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Flat File Connection Manager

Updated: 5 December 2005

A Flat File connection manager enables a package to access data in a flat file. For example, the Flat File sources and destinations can use Flat File connection managers to extract and load data.

When you add a Flat File connection manager to a package, SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS) creates a connection manager that will resolve to a Flat File connection at run time, sets the Flat File connection properties, and adds the Flat File connection manager to the Connections collection of the package.

The ConnectionManagerType property of the connection manager is set to FLATFILE.

You can configure the Flat File connection manager in the following ways:

  • Specify the file, locale, and code page to use. The locale is used to interpret locale-sensitive data such as dates, and the code page is used to convert string data to Unicode.
  • Specify the file format. You can use a delimited, fixed width, or ragged right format.
  • Specify a header row, data row, and column delimiters. Column delimiters can be set at the file level and overwritten at the column level.
  • Indicate whether the first row in the file contains column names.
  • Specify a text qualifier character. Each column can be configured to recognize a text qualifier.
  • Set properties such as the name, data type, and maximum width on individual columns.

By default, the Flat File connection manager sets the length of string columns to 50 characters. In the Flat File Connection Manager Editor dialog box, you can evaluate sample data and automatically resize the length of these columns to prevent truncation of data or excess column width. Also, unless you subsequently resize the column length in a Flat File source or a transformation, the column length of string column remains the same throughout the data flow. If these string columns map to destination columns that are narrower, warnings appear in the user interface. Moreover, at run time, errors may occur due to data truncation. To avoid errors or truncation, you can resize the columns to be compatible with the destination columns in the Flat File connection manager, the Flat File source, or a transformation. To modify the length of output columns, you set the Length property of the output column on the Input and Output Properties tab in the Advanced Editor dialog box.

If you update column lengths in the Flat File connection manager after you have added and configured the Flat File source that uses the connection manager, you do not have to manually resize the output columns in the Flat File source. When you open the Flat File Source dialog box, the Flat File source provides an option to synchronize the column metadata.

The Flat File connection manager can access only one file. To reference multiple files, use a Multiple Flat Files connection manager instead of a Flat File connection manager. For more information, see Multiple Flat Files Connection Manager.

You can set properties through SSIS Designer or programmatically.

For more information about the properties that you can set in SSIS Designer, click one of the following topics:

For information about configuring a connection manager programmatically, see ConnectionManager and Adding Connections Programmatically.

Release History

5 December 2005

New content:
  • Added information about changing the length of string columns.
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