fastest What’s the best way to bulk database inserts from c#?

c# bulk insert from file (8)

Create a XML document that contains all the items to be inserted. Then inside of a stored procedure, use the TSQL xml support (OPENXML) to read all the data from the XML document and insert it into your tables with hopefully one insert statement for each table.

However if you are only inserting data into a single table and don’t need any database side logic, why not use SqlBulkCopy?

How do I/what’s the best way to do bulk database inserts?

In C#, I am iterating over a collection and calling an insert stored procedure for each item in the collection.

How do I send all the data in one database call?

E.g. say I have a person list (List<Person>) containing 10 items. I am currently calling the InsertPerson stored proc 10 times. I would like to reduce this to 1 call.

I am using MS SQL Server 2005.

Answer #1

CsharperGuyInLondon, here's a simple example of SqlBulkCopy code:

using System.Data.SqlClient;

DataTable table = new DataTable("States");
// construct DataTable
table.Columns.Add(new DataColumn("id_state", typeof(int))); 
table.Columns.Add(new DataColumn("state_name", typeof(string)));

// note: if "id_state" is defined as an identity column in your DB,
// row values for that column will be ignored during the bulk copy
table.Rows.Add("1", "Atlanta");
table.Rows.Add("2", "Chicago");
table.Rows.Add("3", "Springfield");

using(SqlBulkCopy bulkCopy = new SqlBulkCopy(connectionString))
  bulkCopy.BulkCopyTimeout = 600; // in seconds
  bulkCopy.DestinationTableName = "state";

Answer #2

Dump your data to a pipe delimited (or something else if your data has pipes in it) text file and use Bulk Insert.

Answer #4

You can build a BLOB (image) and send it as a parameter to a stored procedure. Inside the stored procedure, you can fetch all the items using substring().

Answer #5

The .NET SqlBulkCopy class works quite well.

Answer #6

Re the solution for SqlBulkCopy, I created a class than takes Datatable or a List<T> and a Buffer size (CommitBatchSize). It will convert the list to a data table using an extension (in the second class).

It works very fast. On my PC, I am able to insert more than 10 million complicated records in less than 10 seconds.

Here is the class:

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

namespace DAL

public class BulkUploadToSql<T>
    public IList<T> InternalStore { get; set; }
    public string TableName { get; set; }
    public int CommitBatchSize { get; set; }=1000;
    public string ConnectionString { get; set; }

    public void Commit()
        if (InternalStore.Count>0)
            DataTable dt;
            int numberOfPages = (InternalStore.Count / CommitBatchSize)  + (InternalStore.Count % CommitBatchSize == 0 ? 0 : 1);
            for (int pageIndex = 0; pageIndex < numberOfPages; pageIndex++)
                    dt= InternalStore.Skip(pageIndex * CommitBatchSize).Take(CommitBatchSize).ToDataTable();

    public void BulkInsert(DataTable dt)
        using (SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection(ConnectionString))
            // make sure to enable triggers
            // more on triggers in next post
            SqlBulkCopy bulkCopy =
                new SqlBulkCopy
                SqlBulkCopyOptions.TableLock |
                SqlBulkCopyOptions.FireTriggers |

            // set the destination table name
            bulkCopy.DestinationTableName = TableName;

            // write the data in the "dataTable"
        // reset


public static class BulkUploadToSqlHelper
    public static DataTable ToDataTable<T>(this IEnumerable<T> data)
        PropertyDescriptorCollection properties =
        DataTable table = new DataTable();
        foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
            table.Columns.Add(prop.Name, Nullable.GetUnderlyingType(prop.PropertyType) ?? prop.PropertyType);
        foreach (T item in data)
            DataRow row = table.NewRow();
            foreach (PropertyDescriptor prop in properties)
                row[prop.Name] = prop.GetValue(item) ?? DBNull.Value;
        return table;


Here is an example when I want to insert a List of my custom object List<PuckDetection> (ListDetections):

var objBulk = new BulkUploadToSql<PuckDetection>()
        InternalStore = ListDetections,
        TableName= "PuckDetections",
        ConnectionString="ENTER YOU CONNECTION STRING"