In this article, we will be discussing about, how to import and export unstructured data in SQL Server, using the IMAGE datatype.
Importing and exporting unstructured data from a database is a common practice, especially in large applications. SQL Server 2008 introduced the FILESTREAM feature that allows storing unstructured data (i.e. music, video, documents, etc.) onto the NTFS file system and manipulating it via the Database Engine. SQL Server 2012 introduced FileTables which is an enhancement to FILESTREAM.
With this post I am starting a series of articles that will deal with the topic of storing, manipulating and extracting unstructured data from SQL Server.
Let’s See a Full Example of Using the Datatype
In this article we are going to see how it is possible to import and export binary objects in SQL Server 2005. Instead of saying more I would just like to show you by example how you can do this.
For this example, consider that we have the following two objects:
Let’s take a closer look at the files just for checking out their content:
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Now let’s store these two files in a SQL Server table.
USE master; GO --Create test database CREATE DATABASE [BinaryFilesDB]; GO --Use test database USE [BinaryFilesDB]; GO --Create table that will be hosting the files CREATE TABLE [dbo].[tblFiles]( [fileID] [bigint] IDENTITY(1,1), [fileName] [nvarchar](255) NULL, [binFile] [image] NOT NULL); GO -- --Import SampleTextFile.txt -- INSERT INTO dbo.tblFiles ([fileName],[binFile]) VALUES ('SampleTextFile.txt',(SELECT * FROM OPENROWSET(BULK 'c:\testing\SampleTextFile.txt',SINGLE_BLOB) AS x)) GO -- --Import SampleImage.png -- INSERT INTO dbo.tblFiles ([fileName],[binFile]) VALUES ('SampleImage.png',(SELECT * FROM OPENROWSET(BULK 'c:\testing\SampleImage.png',SINGLE_BLOB) AS x)) GO
--Rename files UPDATE tblFiles SET fileName='SampleTextFileModified.txt' WHERE filename='SampleTextFile.txt'; GO UPDATE tblFiles SET fileName='SampleImageModified.png' WHERE filename='SampleImage.png'; GO
SELECT 'bcp "select binFile from BinaryFilesDB.dbo.tblFiles where fileid=' + cast (fileID as varchar(50)) + '" queryout "c:\testing\'+[filename] +'" -f bcp.fmt -S .SQL2K14CTP2 -T' as RunTheseOnCommandPrompt FROM BinaryFilesDB.dbo.tblFiles; GO
Now let’s run the two bcp commands on the command prompt:
Also, let’s check the contents of the
As you can see, the two renamed files were successfully exported and have the exact same size as the original ones! I hope you enjoyed the article! Until next time!
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Reference: SQLNetHub.com (https://www.sqlnethub.com)
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior Database and Software Architect, Certified Database, Cloud and AI professional, Author, a 9 Times Microsoft Data Platform MVP (2009-2018). He has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Artemakis is the founder of SQLNetHub. Artemakis is the creator of the well-known software tools Snippets Generator and DBA Security Advisor. Also, he is the author of many eBooks on SQL Server. Moreover, Artemakis teaches on Udemy, you can check his courses here.