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[A follow-up from Breck's comment on this question..., all tested with SA]

In a CMD prompt, a simple call to DBTRAN a log file

"%SQLANY12%\bin32\dbtran" C:\abc.log > C:\test.txt 2> C:\test.err

works as expected - i.e. test.txt contains the output and test.err the (here expected) error that abc.log doesn't exist (in my case).

The corresponding xp_cmdshell call shows that environment variables like SQLANY12 are recognized:

xp_cmdshell('"%SQLANY12%\bin32\dbtran" C:\abc.log > C:\test.txt 2> C:\test.err')

seems to replace the environment variable with the correct value. However, it does not seem to handle spaces in pathes correctly, as test.err txt contains the following error (translated from German):

The command "C:\Programme\Sybase\SQL" ... could not be found.

Note, the %SQLANY12% value contains spaces, and so I put double quotes around the path specification. This works in the CMD box but not in xp_cmdshell, no matter if I use double quotes or doubled single quotes around the path.

In contrast, the corresponding call with the expanded path works as expected:

xp_cmdshell('"C:\Programme\Sybase\SQL Anywhere 12\bin32\dbtran" abc.log > C:\test.txt 2> C:\test.err')


So how can environmnent variables with pathes including spaces be handled correctly?

asked 21 Sep '10, 09:22

Volker%20Barth's gravatar image

Volker Barth
accept rate: 34%

edited 21 Sep '10, 15:31


The other conclusion: Pathes including spaces are inherently evil...

(21 Sep '10, 09:23) Volker Barth

That's why I always modify the default installation path to something like 'C:ProgrammeSybaseSQLAny11'. But with an english Windows version 'C:Program FilesSybaseSQLAny11' still contains a space ...

(23 Sep '10, 15:15) Reimer Pods

Are you using a shell replacement such as TCC or 4nt? Verify that COMSPEC is set to the cmd.exe that comes with Windows. Internally, xp_cmdshell will use %COMSPEC% or cmd.exe if COMSPEC is not set and build the following command line:

%COMSPEC% /c user_cmdline

and then passes it to CreateProcess.

When I have comspec set to use TCC, I get the error you reported but when it is set to cmd.exe it works correctly.


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answered 21 Sep '10, 14:41

John%20Smirnios's gravatar image

John Smirnios
accept rate: 37%

No, I'm just using the original Windows cmd.exe.

(21 Sep '10, 15:27) Volker Barth

Reproduced the behaviour I mentioned on another box (Win XP2 SP3) with the default CMD.exe, i.e. COMSPEC=C:WindowsSystem32CMD.exe (that's what xp_cmdshell('SET COMSPEC > C:test.txt') does output, too).

(21 Sep '10, 15:36) Volker Barth

Interestingly enough, the "%COMSPEC% /c" call works correctly. Now I'm really puzzled.

(21 Sep '10, 15:47) Volker Barth

@All: Anyone else to confirm this behaviour?

(23 Sep '10, 16:00) Volker Barth
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question asked: 21 Sep '10, 09:22

question was seen: 5,917 times

last updated: 21 Sep '10, 15:31