Bulk Operation or BULK Insert in SQL Server 2005:

Thursday, March 19, 2009 |

When you have big flat file may be CSV with lots of records may be couple hundred mega byte file and you wants to transfer those data into SQL-Server than you are at the right article as bulk insert is one of the way to get this kind of heavy lifting.

It is really very efficient and fast as it by passes the transaction and directly injects the data into data file. Let us try by creating one .CSV file (a.k.a. comma delimited file or comma separated value) and load it in to SQL Server database table.

-- Open your notepad.

-- Copy following data in it. Below given are a dummy data and represent name, department and company name.


-- Save the above notepad file as “emp.txt” in your “C” drive.

-- Open your SSMS and create following table and use BULK INSERT command as follows:

--create one table for demo

use adventureworks



Name VARCHAR(50),

Dept VARCHAR(10),

Company VARCHAR(15)


--BULK INSERT to insert file's data to emps table


FROM 'c:\emp.txt'


--FIELD TERMINATOR defines the separator it could be any like ',' or '' etc.

--FIRSTROW defines from where it should read data, first line of the file may be

--header so SQL shouldn't isert it.

--ROWTERMINATOR is new line characte '\n', it could be different if you have got the

--file from mainframe PC or other system it could be different, you can see it in hex editor

--test the data whether it has really been copied.


So this is all about BULK INSERT. It is really very fast. Once I did BULK INSERT for about 100,000 records and it hardly took 2 minutes. Enjoy bulk operation!!!!

Reference: Ritesh Shah


Anonymous said...

I get 'file c:\test.txt does not exist' when attempting bulk insert while logged onto a remote sql server. Perhaps, the bulk insert command looks for a file on the remote sql server's system rather than local to the logged on user's computer system.


Ritesh Shah said...

when you will give "C:\Test.txt" it will look at the C Drive where your SQL Server is installed, it won't look at your own computer if it is different than your SQL Server box. I would recommend you to use UNC path with full permission to your SQL Server service account.