By JosephStyons


2009-06-11 17:42:28 8 Comments

We are writing a new application, and while testing, we will need a bunch of dummy data. I've added that data by using MS Access to dump excel files into the relevant tables.

Every so often, we want to "refresh" the relevant tables, which means dropping them all, re-creating them, and running a saved MS Access append query.

The first part (dropping & re-creating) is an easy sql script, but the last part makes me cringe. I want a single setup script that has a bunch of INSERTs to regenerate the dummy data.

I have the data in the tables now. What is the best way to automatically generate a big list of INSERT statements from that dataset?

The only way I can think of doing it is to save the table to an excel sheet and then write an excel formula to create an INSERT for every row, which is surely not the best way.

I'm using the 2008 Management Studio to connect to a SQL Server 2005 database.

20 comments

@Shane Fulmer 2009-06-11 17:46:27

We use this stored procedure - it allows you to target specific tables, and use where clauses. You can find the text here.

For example, it lets you do this:

EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles'

Source code copied from link:

SET NOCOUNT ON
GO

PRINT 'Using Master database'
USE master
GO

PRINT 'Checking for the existence of this procedure'
IF (SELECT OBJECT_ID('sp_generate_inserts','P')) IS NOT NULL --means, the procedure already exists
    BEGIN
        PRINT 'Procedure already exists. So, dropping it'
        DROP PROC sp_generate_inserts
    END
GO

--Turn system object marking on
EXEC master.dbo.sp_MS_upd_sysobj_category 1
GO

CREATE PROC sp_generate_inserts
(
    @table_name varchar(776),       -- The table/view for which the INSERT statements will be generated using the existing data
    @target_table varchar(776) = NULL,  -- Use this parameter to specify a different table name into which the data will be inserted
    @include_column_list bit = 1,       -- Use this parameter to include/ommit column list in the generated INSERT statement
    @from varchar(800) = NULL,      -- Use this parameter to filter the rows based on a filter condition (using WHERE)
    @include_timestamp bit = 0,         -- Specify 1 for this parameter, if you want to include the TIMESTAMP/ROWVERSION column's data in the INSERT statement
    @debug_mode bit = 0,            -- If @debug_mode is set to 1, the SQL statements constructed by this procedure will be printed for later examination
    @owner varchar(64) = NULL,      -- Use this parameter if you are not the owner of the table
    @ommit_images bit = 0,          -- Use this parameter to generate INSERT statements by omitting the 'image' columns
    @ommit_identity bit = 0,        -- Use this parameter to ommit the identity columns
    @top int = NULL,            -- Use this parameter to generate INSERT statements only for the TOP n rows
    @cols_to_include varchar(8000) = NULL,  -- List of columns to be included in the INSERT statement
    @cols_to_exclude varchar(8000) = NULL,  -- List of columns to be excluded from the INSERT statement
    @disable_constraints bit = 0,       -- When 1, disables foreign key constraints and enables them after the INSERT statements
    @ommit_computed_cols bit = 0        -- When 1, computed columns will not be included in the INSERT statement

)
AS
BEGIN

/***********************************************************************************************************
Procedure:  sp_generate_inserts  (Build 22) 
        (Copyright © 2002 Narayana Vyas Kondreddi. All rights reserved.)

Purpose:    To generate INSERT statements from existing data. 
        These INSERTS can be executed to regenerate the data at some other location.
        This procedure is also useful to create a database setup, where in you can 
        script your data along with your table definitions.

Written by: Narayana Vyas Kondreddi
            http://vyaskn.tripod.com
            http://vyaskn.tripod.com/code/generate_inserts.txt

Acknowledgements:
        Divya Kalra -- For beta testing
        Mark Charsley   -- For reporting a problem with scripting uniqueidentifier columns with NULL values
        Artur Zeygman   -- For helping me simplify a bit of code for handling non-dbo owned tables
        Joris Laperre   -- For reporting a regression bug in handling text/ntext columns

Tested on:  SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000

Date created:   January 17th 2001 21:52 GMT

Date modified:  May 1st 2002 19:50 GMT

Email:      [email protected]

NOTE:       This procedure may not work with tables with too many columns.
        Results can be unpredictable with huge text columns or SQL Server 2000's sql_variant data types
        Whenever possible, Use @include_column_list parameter to ommit column list in the INSERT statement, for better results
        IMPORTANT: This procedure is not tested with internation data (Extended characters or Unicode). If needed
        you might want to convert the datatypes of character variables in this procedure to their respective unicode counterparts
        like nchar and nvarchar


Example 1:  To generate INSERT statements for table 'titles':

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles'

Example 2:  To ommit the column list in the INSERT statement: (Column list is included by default)
        IMPORTANT: If you have too many columns, you are advised to ommit column list, as shown below,
        to avoid erroneous results

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles', @include_column_list = 0

Example 3:  To generate INSERT statements for 'titlesCopy' table from 'titles' table:

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles', 'titlesCopy'

Example 4:  To generate INSERT statements for 'titles' table for only those titles 
        which contain the word 'Computer' in them:
        NOTE: Do not complicate the FROM or WHERE clause here. It's assumed that you are good with T-SQL if you are using this parameter

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles', @from = "from titles where title like '%Computer%'"

Example 5:  To specify that you want to include TIMESTAMP column's data as well in the INSERT statement:
        (By default TIMESTAMP column's data is not scripted)

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles', @include_timestamp = 1

Example 6:  To print the debug information:

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles', @debug_mode = 1

Example 7:  If you are not the owner of the table, use @owner parameter to specify the owner name
        To use this option, you must have SELECT permissions on that table

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts Nickstable, @owner = 'Nick'

Example 8:  To generate INSERT statements for the rest of the columns excluding images
        When using this otion, DO NOT set @include_column_list parameter to 0.

