Dave Mason looks at the OPENROWSET function:
The built-in SQL Server function OPENROWSET() provides a way to access remote data from an OLE DB data source. It can be used with the BULK rowset provider to read data from a file without loading the data into a target table. This post will show the basics to get started with OPENROWSET(), the BULK rowset provider, and text files of fixed-width data fields.
For permanent connections, look into linked servers. But for one-off things, OPENROWSET works fine.
[…] After introducing us to OPENROWSET, Dave Mason is now digging deeper into the topic, looking at data and format files: […]
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