Lesson 1: Preparing to Work with Flat Files in Visual Studio .NET

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Lesson 1: Preparing to Work with Flat Files
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Change the Recovery Model
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In this practice, you will change the recovery model of the AdventureWorks database from Full to Bulk-Logged and back again. 1. Open SSMS. 2. In the Connect To Server window, specify a Server type of Database Engine, enter the appropriate Server name, and use the appropriate Authentication information for your environment. Click Connect. 3. Press Ctrl+N to open a new query window. 4. To see the current recovery model that AdventureWorks is using, type the following command:
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SELECT DATABASEPROPERTYEX('AdventureWorks', 'Recovery');
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If you are still using the default recovery model, the query should return FULL . If anything else is returned, just use the command from step 7 to change the recovery model back to Full. 5. In the query window, above the SELECT command from step 4, type the following command to set the recovery model to Bulk-Logged:
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ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks SET RECOVERY BULK_LOGGED;
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Now, the query window should look like the following:
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ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks SET RECOVERY BULK_LOGGED; SELECT DATABASEPROPERTYEX('AdventureWorks', 'Recovery');
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6. Click Execute, and the result set should now show BULK_LOGGED , which means that you have successfully changed the recovery model to Bulk-Logged. 7. In the query window, replace the words BULK_LOGGED with FULL so that the query window now reads as follows:
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ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks SET RECOVERY FULL; SELECT DATABASEPROPERTYEX('AdventureWorks', 'Recovery');
8. Click Execute, and the result set should now show FULL , meaning that you have successfully changed the recovery model back to Full.
Lesson Summary
Many factors are involved in efficiently bulk-loading data, including the characteristics of the data source, the bulk-load mechanism, and the destination of the import.
10
Working with Flat Files
Placing a database into the Bulk-Logged recovery model helps to minimize the bloating of the transaction log during a bulk load, but only if several other requirements are met.
Lesson Review
The following questions are intended to reinforce key information presented in this lesson. The questions are also available on the companion CD if you prefer to review them in electronic form.
NOTE
Answers
Answers to these questions and explanations of why each answer choice is right or wrong are located in the Answers section at the end of the book.
1. Why is it best to bulk load data during a maintenance cycle (Choose all that apply.) A. It is safer to set the recovery model of a database to Bulk-Logged when it is not in use by end users. B. Minimal logging requires that a table have a clustered index, and clustered indexes can be created only when the database is in single-user mode. C. A table lock must be acquired to minimize logging, and this is not practical during regular usage. D. bcp can be run only when the database is in single-user mode.
Lesson 2: Running the bcp Utility
Lesson 2: Running the bcp Utility
One of the oldest and most well-known methods of bulk loading data into a SQL Server database is by using the bcp command-line utility. Many people consider bcp to be the quick and easy method of bulk loading data, and they are mostly right. In this lesson, you learn what bcp is good for and what it is not good for. Then you will see how to use bcp to import data into SQL Server.
After this lesson, you will be able to:
Explain the use of the bcp command-line utility. Explain certain situations when bcp should not be used. List certain common bcp parameters and explain their use. List the permissions necessary for a user to bulk-load data into a table by using bcp. Execute the bcp command to import data.
Estimated lesson time: 15 minutes
What Is bcp
The abbreviation bcp stands for bulk copy program. Because bcp is a program, you do not execute it from within a query window or batch but rather from the command line. It is an external program, which means it runs outside of the SQL Server process. As its name indicates, you use bcp to bulk copy data either into or out of SQL Server. However, this lesson primarily explores the import or loading of data. Here are two limitations to keep in mind about bcp:
If the data that you are loading needs to go through complex transforms or validations, bcp is not the correct tool to use.
bcp has limited data-transformation capabilities. bcp has limited error handling capabilities. bcp might know that an error occurred
while loading a given row, but it has limited reaction options. Based on the settings you use during the bcp load, bcp can react to an erroneous row by either erroring out of the bcp load or by logging the row and error (up to a user-specified maximum count) and then erroring out of the bcp load. The program does not have the native capability to recover and retry a given row or set of rows during the same load process, as SSIS might do, or to send a notification to someone about the errors that occurred.
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