Run Windows PowerShell Steps in SQL Server Agent

APPLIES TO: SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure Synapse Analytics Parallel Data Warehouse

Use SQL Server Agent to run SQL Server PowerShell scripts at scheduled times.

Note

There are two SQL Server PowerShell modules; SqlServer and SQLPS.

The SqlServer module is the current PowerShell module to use.

The SQLPS module is included with the SQL Server installation (for backward compatibility) but is no longer updated.

The SqlServer module contains updated versions of the cmdlets in SQLPS and includes new cmdlets to support the latest SQL features.

Install the SqlServer module from the PowerShell Gallery.

For more information, see SQL Server PowerShell.

Starting with SQL Server 2019, you can disable SQLPS. On the first line of a job step of the type PowerShell you can add #NOSQLPS, which stops the SQL Agent from auto-loading the SQLPS module. Now your SQL Agent Job runs the version of PowerShell installed on the machine, and then you can use any other PowerShell module you like.

To use the SqlServer module in your SQL Agent Job step, you can place this code on the first two lines of your script.

#NOSQLPS
Import-Module -Name SqlServer

To run PowerShell from SQL Server Agent

There are several types of SQL Server Agent job steps. Each type is associated with a subsystem that implements a specific environment, such as a replication agent or command prompt environment. You can code Windows PowerShell scripts, and then use SQL Server Agent to include the scripts in jobs that run at scheduled times or in response to SQL Server events. Windows PowerShell scripts can be run using either a command prompt job step or a PowerShell job step.

  • Use a PowerShell job step to have the SQL Server Agent subsystem run the sqlps utility, which launches PowerShell and imports the sqlps module. If you're running SQL Server 2019 or later, we recommend using the SqlServer module in your SQL Agent Job step.

  • Use a command prompt job step to run PowerShell.exe, and specify a script that imports the sqlps module.

Caution about memory consumption

Each SQL Server Agent job step that runs PowerShell with the sqlps module launches a process, which consumes approximately 20 MB of memory. Running large numbers of concurrent Windows PowerShell job steps can adversely impact performance.

Create a PowerShell Job Step

To create a PowerShell job step

  1. Expand SQL Server Agent, create a new job or right-click an existing job, and then select Properties. For more information about creating a job, see Creating Jobs.

  2. In the Job Properties dialog, select the Steps page, and then select New.

  3. In the New Job Step dialog, type a job Step name.

  4. In the Type list, select PowerShell.

  5. In the Run as list, select the proxy account with the credentials that the job will use.

  6. In the Command box, enter the PowerShell script syntax that will be executed for the job step. Alternately, select Open and select a file containing the script syntax.

  7. Select the Advanced page to set the following job step options: what action to take if the job step succeeds or fails, how many times SQL Server Agent should try to execute the job step, and how often retry attempts should be made.

Create a Command Prompt Job Step

To create a CmdExec job step

  1. Expand SQL Server Agent, create a new job or right-click an existing job, and then select Properties. For more information about creating a job, see Creating Jobs.

  2. In the Job Properties dialog, select the Steps page, and then select New.

  3. In the New Job Step dialog, type a job Step name.

  4. In the Type list, choose Operating system (CmdExec).

  5. In Run as list, select the proxy account with the credentials that the job will use. By default, CmdExec job steps run under the context of the SQL Server Agent service account.

  6. In the Process exit code of a successful command box, enter a value from 0 to 999999.

  7. In the Command box, enter powershell.exe with parameters specifying the PowerShell script to be run.

  8. select the Advanced page to set job step options, such as: what action to take if the job step succeeds or fails, how many times SQL Server Agent should try to execute the job step, and the file where SQL Server Agent can write the job step output. Only members of the sysadmin fixed server role can write job step output to an operating system file.

See Also