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Copy Columns from One Table to Another (Database Engine)

This topic describes how to copy columns from one table to another, copying either just the column definition, or the definition and data in SQL Server 2014 by using SQL Server Management Studio or Transact-SQL.

In This Topic

Limitations and Restrictions

When you copy a column that has an alias data type from one database to another, the alias data type may not be available in the destination database. In such a case, the column will be assigned the nearest matching base data type available in that database.

Security

Permissions

Requires ALTER permission on the table.

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To copy column definitions from one table to another

  1. Open the table with columns you want to copy and the one you want to copy into by right-clicking the tables, and then clicking Design.

  2. Click the tab for the table with the columns you want to copy and select those columns.

  3. From the Edit menu, click Copy.

  4. Click the tab for the table into which you want to copy the columns.

  5. Select the column you want to follow the inserted columns and, from the Edit menu, click Paste.

To copy data from one table to another

  1. Follow the directions for copying column definitions above.

    Note Note

    Before you begin to copy data from one table to another, make sure that the data types in the destination columns are compatible with the data types of the source columns

  2. In Object Explorer, right-click the Views node, and then click New View.

  3. From the Query Designer menu, point to Change Type, and then click Insert Results.

  4. In the Choose Target Table for Insert Results dialog box, select the table into which you want to copy the data, and then click OK.

    If you are copying rows within a table, you can add the source table as a destination table.

    Note Note

    Query Designer cannot determine in advance which tables and views you can update. Therefore, the list of tables in the Choose Target Table for Insert Results dialog box shows all available tables and views in the data connection you are querying, even those that you might not be able to copy rows to.

  5. Right-click in the body of the diagram pane and, from the shortcut menu, click Add Table to Diagram.

  6. In the Add Table dialog box, select each table from which you want to copy data, click Add, and then click Close.

    The tables, in an abbreviated form, appear in the diagram pane.

  7. In the abbreviated tables, check the boxes for any columns from which you want to copy data.

  8. In the criteria pane, in the Append column, for each target column choose a column from which you want to copy data.

  9. Specify the rows to copy by entering search conditions in the criteria pane. For details, see Specify Search Conditions (Visual Database Tools).

    If you do not specify a search condition, all rows from the source table will be copied to the destination table.

  10. If you want to copy summary information, specify Group By options. For details, see Summarize or Aggregate Values for All Rows in a Table (Visual Database Tools).

  11. Click the Execute SQL button to run the query.

    When you execute an insert results query, no results are reported in the Results Pane. Instead, a message appears indicating how many rows were copied.

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To copy column definitions from one table to another

  • You cannot copy individual columns from one table to another existing table by using Transact-SQL statements. However, you can create a new table in the default filegroup and inserts the resulting rows from the query into it by using SELECT INTO. For more information, see INTO Clause (Transact-SQL).

To copy data from one table to another

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of Database Engine.

  2. On the Standard bar, click New Query.

  3. Copy and paste the following example into the query window and click Execute.

    USE AdventureWorks2012;
    GO
    CREATE TABLE dbo.EmployeeSales
    ( BusinessEntityID   varchar(11) NOT NULL,
      SalesYTD money NOT NULL
    );
    GO
    INSERT INTO dbo.EmployeeSales
        SELECT BusinessEntityID, SalesYTD 
        FROM Sales.SalesPerson;
    GO
    

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