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Using the Invoke-Sqlcmd cmdlet

Invoke-Sqlcmd is a SQL Server cmdlet that runs scripts that contain statements from the languages (Transact-SQL and XQuery) and commands that are supported by the sqlcmd utility.

The Invoke-Sqlcmd cmdlet lets you run your sqlcmd script files in a Windows PowerShell environment. Much of what you can do with sqlcmd can also be done using Invoke-Sqlcmd.

This is an example of calling Invoke-Sqlcmd to execute a simple query, similar to specifying sqlcmd with the -Q and -S options:

Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "SELECT GETDATE() AS TimeOfQuery;" -ServerInstance "MyComputer\MyInstance"

This is an example of calling Invoke-Sqlcmd, specifying an input file and piping the output to a file This is similar to specifying sqlcmd with the -i and -o options:

Invoke-Sqlcmd -InputFile "C:\MyFolder\TestSQLCmd.sql" | Out-File -filePath "C:\MyFolder\TestSQLCmd.rpt"

This is an example of using a Windows PowerShell array to pass multiple sqlcmd scripting variables to Invoke-Sqlcmd. The "$" characters identifying the sqlcmd scripting variables in the SELECT statement have been escaped by using the PowerShell back-tick "`" escape character:

$MyArray = "MyVar1 = 'String1'", "MyVar2 = 'String2'"
Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "SELECT `$(MyVar1) AS Var1, `$(MyVar2) AS Var2;" -Variable $MyArray

This is an example of using the SQL Server provider for Windows PowerShell to navigate to an instance of the Database Engine, and then using the Windows PowerShell Get-Item cmdlet to retrieve the SMO Server object for the instance and passing it to Invoke-Sqlcmd:

Set-Location SQLSERVER:\SQL\MyComputer\MyInstance
Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "SELECT GETDATE() AS TimeOfQuery;" -ServerInstance (Get-Item .)

The -Query parameter is positional and does not have to be named. If the first string that is passed to Invoke-Sqlcmd: is unnamed, it is treated as the -Query parameter.

Invoke-Sqlcmd "SELECT GETDATE() AS TimeOfQuery;" -ServerInstance "MyComputer\MyInstance"

If you do not use the -Database parameter, the database context for Invoke-Sqlcmd is set by the path that is active when the cmdlet is called.

Path

Database Context

Starts with a drive other than SQLSERVER:

The default database for the login ID in the default instance on the local computer.

SQLSERVER:\SQL

The default database for the login ID in the default instance on the local computer.

SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName

The default database for the login ID in the default instance on the specified computer.

SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName\InstanceName

The default database for the login ID in the specified instance on the specified computer.

SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName\InstanceName\Databases

The default database for the login ID in the specified instance on the specified computer.

SQLSERVER:\SQL\ComputerName\InstanceName\Databases\DatabaseName

The specified database in the specified instance on the specified computer. This also applies to longer paths, such as a path that specifies the Tables and Columns node within a database.

For example, assume that the default database for your Windows account in the default instance of the local computer is master. Then, the following commands would return master:

Set-Location SQLSERVER:\SQL
Invoke-Sqlcmd "SELECT DB_NAME() AS DatabaseName;"

The following commands would return AdventureWorks2008R2:

Set-Location SQLSERVER:\SQL\MyComputer\DEFAULT\Databases\AdventureWorks2008R2\Tables\Person.Person
Invoke-Sqlcmd "SELECT DB_NAME() AS DatabaseName;"

Invoke-Sqlcmd provides a warning when it uses the path database context. You can use the -SuppressProviderContextWarning parameter to turn off the warning message. You can use the -IgnoreProviderContext parameter to tell Invoke-Sqlcmd to always use the default database for the login.

Invoke-Sqlcmd can be used to run many of the scripts that can be run using the sqlcmd utility. However, Invoke-Sqlcmd runs in a Windows PowerShell environment which is different than the command prompt environment that sqlcmd is run in. The behavior of Invoke-Sqlcmd has been modified to work in a Windows PowerShell environment.

Not all of the sqlcmd commands are implemented in Invoke-Sqlcmd. Commands that are not implemented include the following: :!!, :connect, :error, :out, :ed, :list, :listvar, :reset, :perftrace, and :serverlist.

Invoke-Sqlcmd does not initialize the sqlcmd environment or scripting variables such as SQLCMDDBNAME or SQLCMDWORKSTATION.

Invoke-Sqlcmd does not display messages, such as the output of PRINT statements, unless you specify the Windows PowerShell -Verbose common parameter. For example:

Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "PRINT N'abc';" -Verbose

Not all of the sqlcmd parameters are needed in a PowerShell environment. For example, Windows PowerShell formats all output from cmdlets, so the sqlcmd parameters specifying formatting options are not implemented in Invoke-Sqlcmd. The follwoing table shows the relationship between the Invoke-Sqlcmd parameters and sqlcmd options:

Description

sqlcmd option

Invoke-Sqlcmd parameter

Server and instance name.

-S

-ServerInstance

The initial database to use.

-d

-Database

Run the specified query and exit.

-Q

-Query

SQL Server Authentication login ID.

-U

-Username

SQL Server Authentication password.

-P

-Password

Variable definition.

-v

-Variable

Query timeout interval.

-t

-QueryTimeout

Stop running on an error

-b

-AbortOnError

Dedicated Administrator Connection.

-A

-DedicatedAdministratorConnection

Disable interactive commands, startup script, and environment variables.

-X

-DisableCommands

Disable variable substitution.

-x

-DisableVariables

Minimum severity level to report.

-V

-SeverityLevel

Minimum error level to report.

-m

-ErrorLevel

Login timeout interval.

-l

-ConnectionTimeout

Hostname.

-H

-HbostName

Change password and exit.

-Z

-NewPassword

Input file containing a query

-i

-InputFile

Maximum length of character output.

-w

-MaxCharLength

Maximum length of binary output.

-w

-MaxBinaryLength

Connect using SSL encryption.

No parameter

-EncryptConnection

Display errors

No parameter

-OutputSqlErrors

Output messages to stderr.

-r

No parameter

Use client's regional settings

-R

No parameter

Run the specified query and remain running.

-q

No parameter

Code page to use for output data.

-f

No parameter

Change a password and remain running

-z

No parameter

Packet size

-a

No parameter

Column separator

-s

No parameter

Control output headers

-h

No parameter

Specify control characters

-k

No parameter

Fixed length display width

-Y

No parameter

Variable length display width

-y

No parameter

Echo input

-e

No parameter

Enable quoted identifiers

-I

No parameter

Remove trailing spaces

-W

No parameter

List instances

-L

No parameter

Format output as Unicode

-u

No parameter

Print statistics

-p

No parameter

Command end

-c

No parameter

Connect using Windows Authentication

-E

No parameter

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