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts imgtable, @ommit_images = 1

Example 9:  To generate INSERT statements excluding (ommiting) IDENTITY columns:
        (By default IDENTITY columns are included in the INSERT statement)

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts mytable, @ommit_identity = 1

Example 10:     To generate INSERT statements for the TOP 10 rows in the table:

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts mytable, @top = 10

Example 11:     To generate INSERT statements with only those columns you want:

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts titles, @cols_to_include = "'title','title_id','au_id'"

Example 12:     To generate INSERT statements by omitting certain columns:

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts titles, @cols_to_exclude = "'title','title_id','au_id'"

Example 13: To avoid checking the foreign key constraints while loading data with INSERT statements:

        EXEC sp_generate_inserts titles, @disable_constraints = 1

Example 14:     To exclude computed columns from the INSERT statement:
        EXEC sp_generate_inserts MyTable, @ommit_computed_cols = 1
***********************************************************************************************************/

SET NOCOUNT ON

--Making sure user only uses either @cols_to_include or @cols_to_exclude
IF ((@cols_to_include IS NOT NULL) AND (@cols_to_exclude IS NOT NULL))
    BEGIN
        RAISERROR('Use either @cols_to_include or @cols_to_exclude. Do not use both the parameters at once',16,1)
        RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: Both @cols_to_include and @cols_to_exclude parameters are specified
    END

--Making sure the @cols_to_include and @cols_to_exclude parameters are receiving values in proper format
IF ((@cols_to_include IS NOT NULL) AND (PATINDEX('''%''',@cols_to_include) = 0))
    BEGIN
        RAISERROR('Invalid use of @cols_to_include property',16,1)
        PRINT 'Specify column names surrounded by single quotes and separated by commas'
        PRINT 'Eg: EXEC sp_generate_inserts titles, @cols_to_include = "''title_id'',''title''"'
        RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: Invalid use of @cols_to_include property
    END

IF ((@cols_to_exclude IS NOT NULL) AND (PATINDEX('''%''',@cols_to_exclude) = 0))
    BEGIN
        RAISERROR('Invalid use of @cols_to_exclude property',16,1)
        PRINT 'Specify column names surrounded by single quotes and separated by commas'
        PRINT 'Eg: EXEC sp_generate_inserts titles, @cols_to_exclude = "''title_id'',''title''"'
        RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: Invalid use of @cols_to_exclude property
    END


--Checking to see if the database name is specified along wih the table name
--Your database context should be local to the table for which you want to generate INSERT statements
--specifying the database name is not allowed
IF (PARSENAME(@table_name,3)) IS NOT NULL
    BEGIN
        RAISERROR('Do not specify the database name. Be in the required database and just specify the table name.',16,1)
        RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: Database name is specified along with the table name, which is not allowed
    END

--Checking for the existence of 'user table' or 'view'
--This procedure is not written to work on system tables
--To script the data in system tables, just create a view on the system tables and script the view instead

IF @owner IS NULL
    BEGIN
        IF ((OBJECT_ID(@table_name,'U') IS NULL) AND (OBJECT_ID(@table_name,'V') IS NULL)) 
            BEGIN
                RAISERROR('User table or view not found.',16,1)
                PRINT 'You may see this error, if you are not the owner of this table or view. In that case use @owner parameter to specify the owner name.'
                PRINT 'Make sure you have SELECT permission on that table or view.'
                RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: There is no user table or view with this name
            END
    END
ELSE
    BEGIN
        IF NOT EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_NAME = @table_name AND (TABLE_TYPE = 'BASE TABLE' OR TABLE_TYPE = 'VIEW') AND TABLE_SCHEMA = @owner)
            BEGIN
                RAISERROR('User table or view not found.',16,1)
                PRINT 'You may see this error, if you are not the owner of this table. In that case use @owner parameter to specify the owner name.'
                PRINT 'Make sure you have SELECT permission on that table or view.'
                RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: There is no user table or view with this name      
            END
    END

--Variable declarations
DECLARE     @Column_ID int,         
        @Column_List varchar(8000), 
        @Column_Name varchar(128), 
        @Start_Insert varchar(786), 
        @Data_Type varchar(128), 
        @Actual_Values varchar(8000),   --This is the string that will be finally executed to generate INSERT statements
        @IDN varchar(128)       --Will contain the IDENTITY column's name in the table

--Variable Initialization
SET @IDN = ''
SET @Column_ID = 0
SET @Column_Name = ''
SET @Column_List = ''
SET @Actual_Values = ''

