A list of one owl's 5 favourite system stored procedures in SQL!
Part six of a six-part series of blogs

Everyone has a favourite system stored procedure (you do, don't you?). But five? That's the subject of this blog, anyway.

  1. My 5 favourite SQL system stored procedures!
  2. Listing the contents of a procedure or function (sp_helptext)
  3. Using sp_datatype_info to get the data type of a variable
  4. Which tables/procedures depend on which? (sp_depends)
  5. Listing the columns in a table (sp_columns)
  6. Using sp_help to get help on a table, procedure, column, etc (this blog)

Posted by Andy Brown on 03 February 2017

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Using sp_help to get help on a table, procedure, column, etc

If you only remember one system stored procedure, this is probably the one to choose.  Here are some examples of its use.

Getting information about a table

To get information about a specific table, use its name as your parameter:

-- get information on the table called DIRECTOR

sp_help 'Director'

Here's what this would show:

Table info

Lots of useful information here!

Getting the parameters required by a procedure

If you want to use a system (or your own) stored procedure, but can't quite remember what parameters it takes, try this:

-- what parameters does a procedure take?

sp_help 'sp_who'

This shows that this particular system stored procedure (sp_who) takes one parameter:

sp_who parameter

You must supply a single string to the procedure.

Getting a list of everything in your database

Use sp_help without any parameters to get a listing of everything in your database:

-- get a list of everything!


Here are the first few of the 2,283 rows returned for the Wise Owl Movies database:

sp_help output

The first few rows returned, out of many!


And that's the end of this blog! 

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