Understanding SQL Server Openrowset

Hi Dev, welcome to our journal article on SQL Server Openrowset. In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about Openrowset and how it can be used to improve your SQL Server experience.

What is SQL Server Openrowset?

SQL Server Openrowset is a function that enables SQL Server to access data from an external data source. The external data source can be any OLE DB provider, such as Microsoft Access, Oracle or Excel. Openrowset is commonly used to import data from external sources into SQL Server, or to execute a stored procedure on an external data source.

When using Openrowset, SQL Server creates a connection to the external data source and retrieves the data using a SQL statement. The retrieved data is then stored in a temporary table in SQL Server, which can be used in subsequent SQL statements.

How does Openrowset work?

To use Openrowset, you first need to configure a connection to the external data source using an OLE DB provider. You can do this either by creating a linked server in SQL Server or by specifying the provider in the Openrowset function.

Once the connection is established, you can use the Openrowset function to retrieve data from the external data source. The Openrowset function takes several parameters, including the provider, the connection string, and the SQL query to execute on the external data source.

When the Openrowset function is executed, SQL Server creates a connection to the external data source and retrieves the data using the specified SQL query. The retrieved data is then stored in a temporary table in SQL Server, which can be used in subsequent SQL statements.

Why use Openrowset?

There are several reasons why you might want to use Openrowset in your SQL Server environment. Here are some common use cases for Openrowset:

Use Case
Description
Importing data from external sources
Openrowset can be used to import data from external data sources, such as Microsoft Access, Excel or Oracle, into SQL Server. This can be useful when you need to consolidate data from multiple sources into a single database.
Executing stored procedures on external data sources
Openrowset can be used to execute stored procedures on external data sources, which can be useful when you need to perform complex processing on data that is stored outside of SQL Server.
Querying non-SQL Server databases
Openrowset can be used to query non-SQL Server databases, such as Oracle or DB2, from within SQL Server. This can be useful when you need to access data that is stored in a different type of database.

Configuring Openrowset

Configuring a Linked Server

One way to configure Openrowset is to create a linked server in SQL Server. A linked server is a server that is linked to SQL Server and can be accessed using SQL statements.

To create a linked server, you need to open SQL Server Management Studio and navigate to the Server Objects -> Linked Servers -> New Linked Server. From there, you can specify the provider, the server name and any login credentials that are required to access the linked server.

Once the linked server is configured, you can use the OPENQUERY function or the EXECUTE statement to execute SQL statements on the linked server.

Using the Openrowset Function

Alternatively, you can use the Openrowset function to configure a connection to an external data source without creating a linked server. To use the Openrowset function, you need to specify the provider, the connection string, and the SQL statement to execute on the external data source.

Here is an example of how to use the Openrowset function to retrieve data from an Excel spreadsheet:

SELECT *FROM OPENROWSET('Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0','Excel 12.0;Database=C:\Temp\Sample.xlsx;HDR=YES','SELECT * FROM [Sheet1$]')

This SQL statement retrieves all the data from the Sheet1 worksheet in the Sample.xlsx Excel file, which is located in the C:\Temp folder.

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Best Practices for Using Openrowset

Use Openrowset Sparingly

While Openrowset can be a powerful tool for accessing external data sources, it should be used sparingly. Retrieving large amounts of data using Openrowset can be slow and resource-intensive, and can impact the performance of your SQL Server environment.

If you need to retrieve data from an external data source on a regular basis, consider importing the data into SQL Server using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) or another ETL tool.

Secure Your Connections

When using Openrowset, it is important to ensure that your connections are secure. This includes securing your login credentials and ensuring that your data sources are not accessible to unauthorized users.

One way to secure your connections is to use Windows Authentication instead of SQL Server Authentication. Windows Authentication uses the Windows user account to authenticate connections, which can help to prevent unauthorized access to your data sources.

Test Your Queries

Before using Openrowset in a production environment, it is important to test your queries to ensure that they are working as expected. This includes testing your queries on a small subset of data to ensure that they are retrieving the correct results.

It is also a good idea to test your queries on different data sources to ensure that they work correctly on all platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the difference between Openrowset and Openquery?

Openrowset and Openquery are two functions that can be used to access external data sources in SQL Server. The main difference between Openrowset and Openquery is that Openrowset retrieves data from an external data source and stores it in a temporary table in SQL Server, while Openquery executes a SQL statement on an external data source and returns the results to SQL Server.

How do I troubleshoot problems with Openrowset?

If you are experiencing problems with Openrowset, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. First, check your connection string to ensure that it is correct and that you are using the correct provider.

You can also check the Event Viewer for any error messages related to Openrowset. If you are still unable to resolve the issue, consider contacting Microsoft Support for assistance.

Can I use Openrowset with non-Microsoft data sources?

Yes, you can use Openrowset with non-Microsoft data sources, as long as the data source has an OLE DB provider that is compatible with SQL Server.

Can I use Openrowset to execute a stored procedure on an external data source?

Yes, you can use Openrowset to execute a stored procedure on an external data source. To do this, you need to include the stored procedure name and any parameters in your SQL statement.

Can I use Openrowset to insert data into an external data source?

Yes, you can use Openrowset to insert data into an external data source by specifying an INSERT INTO statement in your SQL query. However, you should be cautious when using Openrowset to modify data in an external data source, as this can potentially damage the data or cause other issues.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SQL Server Openrowset is a powerful function that enables SQL Server to access data from external data sources. It can be used to import data from external sources, execute stored procedures on external data sources, and query non-SQL Server databases. However, it should be used sparingly and with caution, as retrieving large amounts of data using Openrowset can be slow and resource-intensive.

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By following best practices for using Openrowset, such as securing your connections and testing your queries, you can improve the performance and reliability of your SQL Server environment.