How to Export Data from Excel to SQL Server

In the world of data management, the seamless transfer of data between different platforms is a common necessity. In this article, we'll delve into the step-by-step process of exporting data from Excel to SQL Server.


By Zelia / Updated on October 31, 2023

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Why export data from Excel to SQL Server

It is often a necessary step to export data from Excel to SQL Server in effective data management. Here's why it's essential:

  • Data Security and Scalability: SQL Server is a powerful relational database management system known for its robust security features and scalability. Unlike Excel, it allows you to manage and control access to your data with precision, making it an ideal choice for organizations dealing with sensitive information.
  • Improved Data Integrity: Excel, while a useful tool for data manipulation, can be prone to errors and inconsistencies. Exporting data to SQL Server ensures that data integrity is maintained, as it enforces data validation and integrity constraints.
  • Collaboration and Automation: SQL Server facilitates collaborative work and automation by providing tools for multiple users to access and work on the same dataset concurrently. This is particularly important for businesses where collaboration is key.


Common scenarios where data export is necessary

It is a common necessity to convert excel to SQL database in various scenarios:

  • Reporting and Analysis: Exporting data to SQL Server is often essential for generating complex reports, running analytics, and creating interactive dashboards. SQL Server's powerful query capabilities make it easier to derive insights from your data.
  • Application Development: When developing custom software applications, developers often need to integrate data stored in Excel into the application's database, which is usually SQL Server. This integration ensures that applications are fed with accurate, up-to-date data.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Certain industries are subject to strict data compliance regulations, such as healthcare and finance. Exporting data to SQL Server helps ensure that data meets compliance requirements by providing strong audit trails and security controls.

How to export data from Excel to SQL Server

Exporting data from Excel to SQL Server using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard is a straightforward process that allows you to transfer your Excel data into a SQL Server database. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

1. Launch the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard. The page “Welcome to SQL Server Import and Export Wizard” will appear, click the Next button to proceed.

2. When you reach the Choose a Data Source page, you need to provide the data source provider and connection method for importing Excel data into SQL Server. In the Data source dropdown, select the Microsoft Excel provider.


3. In the Excel file path box, type the location to the Excel file or use the Browse button to navigate to the location. In the Excel version dropdown, select the Excel version associated with the source workbook. According to your need, tick the option First row has column names or not.


4. On Choose a Destination page, you'll need to designate where data from the data source (Excel file) will be stored. In the Destination dropdown, select a provider that can connect to a SQL Server database.


5. From the Server name combo box, select the SQL Server instance.


6. In the Authentication section, determine the connection method, opting for either Windows or SQL Server Authentication mode. Then, in the Database dropdown, select the database where data from the data source (Excel file) should be placed. Once these settings are in order, proceed by clicking the Next button.


7. On the Specify Table Copy or Query page, you'll need to define how data from the data source is to be transferred to the destination.


☞ a. Choosing Write a query to specify the data to transfer on the Choose a Destination page will prompt the appearance of the Provide Source Query page upon clicking Next.

In the SQL statement text box, you'll need to input the query that selects the data you want to move from the Excel file to the SQL Server database. Alternatively, you can load a pre-existing query using the Browse button.

To ensure the query successfully captures data from a worksheet, make sure to append a '$' to the end of the sheet name and enclose the sheet name in brackets, like this: ([BusinessEntity$]). This will help avoid potential warning messages.


☞ b. If you choose Copy data from one or more tables or views and proceed by clicking Next, the Select Source Tables and Views page will appear:


On this page, you'll find a list of all the worksheets from the Excel file (ImportData.xlsx) in the Source column. Choose which worksheets you want to import into the SQL Server database by selecting the checkboxes next to their names in the Source list. The selected worksheets will then appear in the Destination column.


Note: When working with an existing table, ensure that the destination table possesses the same number of columns as the data source. Failure to do so will result in columns from the data source that lack a corresponding destination column being automatically marked as "ignore" and the data from those columns will not be imported into the destination table.


It's also essential to verify that the columns in the destination table have data types that align with those in the source data columns to prevent potential errors.


8. After configuring the correct columns and ensuring data types are properly defined, proceed by clicking the Next button. This will lead you to the Save and Run Package page, where you should select Run immediately and then click Next.


9. On the Complete the Wizard page, the choices you've made on the previous wizard pages will be displayed. Click Next to commence the data import from the Excel file into the SQL Server database. You'll then be directed to the "Performing Operation" page, which displays the status and progress of the import process.


Export SQL database data through backup software

Before embarking on any data migration process, it is crucial to create a backup of your SQL Server database. This precautionary measure ensures that in the event of any issues or data loss during migration, you have a secure copy of your data to restore from. AOMEI Cyber Backup is a reliable and feature-rich solution for creating SQL database backups.

▸ Operation Within LAN:Assist you in doing numerous backups of SQL database, including SQL Express within LAN.
▸ Centralized Backup: Schedule backups of SQL server database and run it automatically.
▸ Schedule Backup: Create backup schedules to automate backups daily, weekly, monthly.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports Microsoft SQL 2005-2022, including SQL Express. In addition, it also supports the virtual machine backup within LAN, please download the 30-day free trial to have a try:

Download Free TrialMicrosoft SQL Server 2005-2022
Centralized and Secure SQL Backup

Before you perform a database backup, please make sure:
1. Your computer with both AOMEI Cyber Backup Agent and Microsoft SQL Server installed.
2. The local disk or network shared to store backup files.

The process of SQL database backup and restore

1. Access to Source Device >> Add Microsoft SQL. If the database exists and the version is supported, it will appear automatically. Otherwise, you can click Add Microsoft SQL >> Download proxy program, and install the program on the device with SQL Server installed. Then click Already installed proxy and select the proxies you want to add.


2. Click>> Authentication to validate the database instance. You can choose Windows Authentication or SQL Authentication. Enter the credentials and click Verify.


3. Create Backup Task: Click Backup Task >> Create New Task, and select Microsoft SQL Backup as your backup type. Then set the Device Name, Backup Target, Schedule, Backup Cleanup and Email Notification according to your need.


4. Start Backup: You can choose to Add the schedule and start backup now or Add the schedule only and click Start Backup to execute automatic SQL server backup.


5. Restore from backup: Click Backup Task on the left menu bar, locate the task you want to restore, and click>> Restore. You can specify the target location by choosing Restore to original location or Restore to new location.



Whether it is exporting data from Excel to SQL Server or exporting from SQL to Excel, it is a fundamental data management task that can significantly enhance data security, integrity, and accessibility. It empowers organizations to leverage the full potential of their data for reporting, analysis, and application development.

By following the outlined steps and ensuring proper backup with AOMEI Cyber Backup, you can confidently navigate this data migration process and harness the benefits of SQL Server's robust capabilities. Make the move today and take your data management to the next level.

Zelia · Editor
Zelia is an editor from AOMEI Technology.She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. Writing is one of her hobbies and she wants her articles to be seen by more people. In her spare time, she likes to draw and listen to music, and it is a pleasure for her to focus on her own world.