November 18, 2010

Useful SQL Server System Stored Procedures You Should Know

System Stored Procedures are useful in performing administrative and informational activities in SQL Server. Here’s a bunch of System Stored Procedures that are used on a frequent basis (in no particular order):

System Stored Procedure


sp_helpReports information about a database object, a user-defined data type, or a data type
sp_helpdbReports information about a specified database or all databases
sp_helptextDisplays the definition of a user-defined rule, default, unencrypted Transact-SQL stored procedure, user-defined Transact-SQL function, trigger, computed column, CHECK constraint, view, or system object such as a system stored procedure
sp_helpfileReturns the physical names and attributes of files associated with the current database. Use this stored procedure to determine the names of files to attach to or detach from the server
sp_spaceusedDisplays the number of rows, disk space reserved, and disk space used by a table, indexed view, or Service Broker queue in the current database, or displays the disk space reserved and used by the whole database
sp_whoProvides information about current users, sessions, and processes in an instance of the Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine. The information can be filtered to return only those processes that are not idle, that belong to a specific user, or that belong to a specific session
sp_lockReports information about locks. This stored procedure will be removed in a future version of Microsoft SQL Server. Use the sys.dm_tran_locks dynamic management view instead.
sp_configureDisplays or changes global configuration settings for the current server
sp_tablesReturns a list of objects that can be queried in the current environment. This means any object that can appear in a FROM clause, except synonym objects.
sp_columnsReturns column information for the specified tables or views that can be queried in the current environment
sp_dependsDisplays information about database object dependencies, such as the views and procedures that depend on a table or view, and the tables and views that are depended on by the view or procedure. References to objects outside the current database are not reported

These were some System Stored Procedures in SQL Server that come in very handy. If you have been using any other system stored procedures (not listed here) on a frequent basis, feel free to share them via the comments section.

About The Author

Suprotim Agarwal, ASP.NET Architecture MVP works as an Architect Consultant and provides consultancy on how to design and develop Web applications.

Suprotim is also the founder and primary contributor to DevCurry, DotNetCurry and SQLServerCurry. He has also written an EBook 51 Recipes using jQuery with ASP.NET Controls.

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