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title description author ms.author ms.date ms.service ms.subservice ms.topic monikerRange
Import & export data from SQL Server & Azure SQL Database
You can use Transact-SQL, command-line tools, and wizards to import and export data in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database in a variety of data formats.
rwestMSFT
randolphwest
10/27/2017
sql
data-movement
conceptual
>=aps-pdw-2016||=azuresqldb-current||=azure-sqldw-latest||>=sql-server-2016||>=sql-server-linux-2017||=azuresqldb-mi-current

Import and export data from SQL Server and Azure SQL Database

[!INCLUDESQL Server Azure SQL Database Synapse Analytics PDW ] You can use a variety of methods to import data to, and export data from, SQL Server and Azure SQL Database. These methods include Transact-SQL statements, command-line tools, and wizards.

You can also import and export data in a variety of data formats. These formats include flat files, Excel, major relational databases, and various cloud services.

Methods for importing and exporting data

Use Transact-SQL statements

You can import data with the BULK INSERT or the OPENROWSET(BULK...) commands. Typically you run these commands in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). For more info, see Import Bulk Data by Using BULK INSERT or OPENROWSET(BULK...).

Use BCP from the command prompt

You can import and export data with the BCP command-line utility. For more info, see Import and Export Bulk Data by Using the bcp Utility.

Use the Import Flat File Wizard

If you don't need all the configuration options available in the Import and Export Wizard and other tools, you can import a text file into SQL Server by using the Import Flat File Wizard in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). For more info, see the following articles:

Use the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard

You can import data to, or export data from, a variety of sources and destinations with the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. To use the wizard, you must have SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) or SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) installed. For more info, see Import and Export Data with the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard.

Design your own import or export

If you want to design a custom data import, you can use one of the following features or services:

Data formats for import and export

Supported formats

You can import data from, and export data to, flat files or a variety of other file formats, relational databases, and cloud services. To learn more about these options for specific tools, see the following topics

Commonly used data formats

There are special considerations and examples available for some commonly-used data formats. To learn more about these data formats, see the following topics:

Next steps

If you're not sure where to begin with your import or export task, consider the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. For a quick introduction, see Get started with this simple example of the Import and Export Wizard.