IF @owner IS NULL 
    BEGIN
        SET @Start_Insert = 'INSERT INTO ' + '[' + RTRIM(COALESCE(@target_table,@table_name)) + ']' 
    END
ELSE
    BEGIN
        SET @Start_Insert = 'INSERT ' + '[' + LTRIM(RTRIM(@owner)) + '].' + '[' + RTRIM(COALESCE(@target_table,@table_name)) + ']'      
    END


--To get the first column's ID

SELECT  @Column_ID = MIN(ORDINAL_POSITION)  
FROM    INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS (NOLOCK) 
WHERE   TABLE_NAME = @table_name AND
(@owner IS NULL OR TABLE_SCHEMA = @owner)



--Loop through all the columns of the table, to get the column names and their data types
WHILE @Column_ID IS NOT NULL
    BEGIN
        SELECT  @Column_Name = QUOTENAME(COLUMN_NAME), 
        @Data_Type = DATA_TYPE 
        FROM    INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS (NOLOCK) 
        WHERE   ORDINAL_POSITION = @Column_ID AND 
        TABLE_NAME = @table_name AND
        (@owner IS NULL OR TABLE_SCHEMA = @owner)



        IF @cols_to_include IS NOT NULL --Selecting only user specified columns
        BEGIN
            IF CHARINDEX( '''' + SUBSTRING(@Column_Name,2,LEN(@Column_Name)-2) + '''',@cols_to_include) = 0 
            BEGIN
                GOTO SKIP_LOOP
            END
        END

        IF @cols_to_exclude IS NOT NULL --Selecting only user specified columns
        BEGIN
            IF CHARINDEX( '''' + SUBSTRING(@Column_Name,2,LEN(@Column_Name)-2) + '''',@cols_to_exclude) <> 0 
            BEGIN
                GOTO SKIP_LOOP
            END
        END

        --Making sure to output SET IDENTITY_INSERT ON/OFF in case the table has an IDENTITY column
        IF (SELECT COLUMNPROPERTY( OBJECT_ID(QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@owner,USER_NAME())) + '.' + @table_name),SUBSTRING(@Column_Name,2,LEN(@Column_Name) - 2),'IsIdentity')) = 1 
        BEGIN
            IF @ommit_identity = 0 --Determing whether to include or exclude the IDENTITY column
                SET @IDN = @Column_Name
            ELSE
                GOTO SKIP_LOOP          
        END

        --Making sure whether to output computed columns or not
        IF @ommit_computed_cols = 1
        BEGIN
            IF (SELECT COLUMNPROPERTY( OBJECT_ID(QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@owner,USER_NAME())) + '.' + @table_name),SUBSTRING(@Column_Name,2,LEN(@Column_Name) - 2),'IsComputed')) = 1 
            BEGIN
                GOTO SKIP_LOOP                  
            END
        END

        --Tables with columns of IMAGE data type are not supported for obvious reasons
        IF(@Data_Type in ('image'))
            BEGIN
                IF (@ommit_images = 0)
                    BEGIN
                        RAISERROR('Tables with image columns are not supported.',16,1)
                        PRINT 'Use @ommit_images = 1 parameter to generate INSERTs for the rest of the columns.'
                        PRINT 'DO NOT ommit Column List in the INSERT statements. If you ommit column list using @include_column_list=0, the generated INSERTs will fail.'
                        RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: There is a column with image data type
                    END
                ELSE
                    BEGIN
                    GOTO SKIP_LOOP
                    END
            END

        --Determining the data type of the column and depending on the data type, the VALUES part of
        --the INSERT statement is generated. Care is taken to handle columns with NULL values. Also
        --making sure, not to lose any data from flot, real, money, smallmomey, datetime columns
        SET @Actual_Values = @Actual_Values  +
        CASE 
            WHEN @Data_Type IN ('char','varchar','nchar','nvarchar') 
                THEN 
                    'COALESCE('''''''' + REPLACE(RTRIM(' + @Column_Name + '),'''''''','''''''''''')+'''''''',''NULL'')'
            WHEN @Data_Type IN ('datetime','smalldatetime') 
                THEN 
                    'COALESCE('''''''' + RTRIM(CONVERT(char,' + @Column_Name + ',109))+'''''''',''NULL'')'
            WHEN @Data_Type IN ('uniqueidentifier') 
                THEN  
                    'COALESCE('''''''' + REPLACE(CONVERT(char(255),RTRIM(' + @Column_Name + ')),'''''''','''''''''''')+'''''''',''NULL'')'
            WHEN @Data_Type IN ('text','ntext') 
                THEN  
                    'COALESCE('''''''' + REPLACE(CONVERT(char(8000),' + @Column_Name + '),'''''''','''''''''''')+'''''''',''NULL'')'                    
            WHEN @Data_Type IN ('binary','varbinary') 
                THEN  
                    'COALESCE(RTRIM(CONVERT(char,' + 'CONVERT(int,' + @Column_Name + '))),''NULL'')'  
            WHEN @Data_Type IN ('timestamp','rowversion') 
                THEN  
                    CASE 
                        WHEN @include_timestamp = 0 
                            THEN 
                                '''DEFAULT''' 
                            ELSE 
                                'COALESCE(RTRIM(CONVERT(char,' + 'CONVERT(int,' + @Column_Name + '))),''NULL'')'  
                    END
            WHEN @Data_Type IN ('float','real','money','smallmoney')
                THEN
                    'COALESCE(LTRIM(RTRIM(' + 'CONVERT(char, ' +  @Column_Name  + ',2)' + ')),''NULL'')' 
            ELSE 
                'COALESCE(LTRIM(RTRIM(' + 'CONVERT(char, ' +  @Column_Name  + ')' + ')),''NULL'')' 
        END   + '+' +  ''',''' + ' + '

