[freetds] IDENTITY column problem with bcp

Lowden, James K LowdenJK at bernstein.com
Wed Apr 23 12:56:46 EDT 2003

> From: Thompson, Bill D (London) [mailto:ThompBil at exchange.uk.ml.com]
> Sent: April 23, 2003 10:50 AM
> >From this, I suspect what happens is if there is an identity 
> column in the
> table (we can know this from the initial describing select we 
> do from the
> table in bcp_init()), then the bcp program uses the functions 
> IDENT_INCR to work out values and manually assigns the values into the
> "rows" it sends to the server.

Huh.  You must be right, because there's no option in db-lib bcp API
affecting Identity columns.  Nor even  mention, afaict.  I had read that
"... Server generates ..." description before and assumed it was something
in the protocol.  

Sybase's db-lib also doesn't mention Identity columns.  ct-lib does; an
application can send zeros to the server, and it will generate appropriate
values.  Cf. blk_props() and BLK_IDENTITY.  

With Sybase, if the server is to accept identity values, the client must
first tell the serrver to set identity_insert on.  Otherwise, the client is
expected to send zeros and let the server do the work.  That might work with
Microsoft, too; we'd obviously have to experiment.  

BTW, when Microsoft's bcp prepares to load data, it discovers the table
format by sending a query like this:

	select * from <dbname>..<tablename>

all as one string, no newlines, just spaces.  Because Sybase has no such
option, I doubt we'd ever want to change freebcp's query formulation, but it
seemed worth noting.  



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