[theforum] Happy New Year, Happy New Site

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Mon Jan 10 10:15:00 CST 2005

Seb Potter <seb at poked.org> wrote:
>> David Kaufman <david at gigawatt.com> wrote:
>> The last time I spoke to him about getting this data, he was
>> *willing* to do so, but unable to think of a way to "export" it from
>> Microsoft SQL Server 6 to a format that would preseve the multiline
>> text and "funny characters" into a format we could import into
>> another db.  And I didn't (and still don't) know enough about MS SQL
>> Server 6 to suggest a solution.  Maybe if we have some MS-SQL6 guru
>> around here that can provide him with a simple step-by-step
>> procedure that he can follow to export the data, he would be
>> responsive to that request.
> Well, either output as a MS SQL backup database or as an SQL dump of
> the data.

I asked for a SQL dump, and his replay was that Microsoft SQL Server 6 
does not "do that" such that the binary data would be preserved.  He 
said that in MSSQL you can only dump the DDL (i.e. the schema, or 
create-db statements), which would only allow you to recreate the 
database empty, not repopulate the data.

> The thing we need is the data. The format it's in is fine, let's not
> let exporting it into a different format hold us up here. We can
> extract the data from a MS SQL database backup without putting any
> additional burden on Jeff.

The thing is, it's not fine, while on his server.  We cannot extract it 
if we don't have access to it.

> If Jeff hasn't got the time to do this, there are several people in
> this particular forum who are more than capable of extracting out the
> data from MS SQL if given appropriate access rights. This route might
> be a viable alternative.

I asked for remote access to the the server, and he was not willing to 
open up remote access to the db, ad he claimed that was a security hole. 
And as this was right about the time someone did a screen-scrape for 
drupal, he claimed that the box was already under some sort of attack, 
and used that as further justification for not granting any remote 
access rights to the box, implying that it also hosts his own (or his 
clients') production sites.

So his terms are: tell me how to export it, and i'll export it and send 
you the export.  I asked if he had Activestate perl installed on the box 
(so I could write a perl/DBI utility that could extract the data), but 
it was not, and he was not willing to install perl.

>> ... if we have some MS-SQL6 guru> around here that can provide Jeff 
>> with a step-by-step procedure that he can follow to export the data
>> then [he said he would].

but without perl, I don't have such a procedure to provide him.

I don't know if "the database file" on MS SQL Server 6 is a single file 
that Jeff could simply burn onto a CD for us but I suspect it is not. 
My limited experience with Sybase and MSSQL6 was that you cannot simply 
move the db file onto a new server running the software and "open it". 
Transaction logs and so on must be carefully moved as well, and the 
process was difficult and error-prone.  If there is a MS SQL server 
backup utility, that might do the trick.  But we'd need someone with the 
proper software and skill set to document the procedure and provide Jeff 
with a detailed exact set of step-by-step instructions on what we want 
him to do, as he seemed to suggest that he did not know or remember how.


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