        --Generating the column list for the INSERT statement
        SET @Column_List = @Column_List +  @Column_Name + ','   

        SKIP_LOOP: --The label used in GOTO

        SELECT  @Column_ID = MIN(ORDINAL_POSITION) 
        FROM    INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS (NOLOCK) 
        WHERE   TABLE_NAME = @table_name AND 
        ORDINAL_POSITION > @Column_ID AND
        (@owner IS NULL OR TABLE_SCHEMA = @owner)


    --Loop ends here!
    END

--To get rid of the extra characters that got concatenated during the last run through the loop
SET @Column_List = LEFT(@Column_List,len(@Column_List) - 1)
SET @Actual_Values = LEFT(@Actual_Values,len(@Actual_Values) - 6)

IF LTRIM(@Column_List) = '' 
    BEGIN
        RAISERROR('No columns to select. There should at least be one column to generate the output',16,1)
        RETURN -1 --Failure. Reason: Looks like all the columns are ommitted using the @cols_to_exclude parameter
    END

--Forming the final string that will be executed, to output the INSERT statements
IF (@include_column_list <> 0)
    BEGIN
        SET @Actual_Values = 
            'SELECT ' +  
            CASE WHEN @top IS NULL OR @top < 0 THEN '' ELSE ' TOP ' + LTRIM(STR(@top)) + ' ' END + 
            '''' + RTRIM(@Start_Insert) + 
            ' ''+' + '''(' + RTRIM(@Column_List) +  '''+' + ''')''' + 
            ' +''VALUES(''+ ' +  @Actual_Values  + '+'')''' + ' ' + 
            COALESCE(@from,' FROM ' + CASE WHEN @owner IS NULL THEN '' ELSE '[' + LTRIM(RTRIM(@owner)) + '].' END + '[' + rtrim(@table_name) + ']' + '(NOLOCK)')
    END
ELSE IF (@include_column_list = 0)
    BEGIN
        SET @Actual_Values = 
            'SELECT ' + 
            CASE WHEN @top IS NULL OR @top < 0 THEN '' ELSE ' TOP ' + LTRIM(STR(@top)) + ' ' END + 
            '''' + RTRIM(@Start_Insert) + 
            ' '' +''VALUES(''+ ' +  @Actual_Values + '+'')''' + ' ' + 
            COALESCE(@from,' FROM ' + CASE WHEN @owner IS NULL THEN '' ELSE '[' + LTRIM(RTRIM(@owner)) + '].' END + '[' + rtrim(@table_name) + ']' + '(NOLOCK)')
    END 

--Determining whether to ouput any debug information
IF @debug_mode =1
    BEGIN
        PRINT '/*****START OF DEBUG INFORMATION*****'
        PRINT 'Beginning of the INSERT statement:'
        PRINT @Start_Insert
        PRINT ''
        PRINT 'The column list:'
        PRINT @Column_List
        PRINT ''
        PRINT 'The SELECT statement executed to generate the INSERTs'
        PRINT @Actual_Values
        PRINT ''
        PRINT '*****END OF DEBUG INFORMATION*****/'
        PRINT ''
    END

PRINT '--INSERTs generated by ''sp_generate_inserts'' stored procedure written by Vyas'
PRINT '--Build number: 22'
PRINT '--Problems/Suggestions? Contact Vyas @ [email protected]'
PRINT '--http://vyaskn.tripod.com'
PRINT ''
PRINT 'SET NOCOUNT ON'
PRINT ''


--Determining whether to print IDENTITY_INSERT or not
IF (@IDN <> '')
    BEGIN
        PRINT 'SET IDENTITY_INSERT ' + QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@owner,USER_NAME())) + '.' + QUOTENAME(@table_name) + ' ON'
        PRINT 'GO'
        PRINT ''
    END


IF @disable_constraints = 1 AND (OBJECT_ID(QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@owner,USER_NAME())) + '.' + @table_name, 'U') IS NOT NULL)
    BEGIN
        IF @owner IS NULL
            BEGIN
                SELECT  'ALTER TABLE ' + QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@target_table, @table_name)) + ' NOCHECK CONSTRAINT ALL' AS '--Code to disable constraints temporarily'
            END
        ELSE
            BEGIN
                SELECT  'ALTER TABLE ' + QUOTENAME(@owner) + '.' + QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@target_table, @table_name)) + ' NOCHECK CONSTRAINT ALL' AS '--Code to disable constraints temporarily'
            END

        PRINT 'GO'
    END

PRINT ''
PRINT 'PRINT ''Inserting values into ' + '[' + RTRIM(COALESCE(@target_table,@table_name)) + ']' + ''''


--All the hard work pays off here!!! You'll get your INSERT statements, when the next line executes!
EXEC (@Actual_Values)

