Simple way to import data into SQL Server
By: Ray Barley
SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) provides the Import Wizard task which you can use to copy data from one data source to another. You can choose from a variety of source and destination data source types, select tables to copy or specify your own query to extract data, and save your work as an SSIS package. In this section we will go through the Import Wizard and import data from an Excel spreadsheet into a table in a SQL Server database.
To begin launch SSMS by clicking SQL Server Management Studio from the Microsoft SQL Server program group. Upon launching SSMS you will be prompted for a connection; connect to the Database Engine.
Locate the MSSQLTipsSSISTutorial database in the SSMS Object Explorer (create the database if necessary); if the Object Explorer isn't visible click the View menu then select Object Explorer:
Right click on the MSSQLTipsSSISTutorial database in the Object Explorer, select Tasks, then Import Data from the context menu to launch the Import Wizard. Click Next to advance past the Welcome dialog (if shown). In the following sections we will walk through the wizard step-by-step.
Choose a Data Source
The Choose a Data Source dialog allows you to specify the source of your data. Fill in the dialog as shown below to specify an Excel spreadsheet as the data source:
Click Next to proceed to the Choose a Destination dialog.
Choose a Destination
The Choose a Destination dialog allows you to specify the destination data source for the data you are importing. Since we are running the Import wizard, the dialog will be displayed with the values already filled in as shown below (based on the database you right clicked to start the Import wizard):
Click Next to proceed to the Specify Table Copy or Query dialog.
Specify Table Copy or Query
The Specify Table Copy or Query dialog allows you to choose whether to import data by selecting tables and/or views from the data source or specifying a query to extract data. Select Copy data from one or more tables or views as shown below:
Click Next to proceed to the Select Source Tables and Views dialog.
Select Source Tables and Views
The Select Source Tables and Views dialog allows you to select the tables and views that you want to import. For our demonstration we are going to select the DimGeography table as shown below:
You can click the Preview button to view the first 100 rows of the data in the data source as shown below:
You can click the Edit Mappings button (on the Select Source Tables and Views dialog) to review the column mappings from the data source to the data destination as shown below. If the table does not exist in the destination data source, you can also edit the mappings.
You can click the option to drop and recreate the table in the destination data source; by default this option is unchecked. You can click Enable identity insert if the destination table has an identity column and the data source has values that you want to assign to the identity column. If the table does not exist in the destination data source, the Create destination table radio button will be selected and the other radio buttons will be disabled. If the table already exists in the destination data source, the Create destination table radio button will be disabled and you can select either the Delete or Append options.
You can click the Edit SQL button to review and/or edit the SQL to create the table in the destination data source as shown below:
Click OK twice to return to the Select Source Tables and Views dialog, then click Next to proceed to the Save and Execute Package dialog.
Save and Execute Package
The Save and Execute Package dialog gives you options to perform the import operation and to create an SSIS package and save it to SQL Server or the file system as shown below:
For our purposes we will save the SSIS package. Click Next to proceed to the Save SSIS Package dialog.
Save SSIS Package
The Save SSIS Package is invoked if you chose to save your import operation as an SSIS package on the Save and Execute Package dialog. Fill in the dialog as shown below:
Click Next to proceed to the Complete the Wizard dialog.
Complete the Wizard
The Complete the Wizard dialog shows a summary of the options that you have chosen for the import operation as shown below:
Click Finish to execute the SSIS package. You can open the imported table in SSMS and view it. A portion of the table is shown below: