Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 

Get your favorite SSC scripts directly in SSMS with the free SQL Scripts addin. Search for scripts directly from SSMS, and instantly access any saved scripts in your SSC briefcase from the favorites tab.
Download now (direct download link)

Export/import relational data across SQL Servers

By Ashish Kumar-1095774,

The XportXML utility, will help you copy relational data (a bunch of related tables) to another SQL Server. There is no rocket science behind the utility as such. It automates many mundane tasks like writing the query to export the data in hierarchical order, and creating XSD schema. This is my first contribution to SQLServerCentral.com, which I rely upon a great deal to learn and improve my skills. Of course, the utility is also posted on my personal blog, which is a collection of my rants and creativity (sometimes).

The script was originally developed in VBA using MS Access. I finally managed to convert it to VB Script(not as easy as I thought). Please make sure that your system can run VB Scripts.

Download Script

Requirements

The script uses SQL DMO to generate export scripts, and SQL Bulk Loader to import data.

How to use XportXML

cscript XportXML.vbs "specification file"

Example:

cscript XportXML.vbs "c:\temp\myspecs.txt"

What happens next

The script creates three files.

  1. export_data.bat Run this file to export data in XML format. The data file is created as exported_data.xml in the file location specified in the specification file.
  2. exported_data.xsd XSD schema of the exported xml file.
  3. import_data.vbs Run this file on the target system to import the data. The XML and XSD files are required for import.

Specification File

Specification file provides instruction to the XportXML about what you want to do. The specification file is a simple text file which can be created using Notepad.

1st Line: Connection information of the source system 2nd Line: Connection information for the target system 3rd Line: Export/Import options 4th line onward: Each line must contain one entry per table to be exported.

Note: A line may contain several parameters, separated by comma, and optionally delimited by double quotes, if necessary. A semicolon in the first column makes it a comment and is not counted toward the line count. A bracket around the parameter indicates, optional item.

1st Line: Connection information for the source database.

[<Src SQL Server User>],[<Src SQL Server Password>],<Src SQL Server>,<Src Source database>,<Src Windows Authentication>

<Src SQL Server User> : If you are using sql server authentication then supply the user name.
<Src SQL Server Password> : If you are using sql server authentication then supply the password.
<Src SQL Server> : Source sql server.
<Src Source database> : Source database name
<Src Windows Authentication> : Y or N

Examples:
1. Windows authentication, extract from AdventureWorks database from localserver.
,,ASUSAK\SQLEXPRESS,adventureworks,Y

2. SQL Authentication, extract from AdventureWorks database from localserver.
sa,mypassword,ASUSAK\SQLEXPRESS,adventureworks,N

 

2nd Line: Connection information for the target database.You can always change this information in the generated scripts later.

[<Tgt SQL Server User>],[<Tgt SQL Server Password>],<Tgt SQL Server>,<TGt Source database>,<Tgt Windows Authentication>

<Tgt SQL Server User> : If you are using sql server authentication then supply the user name.
<Tgt SQL Server Password> : If you are using sql server authentication then supply the password.
<Tgt SQL Server> : Source sql server.
<Tgt Source database> : Source database name
<Tgt Windows Authentication> : Y or N.

Examples:
1. Windows authentication, extract from AdventureWorks database from localserver.
,,ASUSAK\SQLEXPRESS,adventureworks,Y

2. SQL Authentication, extract from AdventureWorks database from localserver.
sa,mypassword,ASUSAK\SQLEXPRESS,adventureworks,N

3rd Line: Export options.

[<Files location>],[<Drop tgt tables>],[<Create tgt tables>],[<Keep identity column values>]

<Files location> : Path where all scripts will be created. Default c:\

<Drop tgt tables>: Y or N. If Y, target tables will be dropped before import. Default N.

<Create tgt tables>: Y or N. If Y, target tables will be created if they do not exist. Default Y.

<Keep identity column values>: Y or N. If Y, if the PK is an identity column, the source values will be retained. If N, new values will be generated for the parent and child tables. Default N.

4th line onward: Exported table information

<Level>,<Src table name>,[<Tgt table name>],<[<Where clause>]

<Level> : This field establishes the hierarchy of the exported XML data. The very first record must contain a value 1 for the root table. The child tables will contain 2, 3 etc.

<Src table name> : You can use [<owner>].[<table name>], [<table name>], <owner>.<tablename>, or simply <tablename> formats. If owner is not specified, dbo is assumed.

