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SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint Class


Defines the sort order for a column in a SqlBulkCopy instance's destination table, according to the clustered index on the table.

public ref class SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint sealed
public sealed class SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint
type SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint = class
Public NotInheritable Class SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint


The following example bulk copies data from a source table in the AdventureWorks sample database to a destination table in the same database. A SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint object is used to define the sort order for the ProductNumber destination column.


This sample will not run unless you have created the work tables as described in Bulk Copy Example Setup. This code is provided to demonstrate the syntax for using SqlBulkCopy only. If the source and destination tables are in the same SQL Server instance, it is easier and faster to use a Transact-SQL INSERT … SELECT statement to copy the data.

using System;
using System.Data;
using Microsoft.Data.SqlClient;

class Program
    static void Main()
        string connectionString = GetConnectionString();
        // Open a sourceConnection to the AdventureWorks database.
        using (SqlConnection sourceConnection =
                   new SqlConnection(connectionString))

            // Perform an initial count on the destination table.
            SqlCommand commandRowCount = new SqlCommand(
                "SELECT COUNT(*) FROM " +
            long countStart = System.Convert.ToInt32(
            Console.WriteLine("Starting row count = {0}", countStart);

            // Get data from the source table as a SqlDataReader.
            SqlCommand commandSourceData = new SqlCommand(
                "SELECT ProductID, Name, " +
                "ProductNumber " +
                "FROM Production.Product;", sourceConnection);
            SqlDataReader reader =

            // Set up the bulk copy object.
            using (SqlBulkCopy bulkCopy =
                       new SqlBulkCopy(connectionString))
                bulkCopy.DestinationTableName =

                // Setup an order hint for the ProductNumber column.
                SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint hintNumber =
                    new SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint("ProductNumber", SortOrder.Ascending);

                // Write from the source to the destination.
                catch (Exception ex)
                    // Close the SqlDataReader. The SqlBulkCopy
                    // object is automatically closed at the end
                    // of the using block.

            // Perform a final count on the destination 
            // table to see how many rows were added.
            long countEnd = System.Convert.ToInt32(
            Console.WriteLine("Ending row count = {0}", countEnd);
            Console.WriteLine("{0} rows were added.", countEnd - countStart);
            Console.WriteLine("Press Enter to finish.");

    private static string GetConnectionString()
    // To avoid storing the sourceConnection string in your code, 
    // you can retrieve it from a configuration file. 
        return "Data Source=(local); " +
            " Integrated Security=true;" +
            "Initial Catalog=AdventureWorks;";


Column order hints define the sort order of the column in the destination table.

SqlBulkCopy's performance is improved if the data being imported is sorted according to the clustered index on the table, if any. If the data is sorted in an order that differs from the order of a clustered index key or if there is no clustered index on the table, the order hint is ignored.

Order hints can be specified for any number of columns in the destination table. By default, the bulk insert operation assumes the data is unordered if no hints are provided.

The column names supplied must be valid column names in the destination table. The order in which hints can be specified is arbitrary. A single column name cannot be specified more than once.

If the ColumnMappings collection is not empty, order hints can only be provided for valid destination columns which have been mapped.

If a SortOrder of Unspecified is given, an ArgumentException will be thrown.


SqlBulkCopyColumnOrderHint(String, SortOrder)

Creates a new column order hint for the specified destination column.



Name of the destination column in the destination table for which the hint is being provided.


The sort order of the destination column in the destination table.

Applies to