PRINT 'PRINT ''Done'''
PRINT ''


IF @disable_constraints = 1 AND (OBJECT_ID(QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@owner,USER_NAME())) + '.' + @table_name, 'U') IS NOT NULL)
    BEGIN
        IF @owner IS NULL
            BEGIN
                SELECT  'ALTER TABLE ' + QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@target_table, @table_name)) + ' CHECK CONSTRAINT ALL'  AS '--Code to enable the previously disabled constraints'
            END
        ELSE
            BEGIN
                SELECT  'ALTER TABLE ' + QUOTENAME(@owner) + '.' + QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@target_table, @table_name)) + ' CHECK CONSTRAINT ALL' AS '--Code to enable the previously disabled constraints'
            END

        PRINT 'GO'
    END

PRINT ''
IF (@IDN <> '')
    BEGIN
        PRINT 'SET IDENTITY_INSERT ' + QUOTENAME(COALESCE(@owner,USER_NAME())) + '.' + QUOTENAME(@table_name) + ' OFF'
        PRINT 'GO'
    END

PRINT 'SET NOCOUNT OFF'


SET NOCOUNT OFF
RETURN 0 --Success. We are done!
END

GO

PRINT 'Created the procedure'
GO


--Turn system object marking off
EXEC master.dbo.sp_MS_upd_sysobj_category 2
GO

PRINT 'Granting EXECUTE permission on sp_generate_inserts to all users'
GRANT EXEC ON sp_generate_inserts TO public

SET NOCOUNT OFF
GO

PRINT 'Done'

@JosephStyons 2009-06-11 19:57:36

This worked perfectly for me, except that the generated INSERTs don't have a semicolon @ the end. I added that and used it with success. Thanks for answering the qstn!

@jcollum 2009-07-28 19:55:19

must be something missing here, that sp doesn't seem to exist in my version of 2008

@Shane Fulmer 2009-07-28 20:32:54

@jcollum - it's actually not a built-in stored procedure. If you follow the link, you can get the text for the stored proc.

@Nimrod Shory 2009-12-07 16:11:48

I'm Getting - Msg 536, Level 16, State 5, Procedure sp_generate_inserts, Line 331 Invalid length parameter passed to the SUBSTRING function. Msg 536, Level 16, State 5, Procedure sp_generate_inserts, Line 332 Invalid length parameter passed to the SUBSTRING function. Msg 50000, Level 16, State 1, Procedure sp_generate_inserts, Line 336 No columns to select. There should at least be one column to generate the output Why?

@Gabe 2010-07-02 06:00:51

@nimrod: I'm getting the same error. Using Sql Server 2008 and schemas.

@Nimrod Shory 2010-07-04 11:36:05

@Gabriel: Sorry - i didn't get passed this - We are creating the inserts using a C# util.

@contactmatt 2011-05-11 15:47:21

All this work for something that should have been built in....

@Dan Nolan 2012-02-16 09:46:20

I got this error too. To fix it, replace "EXEC master.dbo.sp_MS_upd_sysobj_category 2" with "EXEC sp_MS_marksystemobject sp_generate_inserts" and remove the line "EXEC master.dbo.sp_MS_upd_sysobj_category 1".

@InfinitiesLoop 2012-03-21 20:32:54

SEE THE ANSWER with the most upvotes, which should be the accepted answer here. This is built-in, you don't need a stored procedure...

@CaffGeek 2013-06-25 17:37:51

@InfinitiesLoop, only that sometimes you need to be able to automate it through code, not have a user manualy perform the task through the GUI.

@Jan Święcki 2013-07-27 21:17:48

@DanielNolan could you explain your fix?

@jpgrassi 2016-06-03 02:38:43

@DanielNolan your fix solved the problem, thank you!

@David Barrows 2016-09-13 11:51:30

Note I was getting an error with that earlier version of the script, but there is a newer version (apparently for SQL 2005 and later) here: vyaskn.tripod.com/code/generate_inserts_2005.txt (that version did not error out for me, in SQL 2016)

@TheSoftwareJedi 2018-08-02 14:00:37

Could someone grab the proc and paste it in the answer? Firewalled here at work, and in the future that link may not work anyhow.

@Jay Cummins 2019-03-16 14:56:22

@TheSoftwareJedi: I have a copy in my snippet repo: github.com/cumminsjp/Agema/blob/master/scripts/db/mssql/…

@Mike Ritacco 2009-08-22 16:11:27

Microsoft should advertise this functionality of SSMS 2008. The feature you are looking for is built into the Generate Script utility, but the functionality is turned off by default and must be enabled when scripting a table.

This is a quick run through to generate the INSERT statements for all of the data in your table, using no scripts or add-ins to SQL Management Studio 2008:

  1. Right-click on the database and go to Tasks > Generate Scripts.
  2. Select the tables (or objects) that you want to generate the script against.
  3. Go to Set scripting options tab and click on the Advanced button.
  4. In the General category, go to Type of data to script
  5. There are 3 options: Schema Only, Data Only, and Schema and Data. Select the appropriate option and click on OK. SqlDataOptions

You will then get the CREATE TABLE statement and all of the INSERT statements for the data straight out of SSMS.

