Importing and Exporting with SQL Server 2005 Express

When I’m writing applications to manipulate SQL Server databases, I frequently need to back up and restore tables in the database. This wasn’t a problem in SQL Server 2000 with the SQL Server Enterprise Manager, but there is no option to do this in the default installation of SQL Server 2005 Express. The full version of SQL Server 2005 can import and export tables, however.

A way around this problem is to use the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. With this utility you can import and export tables into a SQL Server database.

In order to get this utility, you have to install the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Toolkit which can be found at the Visual Studio SQL Server Express download page. The file is a 223 MB download which includes

  • report creation using SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services
  • Connectivity Components
  • Business Intelligence Development Studio
  • Management Studio Express
  • Software Development Kit

Once installed, you can find the application, DTSWizard.exe, in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\DTS\Binn folder. Of course, the full path can vary depending on where you installed SQL Server Express. If your not sure where it is, do a search on your computer for the filename. Unfortunately, this is the only way to run the import/export utility so you may want to create a shortcut on your desktop.

Once installed, its simple to import and export tables with any SQL Server database.