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by Jiří {x2} Činčura

TeamCity, PowerShell and sqlcmd problem (and solution)

13 Apr 2011 2 mins Continuous Integration, MS SQL Server, PowerShell

In my current project we’re using TeamCity as a continuous integration server and psake to run all out build and deployment tasks. Part of the deployment is execution of SQL scripts to create database and create structures in it. And as a heavy-duty console user, I’m using sqlcmd to do all my work with database. So I simply called sqlcmd with according parameters and to execute the scripts. Sadly for some strange reason, the PowerShell runner in TeamCity kept running in a loop eventually ending with timeout. Even worse, running it locally directly in PowerShell was fine. After small research done by my colleague we found the reason is sqlcmd.

The quick’n’dirty solution was to run it using Start-Process, sadly we lost the output (using -NoNewWindow resulted in same problem), so any error was about guessing. Simple techniques, like redirecting output from cmdlet ended with same problem.

But I actually found a solution. I redirected the output from sqlcmd directly with -o switch and used Unicode using -u. Then I echoed the file via Get-Content cmdlet with -encoding Unicode switch.

After I rigorously specified the encodings for output and input, everything started running fine. Probably there was some problem with BOM being in input, causing headache to the runner.

Never mind, now it’s fine, and I’m happy, because I see errors in processing SQL scripts eventually.

Profile Picture Jiří Činčura is .NET, C# and Firebird expert. He focuses on data and business layers, language constructs, parallelism, databases and performance. For almost two decades he contributes to open-source, i.e. FirebirdClient. He works as a senior software engineer for Microsoft. Frequent speaker and blogger at