@Richard West 2011-05-21 21:09:45

Be sure to read Noonand's comment below -- the check box is not under SCRIPT DATA = TRUE, instead it is under General section, choose the appropriate option for 'Types of data to script'.

@tony 2013-06-22 10:24:37

If you only want to generate one insert statement do something like this; select * into newtable from existingtable where [your where clause], then just do as above on the new table

@Joe Phillips 2015-08-17 19:30:44

The Advanced button is in a really dumb spot. It's no wonder nobody ever finds this on their own. It seems like it goes with the "Save to file" option. Also, I wonder why it doesn't generate a more efficient insert statement instead of many multiple insert statements

@Alan Fluka 2015-09-07 10:10:49

This works the same way in newer versions as well. Confirmed it in SSMS 2014.

@Endy Tjahjono 2017-09-06 10:50:44

FYI if you select Data only and encounter Cyclic dependencies found error, switch to Schema and data to avoid the error. Happens in Management Studio v17.

@Gerard 2017-10-31 16:08:51

Doesn't work for a view when you e.g. want to filter the data with a where clause.

@mickeyf 2018-01-25 16:19:05

In theory creating a script for the entire DB should allow you to regenerate that DB, data and all. I do this with Postgres regularly. I tried this with SSMS 2014 and it failed when I ran the script. It did not matter whether the previous copy of the DB had been deleted first or not. It ended up inserting 100's of tables and SPs into master, which I then had to clean up. It may work fine with individual tables or with tables only, but I would recommend exercising this thoroughly before relying on it in any way.

@Michael Freidgeim 2018-02-16 11:17:15

In SSMS 17.3 you can change "Type of data to script" only if you select 1 table. For more than 1 table "Schema Only" is pre-selected and I couldn't change it.

@dkolln 2018-09-07 14:07:49

Oh my gosh that saved us $200 in licensing fees strictly just for exporting insert statements Nice!!!

@AGH 2019-03-18 09:58:42

Its not working for huge data.

@b15 2019-03-25 17:24:00

I'm getting just getting USE [DB] GO

@Thabo 2019-05-23 17:51:28

If you'd rather use Google Sheets, use SeekWell to Send the table to a Sheet, then insert rows on a schedule, as they're added to the Sheet.

See here for the step by step process , or watch a video demo of the feature here.

@noonand 2010-12-02 13:53:51

As mentioned by @Mike Ritacco but updated for SSMS 2008 R2

  1. Right click on the database name
  2. Choose Tasks > Generate scripts
  3. Depending on your settings the intro page may show or not
  4. Choose 'Select specific database objects',
  5. Expand the tree view and check the relevant tables
  6. Click Next
  7. Click Advanced
  8. Under General section, choose the appropriate option for 'Types of data to script'
  9. Complete the wizard

You will then get all of the INSERT statements for the data straight out of SSMS.

EDIT 2016-10-25 SQL Server 2016/SSMS 13.0.15900.1

  1. Right click on the database name

  2. Choose Tasks > Generate scripts

  3. Depending on your settings the intro page may show or not

  4. Choose 'Select specific database objects',

  5. Expand the tree view and check the relevant tables

  6. Click Next

  7. Click Advanced

  8. Under General section, choose the appropriate option for 'Types of data to script'

  9. Click OK

  10. Pick whether you want the output to go to a new query, the clipboard or a file

  11. Click Next twice

  12. Your script is prepared in accordance with the settings you picked above

  13. Click Finish

@Andy 2011-10-07 11:39:08

hmm I don't know if we're using different versions of SSMS 2008 R2 but there's no 'advanced' option for me at all. what I had to do was select 'script data' in the 'choose script options' step. (BTW that option is not there in express edition)

@Klik 2016-09-08 06:47:37

GenerateData is an amazing tool for this. It's also very easy to make tweaks to it because the source code is available to you. A few nice features:

  • Name generator for peoples names and places
  • Ability to save Generation profile (after it is downloaded and set up locally)
  • Ability to customize and manipulate the generation through scripts
  • Many different outputs (CSV, Javascript, JSON, etc.) for the data (in case you need to test the set in different environments and want to skip the database access)
  • Free. But consider donating if you find the software useful :).

GUI

@transformer 2017-02-22 05:19:15

very buggy tools, the T SQL syntax is often wrong

@Klik 2017-02-22 17:06:49

I've never had any problems with it and I've used it numerous times. Perhaps you're not using the same version that the app is made for. In a worst case scenario you can create custom output by using their "Use custom HTML format". I think it's an excellent tool.

@transformer 2017-02-22 17:24:16

It does not map the types correctly, and also the sample data and insert statement create wrong quotations, I had to wade through to clean quite a bit of the script. But in the end realized dbschema was better IMHO

@Klik 2017-02-22 17:57:58

Interesting, I didn't find that and that wonder about how you were using it. Anyway, to each his own.

@transformer 2017-02-23 02:46:50

yeah it works for the very basic stuff, I let the site owner know last yr, but the output I'm referring to is the DB option to create the script for Sql Server. Its unfortunate since the script does go a long way... but on a 1000 table records insertion can be annoying.. still a nice tool for quick stuff

@Martin 2016-04-05 12:41:23

This can be done using Visual Studio too (at least in version 2013 onwards).

