MS SQL Export Table: 2 Easy Methods


MSSQL Export Table - Featured Image

The production and circulation of data in the world are faster than ever. To handle vast volumes of data is a complex job, making it difficult to store, process and mine. However, you can simplify data handling efficiently with Microsoft SQL Server (MS SQL Server) features. MS SQL allows you to streamline data integrations, support scalability, and maintain data integrity. Such features make it widely popular among organizations to handle complex digital operations. As a result, you would often export tables from MS SQL Server to migrate data. Although there are many ways to export data, we will walk you through the widely used two ways. 

This article focuses on the MS SQL export table and how it can be performed differently. We will find the most straightforward way to export the MS SQL table.

Table of Contents


Basic knowledge of database concepts.

What is MS SQL Server?

Ms SQL Server Logo
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Microsoft SQL Server or MS SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) software product built upon SQL, which is developed & backed by Microsoft. SQL is a structured query language often used by database administrators and IT professionals to manage and query databases. It is also an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS). MS SQL Server is a platform-dependent, command-based, and GUI (Graphical User Interface) software. 

The MS SQL Server is tied to T-SQL (Transact-SQL), an SQL implementation by Microsoft, adding a set of proprietary programming extensions to SQL. It includes transaction control, exception and error handling, row processing, and declared variables. Primarily, T-SQL was developed to be used in MS SQL Server databases and software. 

MS SQL Server Architecture

Primarily built around a row-based table structure, the SQL Server avoids the redundancy problem by connecting related data elements in different tables. SQL Server was designed to maintain data accuracy by providing referential integrity and constructing ACID properties (Atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability) for reliable database transactions.

MS SQL Server has a client-server architecture and supports two components: Database engine and SQL Operating System (SQLOS).

MS SQL Server Architecture
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The database engine is the core component of MS SQL Server that controls data storage, processing, and security. Further, the database engine can be divided into storage and relational engines. The relational engine is also known as the query processor because it performs the tasks of query processing, memory management, thread and task management, buffer management, and distributed query processing. Then comes the storage engine, which is in charge of storing and retrieving data. 

And under the Database engine is the SQLOS, responsible for lower-level functions, such as memory and I/O management. And a few other services like exception handling, synchronization services, job scheduling, and avoiding conflicts by locking the data.

A network interface layer above the database engine uses Microsoft’s tabular data stream protocol, facilitating requests and responses within database servers. Then, the commands to be written are to query the database with T-SQL statements at the user level.

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MS SQL Export Tables: 2 Easy Methods

While working with massive databases, you may need to export a table from MS SQL Server into another format like Excel, Access, or to another SQL Server. There are a couple of ways to export MS SQL tables.   

BCP utility

The Bulk Copy Program Utility or BCP is a command line utility function that copies bulk data files from an instance of MS SQL Server to a data file and vice versa. BCP utility can be used for both importing and exporting tables. There are several options for the syntax of BCP tools. For example, data direction can be indicated by IN for import and OUT for export. 

When MS SQL exports a table to a SQL file, you are exporting an existing SQL Server database table to an operating system data file. Here, several commands are to be provided specifying the necessary information like -S server/instance indicating the specific SQL Server instance name. And -d to select the database containing the source or destination table you need to work on, and -T for windows authentication of connection to SQL Server. 

For example, the BCP command for exporting an MS SQL table into a CSV file is,

Here, Employee_Main is our database table, Employees.csv is the Name of the CSV file we are exporting, and C:\Test is the location we want to export.

Export Wizard

The SQL Server Import and Export wizard is a native tool for SQL Server, which can export most of the standard data formats.

Steps for MS SQL export table:

  1. In SSMS, look for the database you want to export data from and right-click, select tasks, then Export Data.
Wizard method for MS SQL export table
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2. The SQL Server Import/Export Wizard window will pop up on your screen. Select next and choose the data source. And select the Server Name and Database, then click Next to proceed.

select the Server Name and Database
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3. In this step, you need to provide the destination.

Choose the destination

4. Specify what you want to copy in a specific table copy or query window. It allows you to export data by selecting tables or specifying a query.  

Specify Table Copy or Query

5. In select source tables and views, you get to select the tables and views you want to export. You can preview the first 100 rows and review the column mappings under ‘Edit mappings.’ And with the ‘Edit SQL’ button in column mappings, you can check and/or edit the SQL code to create the table. Click Ok twice, then Next to proceed to further steps.

Select Source Tables and Views

6. You can Save and Execute the Package window, which displays the options to export operations and create an SSIS package to save to SQL Server or file system if you want. 

Save and Execute Package

7. You are choosing the SSIS package to invoke another prompt window, asking for your SSIS package’s name, description, target, and File name.

Save SSIS Package

8. Click next and complete the wizard dialog box representing a summary of instructions you chose in the export operation. At last, click on ‘Finish’ to execute the SSIS package.  

Complete the Wizard


This article briefly describes MS SQL Server and how the export operation works. Here, you go through two ways of MS SQL export tables. All the two methods are effective in export table SQL Server. However, the Export Wizard tool is the simplest way to export a table from MS SQL Server. Feel free to share your thoughts on MS SQL export tables in the comment below.

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Share your thoughts on the MS SQL export table in the comments below.

Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Gareema's enthusiasm for data science fuels her writing on diverse topics related to data, software architecture, and she is committed to producing content specifically for data teams to address complex business issues.

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