Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

Stored procedure to export/import images to SQL Server

This procedure serves as an interface to the TextCopy utility in order to export/import images or docs to SQL Server.

This stored procedure serves as an interface to the TextCopy utility that exports and imports images and documnets to SQL Server.

Create Procedure sp_imp_exp_images
                (@runpath varchar(100), -- textCopy Location
                 @srvr   varchar(50), -- server to load
                 @db     varchar(50), -- database to load
                 @usr    varchar(50), -- login user
                 @pwd    varchar(50), -- login password
                 @tbl    varchar(50), -- table to load/unload
                 @col    varchar(50), -- column to load/unload
                 @whr    varchar(200), -- where clause
                 @fil    varchar(100), -- filename including path
                 @mod    char(1))      -- I for Load into Sql , O FOR output from SQL
  declare @cmd varchar(1000)
  set @cmd = @runpath + ' /S ' + @srvr + ' /D ' +  @db + ' /U ' + @usr +
             ' /P ' + @pwd   + ' /T ' + @tbl  + ' /C ' + @col  + ' /W ' + @whr +
             ' /F ' + @fil   + ' /' + @mod    
  exec Master..xp_cmdShell @cmd

Here is how to use this procedure, assuming textcopy.exe is in c:mssqlbinn...

create table pic (pic_id int,picture image)
insert into pic values (1,null)
update pic set picture = 'xx'

Then, to insert an image:

EXEC sp_imp_exp_images 'c:mssqlbinntextCopy.exe', 
                       '"where pic_id = 1"',

To extract an image:

EXEC sp_imp_exp_images 'c:textCopy.exe', 'PCN1943', 'PUBS', 'sa', 'sa', 'pic', 'picture', '"where pic_id = 1"', 'D:pic.jpg', 'O'

Reader Feedback

Hal S. writes: Eli Leiba's tip was the first time that I have actually been motivated to try out an image-oriented DBA tip. It finally worked. I would have given it a full 5 rating but there were a couple of gotcha's that I had to work around, as well as some security concerns:

1. C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerMSSQLBinntextCopy.exe is the default location of the program on a default SQL Server 2000 install.

2. The extended stored procedure xp_cmdshell runs at default under the SysAdmin fixed server role, or under the SQL Server Agent proxy account. Security policies and hotfixes may interfere with the ability to use the xp's, depending on the site.

3. It only updates one record at a time, an update query would be an interesting and slow to run exercise.

4. There are text-in-data-row implications, as well as locking issues for the particular row for long updates.

5. The file attribute data (e.g. created, modified, etc) is not copied.

6. Secondary data streams do not appear to be supported (from a cursory examination of the underlying C++ code, but since I do C++ only under duress, I could be wrong).

After working with all the information Eli presented and my work-arounds, I was very pleased. The 257,490 byte JPEG that I used was byte wise identical to the original, except for time/date stamps. Also, since we were dealing with the whole file, I did not lose the camera information in the EXIF portion of the JPEG (as may happen with many image storage & manipulation utilities) which is a definite plus for me. All in all, it worked, and I can go on from here.

For More Information

  • Feedback: E-mail the editor with your thoughts about this tip.
  • More tips: Hundreds of free SQL Server tips and scripts.
  • Tip contest: Have a SQL Server tip to offer your fellow DBAs and developers? The best tips submitted will receive a cool prize -- submit your tip today!
  • Ask the Experts: Our SQL, database design, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, relational model, and data warehousing gurus are waiting to answer your toughest questions.
  • Forums: Ask your technical SQL Server questions--or help out your peers by answering them--in our active forums.
  • Best Web Links: SQL Server tips, tutorials, and scripts from around the Web.

Dig Deeper on SQL Server Stored Procedures

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.