In VS 2013 it is also possible to filter the list of rows the inserts statement are based on, this is something not possible in SSMS as for as I know.

Perform the following steps:

  • Open the "SQL Server Object Explorer" window (menu: /View/SQL Server Object Explorer)
  • Open / expand the database and its tables
  • Right click on the table and choose "View data" from context menu
  • This will display the data in the main area
  • Optional step: Click on the filter icon "Sort and filter data set" (the fourth icon from the left on the row above the result) and apply some filter to one or more columns
  • Click on the "Script" or "Script to File" icons (the icons on the right of the top row, they look like little sheets of paper)

This will create the (conditional) insert statements for the selected table to the active window or file.


The "Filter" and "Script" buttons Visual Studio 2013:

enter image description here

@Michael12345 2016-09-05 04:36:09

This is now my preferred way of pulling records out of one database to insert somewhere else - it just seems a lot simpler than going through the wizard in SSMS.

@Mafu Josh 2016-09-13 16:05:56

I couldn't get this to export binary fields :(

@stom 2016-11-22 07:34:24

Your post is correct and easiest way using SQL Server Data Tools in Visual Studio , here is similar post which explains how generate insert statement for first 1000 rows hope helps.

@mirfan00 2019-07-29 10:54:31

also working in VS2017

@drumsta 2015-12-06 03:54:29

If you need a programmatic access, then you can use an open source stored procedure `GenerateInsert.

INSERT statement(s) generator

Just as a simple and quick example, to generate INSERT statements for a table AdventureWorks.Person.AddressType execute following statements:

USE [AdventureWorks];
GO
EXECUTE dbo.GenerateInsert @ObjectName = N'Person.AddressType';

This will generate the following script:

SET NOCOUNT ON
SET IDENTITY_INSERT Person.AddressType ON
INSERT INTO Person.AddressType
([AddressTypeID],[Name],[rowguid],[ModifiedDate])
VALUES
 (1,N'Billing','B84F78B1-4EFE-4A0E-8CB7-70E9F112F886',CONVERT(datetime,'2002-06-01 00:00:00.000',121))
,(2,N'Home','41BC2FF6-F0FC-475F-8EB9-CEC0805AA0F2',CONVERT(datetime,'2002-06-01 00:00:00.000',121))
,(3,N'Main Office','8EEEC28C-07A2-4FB9-AD0A-42D4A0BBC575',CONVERT(datetime,'2002-06-01 00:00:00.000',121))
,(4,N'Primary','24CB3088-4345-47C4-86C5-17B535133D1E',CONVERT(datetime,'2002-06-01 00:00:00.000',121))
,(5,N'Shipping','B29DA3F8-19A3-47DA-9DAA-15C84F4A83A5',CONVERT(datetime,'2002-06-01 00:00:00.000',121))
,(6,N'Archive','A67F238A-5BA2-444B-966C-0467ED9C427F',CONVERT(datetime,'2002-06-01 00:00:00.000',121))
SET IDENTITY_INSERT Person.AddressType OFF

@anar khalilov 2017-03-22 06:00:04

nice job! simple and does what it was meant to do. hope to use this for a loong time :)

@anar khalilov 2017-03-27 10:52:07

after noticing a bug in the code, I made a pull request at github. thanks for sharing.

@user11156893 2019-04-05 04:16:36

this actually works better than EXEC sp_generate_inserts 'titles'

@user11156893 2019-04-15 22:54:06

@drumsta can you add an Include Column, Exclude Column List Parameter if needed, right now I only need few columns from my table? Thanks

@chuck 2015-04-21 23:42:26

My contribution to the problem, a Powershell INSERT script generator that lets you script multiple tables without having to use the cumbersome SSMS GUI. Great for rapidly persisting "seed" data into source control.

  1. Save the below script as "filename.ps1".
  2. Make your own modifications to the areas under "CUSTOMIZE ME".
  3. You can add the list of tables to script in any order.
  4. You can open the script in Powershell ISE and hit the Play button, or simply execute the script in the Powershell command prompt.

By default, the INSERT script generated will be "SeedData.sql" under the same folder as the script.

You will need the SQL Server Management Objects assemblies installed, which should be there if you have SSMS installed.

Add-Type -AssemblyName ("Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo, Version=12.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91")
Add-Type -AssemblyName ("Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo, Version=12.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91")



#CUSTOMIZE ME
$outputFile = ".\SeedData.sql"
$connectionString = "Data Source=.;Initial Catalog=mydb;Integrated Security=True;"



$sqlConnection = new-object System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection($connectionString)
$conn = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Common.ServerConnection($sqlConnection)
$srv = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server($conn)
$db = $srv.Databases[$srv.ConnectionContext.DatabaseName]
$scr = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Scripter $srv
$scr.Options.FileName = $outputFile
$scr.Options.AppendToFile = $false
$scr.Options.ScriptSchema = $false
$scr.Options.ScriptData = $true
$scr.Options.NoCommandTerminator = $true

$tables = New-Object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.UrnCollection



#CUSTOMIZE ME
$tables.Add($db.Tables["Category"].Urn)
$tables.Add($db.Tables["Product"].Urn)
$tables.Add($db.Tables["Vendor"].Urn)



[void]$scr.EnumScript($tables)

$sqlConnection.Close()

@Yordan Georgiev 2010-03-22 07:04:13

I used this script which I have put on my blog (How-to generate Insert statement procedures on sql server).

