SQL Server Import extension (preview)

The SQL Server Import extension (preview) converts .txt and .csv files into a SQL table. This wizard utilizes a Microsoft Research framework known as Program Synthesis using Examples (PROSE) to intelligently parse the file with minimal user input. It is a powerful framework for data wrangling, and it is the same technology that powers Flash Fill in Microsoft Excel

To learn more about the SSMS version of this feature, you can read this article.

Install the SQL Server Import extension

  1. To open the extensions manager and access the available extensions, select the extensions icon, or select Extensions in the View menu.

  2. Select an available extension to view its details.

    import extension manager

  3. Select the extension you want and Install it.

  4. Select Reload to enable the extension (only required the first time you install an extension).

Start Import Wizard

  1. To start SQL Server Import, first make a connection to a server in the Servers tab.
  2. After you make a connection, drill down to the target database that you want to import a file into a SQL table.
  3. Right-click on the database and click Import Wizard. open import wizard

Importing a file

  1. When you right-click to launch the wizard, the server and database are already auto-filled. If there are other active connections, you can select in the dropdown.

    Select a file by clicking Browse. It should auto-fill the table name based on the file name, but you can also change it yourself.

    By default, the schema will be dbo but you can change it. Click Next to proceed. input file

  2. The wizard will generate a preview based on the first 50 rows. There is no additional action on this page other than verifying the data looks accurate. Click Next to proceed. open import wizard

  3. On this page, you can make changes to column name, data type, whether it is a primary key, or to allow nulls. You can make as many changes as you like. Click Import Data to proceed. open import wizard

  4. This page gives a summary of the actions chosen. You can also see whether your table inserted successfully or not.

    You can either click Done, Previous if you need to make changes, or Import new file to quickly import another file. open import wizard

  5. Verify if your table successfully imported by refreshing your target database or running a SELECT query on the table name.

Next steps