This article explains variations on an approach which can be used to parse and import data with inconsistent delimiters from flat files. Here we would require using xp_cmdshell to invoke bcp as the latter is a command line utility. Things become a little more interesting when the file also includes text qualifiers which encapsulates the data. Now lets see how we can apply the above logic in a case where file has inconsistent delimiters coupled with text qualifiers. Here we have text qualifiers in the file to representing data with embedded delimiter characters.


Consider the case where we have flat file with inconsistent delimiters between columns which needs to be processed by SSIS package inside data flow task.
The second data flow will use this converted file as the source which can be parsed by the standard data flow task to populate the data into a table. As you see from the above we can use format files along with bulk import options to extend the functionality to parse files with inconsistent delimiters or with text qualifiers.
The standard BULK INSERT command has a COLUMN DELIMITER option where we can specify the delimiter for the file. As such we have to do a small workaround to make this work correctly for file like this.


The first data flow task will be used to parse the text file with inconsistent delimiters and make the delimiter information consistent.



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