Quick, what’s the fastest and easiest way to get data out of a SQL Server table?
Time’s up. It’s BCP.
If you aren’t familiar with BCP it is a command line utility to bulk copy data out of, and in to tables. It has been around for donkeys years (technical term), and while it doesn’t have the frills of SSIS it is fast, and lightweight. DBAs have been using it for years, but it may not be something that you’ve heard of.
Recently, while BCPing some data between servers I ran into an interesting problem which caused the data imported to be different than that exported. How does that happen? Code pages…