Introducing the new Import Flat File Wizard in SSMS 17.3

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This week's episode of Data Exposed welcomes Alan Yu to the show! Alan Yu is a PM in the SQL Server engineering group focusing on SQL Tools, and today he is in the studio to talk about the latest SQL Server Management Studio 17.3 update.


Alan starts off by highlighting two new features in the latest release: Import Flat File Wizard and XEvent Profiler. Import Flat File Wizard is a new tool that helps streamline the import experience for a user who wants to import .csv or .txt files without specialized domain knowledge. The XEvent profiler is a live viewer window of extended events that can be quickly launched. For the purpose of this demo, Alan chose to focus on showcasing the Import Flat File Wizard.


At [03:16], he begins his demo by showing two complex files that are difficult to handle with the current import experience. This includes single cell, multi-line cells as well as duplicated header rows. It is still possible to import the two files, but it is not very intuitive.


At [05:36] he shows how easy it is to import the files using the new Import Flat File Wizard. He simply selects his file, autogenerates a file name, and after a few more clicks, the files are successfully imported.


Finally, at [09:18], he describes how the wizard works by utilizing the Program Synthesis using Examples (PROSE) SDK, which is a framework developed by Microsoft AI which learns the structure of the file such as column names, delimiters, etc. He emphasizes the exciting future applications of this framework and other intelligent frameworks in future SQL tools updates.


Great job with the demo, and we look forward to having Alan on the show in the future!


To learn more about SSMS 17.3, check out this blog post:


Download the latest version of SSMS to try it yourself:


To learn more about PROSE, check out:


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