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Data Import and Export

Bulk import of data to the database from file and bulk export of data from the database to
file is handled by the COPY function.



COPY table_name [ ( column_name [, ...] ) ]
FROM { 'filename' | STDIN }
[ [ WITH ] ( option [, ...] ) ]
COPY { table_name [ ( column_name [, ...] ) ] | ( query ) }
TO { 'filename' | STDOUT }
[ [ WITH ] ( option [, ...] ) ]
where option can be one of:
FORMAT format_name
OIDS [ boolean ]
DELIMITER 'delimiter_character'
NULL 'null_string'
HEADER [ boolean ]
QUOTE 'quote_character'
ESCAPE 'escape_character'
FORCE_QUOTE { ( column_name [, ...] ) | * }
FORCE_NOT_NULL ( column_name [, ...] )
ENCODING 'encoding_name'

Example - Import

COPY country FROM '/usr1/proj/bray/sql/country_data' (DELIMITER '|');

Example - Export

COPY (SELECT * FROM country WHERE country_name LIKE 'A%') TO
'/usr1/proj/bray/sql/a_list_countries.copy' (DELIMITER '|');


COPY moves data between database tables and standard file-system files. COPY TO copies the contents of a table to a file, while COPY FROM copies data from a file to a table (appending the data to whatever is in the table already). COPY TO can also copy the
results of a SELECT query.

If a list of columns is specified, COPY will only copy the data in the specified columns to or from the file. If there are any columns in the table that are not in the column list, COPY FROM will insert the default values for those columns.
COPY with a file name instructs the PostgreSQL server to directly read from or write to a file. The file must be accessible to the server and the name must be specified from the viewpoint of the server. When STDIN or STDOUT is specified, data is transmitted via the connection between the client and the server.