to load explicit values into an IDENTITY column. If we now look at the string columns c, d and e, we see that the result is different depending on whether the field is entirely empty or includes a number of spaces. Windows uses UTF‑16LE as its normal Unicode representation. From what I can tell, the tools enforce that the numbers are in order and consecutive, and that you have listed at least as many fields as you said on the second line. One is an option to permit you to change the limit how many errors you accept. You must specify a column list for INSERT in this case: Again, this is a hint that is only available when you use OPENROWSET(BULK). The output is binary identical to initialquote2.txt. The following qualifiers specify that an empty field in the data file retains its null value during the bulk-import operation, rather than inheriting a default value (if any) for the table columns. That is, we use exactly the same format file and command: Note that there is no ‑F 2 here to skip the headers. When loading UTF‑16 files without using a format file with BULK INSERT, you need to change the argument to DATAFILETYPE to be widechar. Lower versions of the format are always accepted, so using 9.0 is a good idea. To come on terms with the bulk-load tools, you need to embrace their mindset. The last chapter discusses XML format files, and I am not sorry at all if you give this chapter a blind eye – I find XML format files to be of dubious value. Occasionally, you may want to export a BLOB, for instance a picture, to a file. 7. help bcp import comma & quotes text file. A note on terminology – rows vs. records. For a text file you should always specify SQLCHAR for all fields, unless you have a Unicode file in in UTF‑16 encoding in which case you should use SQLNCHAR. And for INSERT there is an OPENROWSET(BULK)-specific hint, KEEPDEFAULTS to get the default behaviour of BCP and BULK INSERT. Again, you could opt to import the file into a one-column table and work from there, but there is all reason to consider alternative solutions before you ride too far on Kludge Avenue. Before we take a closer look at the COLUMN element, let's take a quick look at fixedlength2.xml that corresponds to fixedlength2.fmt that we look at earlier: When you have a fixed-length field, you use LENGTH to specify the length of the field. To export any of these pictures to disk, we need a format which does not have any terminator and nor length of any sort. You should always list the fields in order. I have not been able to work out anything corresponding with BULK INSERT or OPENROWSET(BULK). I assume that the first namespace declaration serves to state the version of the format-file format, but there have been no changes since the introduction in SQL 2005. As the example suggests, you can use the COLLATION attribute to specify the collation. However, they are of fairly marginal benefit. You can specify whatever you like, since BCP will not read nor write any data file, but the argument must be there. If you would absolutely need the BOM, you would have to handle this yourself with a solution similar to the one we used when we added headers. If the format specification is that wrong so that the tool cannot find the expected terminator at the end of the file, this will cause the entire load to fail, and no rows will be loaded (unless you have set a batch size, discussed in the next session). The format file specifies the layout of the file, which does not have to match the table exactly. Unexpected NULL value in data file row 5, column 2. The bulk-load tools will misread the second record, thinking that the data of the second field is "And this. When the bulk-load tools read a field, they need to know when to stop reading bytes for that field. That is, BCP and BULK INSERT are wise enough to not load the BOM. That is, BCP flatly ignores it, while BULK INSERT and OPENROWSET(BULK) raise an error if the length is exceeded. The other option I like to mention is ‑R which instructs BCP to respect the regional settings on the computer. To permit applications to know the encoding of a file, Unicode files often start with a byte-order mark (BOM) which is 0xFEFF for UTF16-BE, 0xFFEF for UTF16-BE and 0xEFBBBF for UTF‑8. But this is an illusion. One way is to give up and load the data with the quotes into a staging table with a single column and then parse the string, which is not very fun at all. Books Online suggests a situation when specifying the type is useful also with BULK INSERT. As I noted in the Unicode chapter, I have not been able to figure out a general rule for specifying terminators with a code point > 255 in a format file. FIRSTROW = 2 simply means "don't import the first record". As there are quite many of them, I don't include the full set here, but instead I refer you to the topic XML Format Files in Books Online.

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