The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.3 and later

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.

 

The decoupling between SSMS and SQL Server Installation Media

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. SSMS version 17.3, in addition to bug fixes and enhancements, featured two exciting new features: (i) Import Flat File Wizard, and (ii) XEvent Profile.

 

The Import Flat File Wizard

In this article, 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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A step by step example

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:

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

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:

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

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 Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

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

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

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

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

The last dialog summarizes the actions to be performed:

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

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

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

Let’s take a look at the table contents:

The Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS v17.x and later - Article on SQLNetHub

 

 

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Reference: SQLNetHub (https://www.sqlnethub.com)

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