Tuesday, May 23, 2017

SQL Server bcp Error - Invalid ordinal for field in xml format

We still use bcp utility for importing or exporting data, specifically when we have to work with large amount of data (I have written post on this, comparing different methods for loading data, read it for more info: How to load/insert large amount of data efficiently). In order to load data from a file, need to instruct the utility with the structure of the file and mapping, and instruction can be passed either specifying details with switches along with bcp command or adding a format file to the command.

If you need to use a format file, it needs to be generated first. We can use same bcp command for generating it.

bcp tempdb.dbo.Customer format nul -T -S DINESH-PC\SQL2014 -c -t, -x -f "E:\Temp\Customer_c.xml"

for more information on bcp command, read this.

Sometime it does not work as we expect. You may experience the following error when you try to generate the file;

SQLState = HY000, NativeError = 0
Error = [Microsoft][ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server][SQL Server]Invalid ordinal for field 3 in xml format file.

If experience it, the main reason could be Column names with spaces. Check and see whether the table used for generating the xml file has column names with spaces. If so, you will surely get this error.

Here is an example. As you see, if you try to execute the above bcp command against this table, you will get this error.

USE tempdb;

IF OBJECT_ID('dbo.Customer') IS NOT NULL
 DROP TABLE dbo.Customer;
CREATE TABLE dbo.Customer
 CustomerId int PRIMARY KEY
 , [Customer Code] char(5) NOT NULL
 , [Customer Name] varchar(50) NOT NULL
 , [Credit Limit] money NOT NULL

If you remove spaces from columns, there will be no errors and file will be generated.

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