SQL Server 7.0 bulk copy utility

This tip discusses the use of the SQL Server 7.0 bulk copy utility.

BCP (bulk copy program) is a command-line utility for copying bulk data from a text file to a database table. For example, assume there is one computer named NT4_SQL7SE1 running SQL Server in your domain. Now you want to run bcp from a remote computer on the network, and you need to bulk copy the reports.txt file into the expenses table in the tests database, using the senmar logon and dsl password. The syntax is:

bcp "tests..expenses" in reports.txt -c -q -SNT4_SQL7SE1 -U"senmar" -p"dsl"

This syntax correctly uses the bulk copy program utility to insert data from reports.txt file into the expenses table in the tests database, which is located on the NT4_SQL7SE1 server. The bcp program is a command-line utility that allows you to import and export native SQL Server data files or ASCII text files. The bcp utility is used most often to transfer large volumes of data into a SQL Server table from another program. However, bcp can be used to transfer data from a SQL server table to a data file. From there, another program can import the data. The bcp utility uses the ODBC bulk copy application programming interface (API). Earlier versions of the bcp utility used the DB-Library bulk copy API.

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This was first published in May 2001

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