GetMsSqlDump Documentation

Date Version Comment
2009-01-22 V0.1 First version of the tool and the document


This is a tool which enables you to dump the content of one or more tables into a text file in the form of INSERT INTO statements, allowing you to archive/transfer/review/modify the data in an easy and convenient way.

Quick Reference

GetMsSqlDump v0.1 - A data dumping tool for Microsoft SQL Servers,
by <Bitemo, Erik Gergely>, 2009


(powershell) GetMsSqlDump.ps1 -server servername -db dbname
-table tablename -username username -password password
-file filename -dateformat dateformat
-append -noidentity -debug -help -?


servername : Name of database server to connect, port other than 1433 should be added with a comma (e.g. SQL01,1435). At the moment, protocols cannot be specified.
Default value: localhost.
dbname : Name of the database to connect to. If missing, the user's default database will be used.
No default value.
tablename: Name of table(s) to dump. You can use the * (asterisk) as wildcard which will be translated into the % wildcard during pattern matching. Note that the schema is part of the name and the script uses SQL 2005 system views to query the list of tables, therefore wildcards won’t work with SQL 2000 or earlier in this version. If you want to dump all the tables, just type a *.
No default value. This parameter is mandatory. Actually, this is the only mandatory parameter at the moment.
username: SQL login name if SQL authentication is used. If no value given, Windows integrated authentication will be used and the password parameter will be ignored.
No default value.
password: Password of the SQL login specified in the username parameter. If no username was specified, this parameter will be ignored.
No default value.
file: Destination of the dump file. If omitted, dump will be redirected to stdout. If the file already exists, either the –Append or the –Overwrite switch should be specified. Submitting both switches results in script abortion to avoid ambiguous situations and unintentional data loss.
No default value.
dateformat : Format of datetime fields in tables. For all the options please refer to the MSDN “Custom DateTime Format Strings" on the web. For basic tutorial, go down to the dateformat options section.
Default value: “yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.FF”


Switches are Boolean parameters without arguments, if they present, their value will be true.

-append Dump will be appended to the file specified by file parameter.
-overwrite Dump will overwrite the file specified by file parameter.
-noidentity Identity values won't be dumped. This way you can add the rows to a table with the same identity column specification. If no identity column exists in the table, the switch will be ignored.
-debug Prints way more characters to your screen than you'd like to. If something didn’t work in the way you expected, or you want to submit a bug, run your statement with the debug switch.
-help Prints this short help. Ignores all other parameters.
-? Just like help, as long as it is the only parameter.


Example 1: GetMsSqlDump.ps1 -server SQL01 -db AdventureWorks –table Person.Address –file C:\Documents\Address.sql –Overwrite –Noidentity
This command will dump the content of the Person.Address table (omitting the identity column) from the AdventureWorks database on server SQL01 and will write it into the file C:\Documents\Address.sql. If the file already exists, it will be overwritten and all of its content will be lost.

Example 1b: GetMsSqlDump.ps1 -s SQL01 -d AdventureWorks -t Person.Address -f C:\Documents\Address.sql -o -n
It does the very same thing, but a bit shorter. In PowerShell, you must specify just enough characters from the parameter name to make it unambiguous for the shell. You can even omit the parameter names if you specified all the parameters in the expected order.

Example 2: GetMsSqlDump.ps1 -server SQL01 -db AdventureWorks –table Person. –file C:\Documents\PersonSchema.sql –Overwrite –Noidentity*
This will dump all the tables under the Person schema. It works only on SQL 2005/2008 for the time being.

Additional information

Default parameters

All the parameter defaults can be set at the very beginning of the script.

Tablename wildcard with SQL 2000

The parameter tablename accepts * as wildcard, however, at the moment you can't use it with SQL 2000
because the query uses the schema.tablename naming structure and the new sys.schemas table. If you need
wildcard with SQL 2000, you should hack into the BuildTableList function, it's pretty straightforward. You can change the whole query to something like this:
"select name from sysobjects where xtype = 'U' and name like '" + $table + "'"

In later releases, it’ll be fixed in a way or another.

Dateformat options

The dateformat string can be built from strings specifying the formatting of individual dateparts. The string is case sensitive, for example m is for minute and M is for Month.

Year: y
y|yy|yyy|yyyy Specifies the year in as many digits as the number of y characters. In 2009, the y will return 9 and yyy gives 009. You can use yyyyy as well.
Month: M
M|MM Returns the month as a number. MM adds a leading zero if the month is less than October (that is, its ordinal is less than 10).
MMM Returns the abbreviated name of the month.
MMMM Returns the full name of the month.

d Returns the day of the month as a number between 1 and 31.
dd Returns the day of the month as a number between 1 and 31. If the number is less than 10, a leading zero will be added.
ddd Returns the short name of the day of the week.
dddd Returns the full name of the day of the week.

h | hh Returns the hour as a number between 1 and 12. The string hh adds a leading zero if the hour is less than 10.
H | HH Returns the hour as a number between 0 and 23. The string HH adds a leading zero if the hour is less than 10.
t | tt Displays one/two characters of the AM/PM designator.

m | mm Returns the minute as a number between 0 and 59. The string mm adds a leading zero if the minute is less than 10.
s | ss Returns the second as a number between 0 and 59. The string ss adds a leading zero if the second is less than 10.
f|ff|fff|ffff Returns the fragment seconds with the given precision. Trailing zeros will be added.
F|FF|FFF|FFFF Returns the fragment seconds with the given precision. Trailing zeros won’t be added.

z|zz|zzz Displays timezone info. z and zz show hours only, zzz shows hours:minutes.

Known issues and improvement areas

1. No error handling at the moment – you may end up in not-so-informative PowerShell/.NET exceptions.
2. Wildcard doesn’t work on SQL 2000/7.0.
3. You can’t use ? as wildcard.
4. You can’t set the output file encoding.
5. It works only with PowerShell. There will be a “native” C# version as well.
6. All the output goes into a single file which can be inconvenient in case of 50 tables. There will be an option to split the output into different files based on the source tables.
7. You can’t filter out records from a table, it’s an all or nothing dump. An option will be added which will enable you to submit any kind of queries, including joins.

Things which are not on the to-do list

(In short, I'm not going to re-invent the wheel, my engineer personality wouldn't take it.)

1. Scripting out table structure – you can do this by using built-in SQL Server management tools and they really do the job. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.
2. Database security: this tool doesn’t bother with security. Sorry. If you have the permission to directly access the database, you have way better options to hack the database than using this tool.

Contact, Bug Report

If you want to contact me in regards to this thing, you can reach me through my website: , where you can find the latest-greatest version of this tool as well.

In case of a bug submit or unexpected behavior, please run the tool with the –Debug switch.

Last edited Jan 24, 2009 at 3:38 PM by swhtng, version 1


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