Microsoft SQL Server 2000 command line utilities (Part 1)

February 18, 2004

This first article in a series of two, discusses how to use the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 command line utilities, and what are they used for.

Just to be clear before I start, these utilities are primarily used for diagnostic, configuration and data migration purposes, rather than for database server administration.

Please find below all the 42 command line utilities available in an SQL Server instance. Some of the tools described (for example bcp, distrib and osql) have a complex syntax (huge set of options), therefore, a DBA needs permanent access to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 e-documentation - Books Online, delivered with your database server installation media.

Most of the utilities, discussed below, are installed into \Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn, while the others are installed into \Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Binn and Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Com.

Be aware that '\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn' directory is added to a system path, so utilities located here can be run from a command prompt (without specifying a full path). As for any other utilities (i.e. those not in the '\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn' directory) should be run from the command prompt in the directory in which the utility is installed or the path should be explicitly specified.