<Tgt table name> : You can use [<owner>].[<table name>], [<table name>], <owner>.<tablename>, or simply <tablename> formats. If owner is not specified, dbo is assumed. If this parameter is omitted, then a table with _xs<Src table name> will be used as the target table.

<Where clause> : Use [<table name>].[<column name>]=<Value> format. If this clause is ignored, all rows are selected.

Examples of specification file

Example a:

,,ASUSAK,Adventureworks,Y
,,ASUSAK,Lab1,Y
c:\temp
1Production.ProductCategory
2Production.ProductSubcategory
3Production.Product

In the above example, the hierarchy is established as Category, Subcategory, and Product tables. The data will be exported into dbo._xsProductCategory, dbo._xsProductSubcategory, and dbo._xsProduct tables. The specification file above will bring less rows in the Product table than the source. This is because many products in Adventureworks database are not assigned any ProductSubCategory. Hence, the join between product.ProductSubCategoryId and ProductSubCategory.ProductSubCategoryId fails.

Example b:

,,ASUSAK,Adventureworks,Y
,,ASUSAK,Lab1,Y
c:\temp,N,Y,N
1Production.ProductCategory,user1.cat
2Production.ProductSubcategory,user1.subcat
3Production.Product,user1,prod

In the above example, the hierarchy is established as Category, Subcategory, and Product tables. The data will be exported into user1.cat, user1.subcat, and user1.prod tables. Old tables will not be dropped. New tables will be created if they do not exist. Identity columns will be re-created if the target tables' primary key columns were set up as identity.

Example c:

,,ASUSAK,Adventureworks,Y
,,ASUSAK,Lab1,Y
c:\temp

1Production.ProductCategory,,"[productcategory].name='Bikes'" 2Production.ProductSubcategory
3Production.Product

In the above example, the hierarchy is established as Category, Subcategory, and Product tables. The data will be exported into dbo._xsProductCategory, dbo._xsProductSubcategory, and dbo._xsProduct tables. Only rows with Production.productcategory.names='Bikes' will be exported.

Tip: How to extract tables which do not have any relationship with each other

Create a dummy table with one row. Make this table as the root table (level 1). You can pick any column name(s) in the dummy table. There is no need to create any constraints either. That's it.

,,ASUSAK,Adventureworks,Y
,,ASUSAK,Lab1,Y
c:\temp
1dummy
2production.category
3production.SubCategory
2HumanResources.Department

In the above example, dummy table will be imported as _xsDummy. All rows of Production.Category will be imported as dbo.category. All related rows of production.SubCategory will be imported as dbo.Subcategory. All rows of HumanResources.Department will be imported as dbo.Department.

Gotchas

  1. I did not have time to put any error checking. If the script bombs, you will need to figure out what went wrong. Most of the time, it is due to an error in the specification file.
  2. The import may still fail because your lowest level child may still have links to parent(s), which you are not importing.
  3. The parent child relationship is picked up from the foreign key constraint in the database. If the constraint does not exist, you will get a Cartesian product for the child table.
  4. If the data being brought is setup as relational in the specification file then only related rows will be brought over.
  5. If the target tables are created automatically by BulkImport, the order of columns may change a little. Unfortunately, there is no way to correct this behavior. If the tables have been created before hand then this issue is irrelevant.
  6. The XSD schema generated by this utility, and the XML generated by bcp export are not indented properly. I recommend a wonderful tool, Free XML Editor from FirstObject.com. Load the file in the editor and press F8, and you will see wonderfully indented XML file.

Final Note

Folks, there is a lot to be desired in this utility. Please give me constructive suggestions to make this utility better. I have already added the following to my next version:

  1. Re-adjust the foreign keys in imported items where parents were not included in the export. Of course, this is not as easy as it sounds. I am looking for some input from you.
  2. Add some error handling. It is kind of low in my priority list, but it must be done.

Total article views: 1442 | Views in the last 30 days: 2
 
Related Articles
FORUM

Adventureworks and other sample databases

Adventureworks and other sample databases

FORUM

Adventureworks DB

Adventureworks DB

FORUM

AdventureWorks DataBase

Installing AdventureWorks DB

ARTICLE

SQLServerCentral Hosts AdventureWorks on Azure

SQLServerCentral and Red Gate software have agreed to host the AdventureWorks database on the Azure ...

FORUM

Export sql server 2000 database as .sql format

Export sql server 2000 database as .sql format

Tags
bcp    
bulkimport    
export    
import    
vbscript    
xml    
xportxml    
 
Contribute

Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones
Editor, SQLServerCentral.com

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones