Earlier I wrote two articles about how to efficiently copy data from SSMS to Excel. Since I wrote that post there are plenty of interest generated on this subject. There are a few questions I keep on getting over this subject. One of the question is how to get the leading zero preserved while copying the data from SSMS to Excel. Well it is almost the same way as my earlier post SQL SERVER – Excel Losing Decimal Values When Value Pasted from SSMS ResultSet. The key here is in EXCEL and not in SQL Server.
The step here is to change the format of Excel Cell to Text from Numbers and that will preserve the value of the with leading or trailing Zeros in Excel. However, I assume this is done for display purpose only because once you convert column to Text you may find it difficult to do numeric operations over the column for example Aggregation, Average etc. If you need to do the same you should either convert the columns back to Numeric in Excel or do the process in Database and export the same value as along with it as well.
However, I have seen in requirement in the real world where the user has to have a numeric value with leading Zero values in it for display purpose. Here is my suggestion, instead of manipulating numeric value in the database and converting it to character value the ideal thing to do is to store it as a numeric value only in the database. Whatever changes you want to do for display purpose should be handled at the time of the display using the format function of SQL or Application Language. Honestly, database is data layer and presentation is presentation layer – they are two different things and if possible they should not be mixed.
If due to any reason you cannot follow above advise and you need is to have append leading zeros in the database only here are two of my previous articles I suggest you to refer them. I am open to learn new tricks as these articles are almost three years old. Please share your opinion and suggestions in the comments area.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)