BCP through CLR

While giving a training last week, I had some time to play around with SQL Server. And what’s better than exploring something new and something that might be interesting for some of my customers. So because one of my customers is doing a lot of bcp ins and outs through Stored Procedures in SQL 2000 using XP_cmdshell I decided to write a little demo to do a bulk copy of data using CLR, giving them another reason to upgrade their SQL Servers. So let’s get started.

Before I can start I need, of course, a test environment. So I create a BulkIn and a BulkOut database. To get some data into it I just use the Import/Export Wizard to copy the Person.Person table from database Adventureworks2008R2 into the BulkOut.dbo.Person table. The dbo.Person table in database BulkIn is created with the following script:

USE [BulkIn]



CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Person](
 [BusinessEntityID] [int] NOT NULL,
 [Title] [nvarchar](8) NULL,
 [FirstName] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
 [MiddleName] [nvarchar](50) NULL,
 [LastName] [nvarchar](50) NOT NULL,
 [Suffix] [nvarchar](10) NULL

Because I’m going to use the CLR I need to enable it at server level and because my bulk copy normally will not stay on my instance I will create an Assembly with Permission Level External and need to mark the database as Trustworthy:

USE master

SP_CONFIGURE ‘clr enabled’, 1


 Now it’s time to open Visual Studio to do some programming. I choose to create a Visual Basic SQL CLR Database Project because I don’t want @chrissie1 to write one of these post again. And to be honest my last programming experience was with VB6 a long time ago so VB.NET is easier for me. When I create the project I must  choose .NET Framework 3.5 otherwise I will get errors when Itry to deploy my assembly to SQL Server:

Next thing I need to  do is to set up a database reference and I choose to put it on the BulkOut database. So when I deploy the package later it will be generated in the BulkOut database:

As I already mentioned the Permission Level needs to be External because in normal circumstances I will not stay on my SQL Server Instance. This is done in the Database tab of the Properties screen of the Project:

Last thing to do is adding a new Stored Procedure to my Project before I finally can start writing some code:

The Stored Procedure is added and I can start writing code after the ‘Add your code here comment. First thing to do is to build up the connectionstrings to the database so I can easily reference them further on:

        Dim srcConnStr As String = “Data Source = (local);Integrated Security = true; Initial Catalog = bulkout”
        Dim dstConnStr As String = “Data Source = (local);Integrated Security = true; Initial Catalog = bulkin”

The logic says I need to open a connection to the source database:

        Using SrcConn As SqlConnection = New SqlConnection(srcConnStr)

Next I’m going to read the data from my source table using a SqlDataReader:

            Dim cmdSrcData As SqlCommand = New SqlCommand(“SELECT BusinessEntityID, Title, FirstName, MiddleName, LastName, Suffix FROM Person;”, SrcConn)
            Dim srcReader As SqlDataReader = cmdSrcData.ExecuteReader

To be able to write to my destination database I first need a connection:

            Using dstConn As SqlConnection = New SqlConnection(dstConnStr)

And finally I can start the BulkCopy of my data:

                Using bulkCopy As SqlBulkCopy = New SqlBulkCopy(dstConn)
                    bulkCopy.DestinationTableName = “Person”

I finish with closing all the using blocks, but the datareader needs to be closed explicitly:

                End Using
            End Using
        End Using
    End Sub

 This is all the coding I need. Now I can deploy the assembly to SQL Server using Visual Studio. When the deploy succeeds I can find the spd_BulkCopy Stored Procedure in my BulkOut database and when I start it like a normally start a Stored Procedure it starts executing and after the message: The command(s) completed successfully I can find all my data in the Person table in database BulkIn.

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