Invoke-Sqlcmd cmdlet

Invoke-Sqlcmd is a SQL Server cmdlet that runs scripts that CONTAIN statements from the languages ( Transact-SQL and XQuery) and commands supported by the sqlcmd utility.

Using Invoke-Sqlcmd

The Invoke-Sqlcmd cmdlet lets you run your sqlcmd script files in a Windows PowerShell environment. Much of what you can do with sqlcmd can also be done using Invoke-Sqlcmd.

This is an example of calling Invoke-Sqlcmd to execute a simple query, similar to specifying sqlcmd with the -Q and -S options:

Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "SELECT GETDATE() AS TimeOfQuery;" -ServerInstance "MyComputer\MyInstance"  

This is an example of calling Invoke-Sqlcmd, specifying an input file and piping the output to a file This is similar to specifying sqlcmd with the -i and -o options:

Invoke-Sqlcmd -InputFile "C:\MyFolder\TestSQLCmd.sql" | Out-File -filePath "C:\MyFolder\TestSQLCmd.rpt"  

This is an example of using a Windows PowerShell array to pass multiple sqlcmd scripting variables to Invoke-Sqlcmd. The "$" characters identifying the sqlcmd scripting variables in the SELECT statement have been escaped by using the PowerShell back-tick "`" escape character:

$MyArray = "MyVar1 = 'String1'", "MyVar2 = 'String2'"  
Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "SELECT `$(MyVar1) AS Var1, `$(MyVar2) AS Var2;" -Variable $MyArray  

This is an example of using the SQL Server provider for Windows PowerShell to navigate to an instance of the Database Engine, and then using the Windows PowerShell Get-Item cmdlet to retrieve the SMO Server object for the instance and passing it to Invoke-Sqlcmd:

Set-Location SQLSERVER:\SQL\MyComputer\MyInstance  
Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "SELECT GETDATE() AS TimeOfQuery;" -ServerInstance (Get-Item .)  

The -Query parameter is positional and does not have to be named. If the first string that is passed to Invoke-Sqlcmd: is unnamed, it is treated as the -Query parameter.

Invoke-Sqlcmd "SELECT GETDATE() AS TimeOfQuery;" -ServerInstance "MyComputer\MyInstance"  

Path Context in Invoke-Sqlcmd

If you do not use the -Database parameter, the database context for Invoke-Sqlcmd is set by the path that is active when the cmdlet is called.

Path Database Context
Starts with a drive other than SQLSERVER: The default database for the login ID in the default instance on the local computer.
SQLSERVER:\SQL The default database for the login ID in the default instance on the local computer.
SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName The default database for the login ID in the default instance on the specified computer.
SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName\InstanceName The default database for the login ID in the specified instance on the specified computer.
SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName\InstanceName\Databases The default database for the login ID in the specified instance on the specified computer.
SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName\InstanceName\Databases\DatabaseName The specified database in the specified instance on the specified computer. This also applies to longer paths, such as a path that specifies the Tables and Columns node within a database.

For example, assume that the default database for your Windows account in the default instance of the local computer is master. Then, the following commands would return master:

Set-Location SQLSERVER:\SQL  
Invoke-Sqlcmd "SELECT DB_NAME() AS DatabaseName;"  

The following commands would return AdventureWorks2012:

Set-Location SQLSERVER:\SQL\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Databases\AdventureWorks2012\Tables\Person.Person  
Invoke-Sqlcmd "SELECT DB_NAME() AS DatabaseName;"  

Invoke-Sqlcmd provides a warning when it uses the path database context. You can use the -SuppressProviderContextWarning parameter to turn off the warning message. You can use the -IgnoreProviderContext parameter to tell Invoke-Sqlcmd to always use the default database for the login.

Comparing Invoke-Sqlcmd and the sqlcmd Utility

Invoke-Sqlcmd can be used to run many of the scripts that can be run using the sqlcmd utility. However, Invoke-Sqlcmd runs in a Windows PowerShell environment which is different than the command prompt environment that sqlcmd is run in. The behavior of Invoke-Sqlcmd has been modified to work in a Windows PowerShell environment.

Not all of the sqlcmd commands are implemented in Invoke-Sqlcmd. Commands that are not implemented include the following: :!!, :connect, :error, :out, :ed, :list, :listvar, :reset, :perftrace, and :serverlist.

Invoke-Sqlcmd does not initialize the sqlcmd environment or scripting variables such as SQLCMDDBNAME or SQLCMDWORKSTATION.

Invoke-Sqlcmd does not display messages, such as the output of PRINT statements, unless you specify the Windows PowerShell -Verbose common parameter. For example:

Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "PRINT N'abc';" -Verbose  

Not all of the sqlcmd parameters are needed in a PowerShell environment. For example, Windows PowerShell formats all output from cmdlets, so the sqlcmd parameters specifying formatting options are not implemented in Invoke-Sqlcmd. The follwoing table shows the relationship between the Invoke-Sqlcmd parameters and sqlcmd options:

Description sqlcmd option Invoke-Sqlcmd parameter
Server and instance name. -S -ServerInstance
The initial database to use. -d -Database
Run the specified query and exit. -Q -Query
SQL Server Authentication login ID. -U -Username
SQL Server Authentication password. -P -Password
Variable definition. -v -Variable
Query timeout interval. -t -QueryTimeout
Stop running on an error -b -AbortOnError
Dedicated Administrator Connection. -A -DedicatedAdministratorConnection
Disable interactive commands, startup script, and environment variables. -X -DisableCommands
Disable variable substitution. -x -DisableVariables
Minimum severity level to report. -V -SeverityLevel
Minimum error level to report. -m -ErrorLevel
Login timeout interval. -l -ConnectionTimeout
Hostname. -H -HostName
Change password and exit. -Z -NewPassword
Input file containing a query -i -InputFile
Maximum length of character output. -w -MaxCharLength
Maximum length of binary output. -w -MaxBinaryLength
Connect using SSL encryption. No parameter -EncryptConnection
Display errors No parameter -OutputSqlErrors: requires a boolean parameter $true or $false
Output messages to stderr. -r No parameter
Use client's regional settings -R No parameter
Run the specified query and remain running. -q No parameter
Code page to use for output data. -f No parameter
Change a password and remain running -z No parameter
Packet size -a No parameter
Column separator -s No parameter
Control output headers -h No parameter
Specify control characters -k No parameter
Fixed length display width -Y No parameter
Variable length display width -y No parameter
Echo input -e No parameter
Enable quoted identifiers -I No parameter
Remove trailing spaces -W No parameter
List instances -L No parameter
Format output as Unicode -u No parameter
Print statistics -p No parameter
Command end -c No parameter
Connect using Windows Authentication -E No parameter

See also

Use the Database Engine cmdlets
sqlcmd Utility
Use the sqlcmd Utility