Thursday, January 12, 2012

SQL - list columns in a table, updated

Way back in April 2009, I had published the original version of my stored procedure wm_columns which can be used instead of sp_help or sp_columns to view a list of column names for a table or view.

The new version has a number of enhancements, and you can view the complete code here.

The first parameter is required, which is the name of a table or view, such as:
wm_columns 'my_table'
...and the default schema is dbo

You may also include the schema, e.g. in AdventureWorks you can use this:
wm_columns 'Person.Contact'

The second parameter is optional, and has the following choices:

0 = display the column list in physical order
1 = display the column list in alphabetical order
2 = display a select statement
3 = display an insert statement
4 = display an insert statement, with data types added as comments

For the options 2, 3, and 4, column names are bracketed with [] if they contain spaces or other non-alphanumeric characters.

For the options 3 and 4, any identity or timestamp columns are displayed but commented-out.

The third parameter, when used with option 0 or 1, allows you to apply a fuzzy filter to the column name, for example:

wm_columns 'my_table',0,'id'
...will list only the columns that contain 'id' in the name.

The third parameter, when used with option 2, allows to you use an alias for the table, for example in AdventureWorks:

wm_columns 'Person.CountryRegion',2,'cr'
...will display a select statement like this:
Person.CountryRegion cr