The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.3

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.3

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.3

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SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) for some time now, is not included in the SQL Server media. Instead, it is being provided as a standalone free program which can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website.

This is a good thing and I personally agree with this approach, because it allows Microsoft to update and enhance SSMS more frequently and making it generally available directly to the consumer. The current version of SSMS is v17.3, released a few days ago. This new version, in addition to bug fixes and enhancements, it features two exciting new features: (i) Import Flat File Wizard, and (ii) XEvent Profile.

In this post, we are going to talk about the Import Flat File Wizard.

The Import Flat File Wizard uses the Microsoft Program Synthesis using Examples (PROSE) SDK. This SDK allows the wizard to identify patterns in the flat files and propose table structures for the data to be imported. If the user wants, she or he can modify this table.

 

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Let’s see a step-by-step example of how we can import a CSV file into SQL Server using the Import Flat File Wizard in SQL Server Management Studio v17.3.

First let’s take a look at the CSV file we want to import:

Image

 

Then, if we right-click on a database and select “Tasks – Import Flat File…“, we are presented with the Import Flat File Wizard’s dialog:

Import Flat File Wizard - SSMS v17.3

 

Import Flat File Wizard - SSMS v17.3

 

The next step is to select the flat file to be imported and verify/modify the new table name that will be created by the import process:

The next step is to select the flat file to be imported and verify/modify the new table name that will be created by the import process.

 

Then, you are presented with a preview of the data that will be imported to the new table:

The next step is to select the flat file to be imported and verify/modify the new table name that will be created by the import process.

 

In the next dialog, if desirable, you can modify the columns of the table:

The next step is to select the flat file to be imported and verify/modify the new table name that will be created by the import process.

 

The last dialog summarizes the actions to be performed:

The next step is to select the flat file to be imported and verify/modify the new table name that will be created by the import process.

 

And that’s it! Now the data has been imported into the new table in the selected database:

Flat File Import Wizard in SSMS v17.3

 

Let’s take a look at the table contents:

Image

 

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Artemakis Artemiou
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior SQL Server Architect, Author, Software Developer and a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Among other, via his initiative SQLEBooks.com, Artemakis authors and publishes eBooks on different topics on SQL Server. Artemakis currently serves as the President of the Cyprus .NET User Group (CDNUG) and the International .NET Association Country Leader for Cyprus (INETA). Additionally he is the founder of the SQLArtBits initiative that aims to provide the technical community with simple, yet powerful and high-quality SQL Server tools. Currently, the highlights of these tools are DBA Security Advisor and In-Memory OLTP Simulator. Artemakis's official website can be found at aartemiou.com. Artemakis's blogs can be found at: SQLNetHub.com and TechHowTos.com.