Junk Drawer – A quick and finally simple way to import misc data into SQL

Dale Newman’s post on Junk Drawer caught my eye and I put it on my To Read list (basically one of my browser tabs, mocking me until I got to it). I finally took time to read it and boy am I glad I did.

This definitely goes into my Bat Utility Belt of dev/dba tools. 🙂

Frequently I need to throw some data into SQL to query against, join against production data, etc, for instance when someone from another department throws a spreadsheet of staff at me and asks if I can add their email addresses. A quick join against our export of Active Directory and away I go.

However, getting this data into SQL is usually a mind numbing dance using the SQL Import Wizard, fretting that I’ll get a truncation error or assigning a column as an Int when clearly there was a single row on line 1765 that happened to have a decimal point. Ugh.

Junk Drawer is a tool that any of us should have thought of, and probably did, but Dale actually created. The article was a real pleasure to read. Dale is a fun and true programmer in that “good” techniques like dependency injection just don’t always make it into one-off toolbox tools. It’s the perfect mix of humor and real-world practicality.

Thanks Dale! If you ever quickly import misc data into SQL you own it to your sanity to check this out. 🙂

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Matt Penner

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