So far has worked for me, although they might be bugs I have not discovered yet .

@Jane 2010-02-07 09:35:50

Just for reference, these have moved now: stored procedure: docs.google.com/… documentation as a series of blog posts: jane.dallaway.com/tag/spu_generateinsert

@jruizaranguren 2014-09-17 10:15:43

One important advantage of this approach is the ability to add filters to the data to select.

@Erikest 2012-04-05 08:01:03

I'm using SSMS 2008 version 10.0.5500.0. In this version as part of the Generate Scripts wizard, instead of an Advanced button, there is the screen below. In this case, I wanted just the data inserted and no create statements, so I had to change the two circled propertiesScript Options

@johnnycrash 2009-06-11 19:08:23

The first link to sp_generate_inserts is pretty cool, here is a really simple version:

DECLARE @Fields VARCHAR(max); SET @Fields = '[QueueName], [iSort]' -- your fields, keep []
DECLARE @Table  VARCHAR(max); SET @Table  = 'Queues'               -- your table

DECLARE @SQL    VARCHAR(max)
SET @SQL = 'DECLARE @S VARCHAR(MAX)
SELECT @S = ISNULL(@S + '' UNION '', ''INSERT INTO ' + @Table + '(' + @Fields + ')'') + CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) + 
 ''SELECT '' + ' + REPLACE(REPLACE(REPLACE(@Fields, ',', ' + '', '' + '), '[', ''''''''' + CAST('),']',' AS VARCHAR(max)) + ''''''''') +' FROM ' + @Table + '
PRINT @S'

EXEC (@SQL)

On my system, I get this result:

INSERT INTO Queues([QueueName], [iSort])
SELECT 'WD: Auto Capture', '10' UNION 
SELECT 'Car/Lar', '11' UNION 
SELECT 'Scan Line', '21' UNION 
SELECT 'OCR', '22' UNION 
SELECT 'Dynamic Template', '23' UNION 
SELECT 'Fix MICR', '41' UNION 
SELECT 'Fix MICR (Supervisor)', '42' UNION 
SELECT 'Foreign MICR', '43' UNION 
...

@Paul Harrington 2009-07-22 17:31:17

I use sqlite to do this. I find it very, very useful for creating scratch/test databases.

sqlite3 foo.sqlite .dump > foo_as_a_bunch_of_inserts.sql

@Vineet Neema 2009-07-16 02:39:40

I have also researched lot on this, but I could not get the concrete solution for this. Currently the approach I follow is copy the contents in excel from SQL Server Managment studio and then import the data into Oracle-TOAD and then generate the insert statements

@drumsta 2016-07-29 21:16:23

Hi Vineet, if you would try my solution and let me know what doesn't suit your needs I would happy to help you with automated SQL script generation. github.com/drumsta/sql-generate-insert

@BinaryHacker 2009-07-12 19:48:19

You can use SSMS Tools Pack (available for SQL Server 2005 and 2008). It comes with a feature for generating insert statements.

http://www.ssmstoolspack.com/

@Matej 2012-08-27 22:05:28

The only tool worked for very large nvarchar(max) content with tabs and new lines.

@janem 2009-07-12 02:59:59

Perhaps you can try the SQL Server Publishing Wizard http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=56E5B1C5-BF17-42E0-A410-371A838E570A&displaylang=en

It has a wizard that helps you script insert statements.

@Brabbeldas 2013-06-27 12:36:19

it is pre-installed: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Publishing\1.4\SqlPubWiz.exe”

@Nick DeVore 2009-06-11 18:11:12

Do you have data in a production database yet? If so, you could setup a period refresh of the data via DTS. We do ours weekly on the weekends and it is very nice to have clean, real data every week for our testing.

If you don't have production yet, then you should create a database that is they want you want it (fresh). Then, duplicate that database and use that newly created database as your test environment. When you want the clean version, simply duplicate your clean one again and Bob's your uncle.

@shahkalpesh 2009-06-11 17:52:00

Not sure, if I understand your question correctly.

If you have data in MS-Access, which you want to move it to SQL Server - you could use DTS.
And, I guess you could use SQL profiler to see all the INSERT statements going by, I suppose.

@ShuggyCoUk 2009-06-11 17:48:45

Don't use inserts, use BCP

@Steve Homer 2010-10-27 13:09:09

Valid in most cases but there can be good reasons for wanting to use inserts.

@Chris Simmons 2011-12-20 20:01:50

Indeed, @Steve Homer. Grabbing a good DB initialization script, e.g. for EF Code First projects. Yep, there are many times when I've needed this functionality. BCP just didn't fit.

@KM. 2009-06-11 17:44:14

why not just backup the data before your work with it, then restore when you want it to be refreshed?

if you must generate inserts try: http://vyaskn.tripod.com/code.htm#inserts

@JosephStyons 2009-06-11 17:46:22

I'd like the flexibility to edit the data in the INSERTs if I want to. Other than that, no real reason... I need to research the syntax of RESTORE and BACKUP so I can do that from a script.

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