SQL Server PowerShell

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server yesAzure SQL Database yesAzure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW) yesParallel Data Warehouse

Install SQL Server PowerShell


There are two SQL Server PowerShell modules; SqlServer and SQLPS. The SQLPS module is included with the SQL Server installation (for backwards compatibility), but is no longer being updated. The most up-to-date PowerShell module is the SqlServer module. The SqlServer module contains updated versions of the cmdlets in SQLPS, and also includes new cmdlets to support the latest SQL features.
Previous versions of the SqlServer module were included with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), but only with the 16.x versions of SSMS. To use PowerShell with SSMS 17.0 and later, the SqlServer module must be installed from the PowerShell Gallery. To install the SqlServer module, see Install SQL Server PowerShell.

Why did the module change from SQLPS to SqlServer?

To ship SQL PowerShell updates, we had to change the identity of the SQL PowerShell module, as well as the wrapper known as SQLPS.exe. Because of this change, there are now two SQL PowerShell modules, the SqlServer module, and the SQLPS module.

Update your PowerShell scripts if they import the SQLPS module.

If you have any PowerShell scripts that run Import-Module -Name SQLPS, and you want to take advantage of the new provider functionality and new cmdlets, you must change them to Import-Module -Name SqlServer. The new module is installed to %ProgramFiles%\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\SqlServer folder. Therefore, you do not have to update the $env:PSModulePath variable. If you have scripts that use a third-party or community version of a module named SqlServer, use the Prefix parameter to avoid name collisions.

There is no change to the module used by SQL Server Agent. Therefore, job steps of the type PowerShell use the SQLPS module. For more information, see How to run PowerShell with SQL Server Agent.

SQL Server PowerShell Components

The SqlServer module loads two Windows PowerShell snap-ins:

  • A SQL Server provider, which enables a simple navigation mechanism similar to file system paths. You can build paths similar to file system paths, where the drive is associated with a SQL Server management object model, and the nodes are based on the object model classes. You can then use familiar commands such as cd and dir to navigate the paths similar to the way you navigate folders in a command prompt window. You can use other commands, such as ren or del, to perform actions on the nodes in the path.

  • A set of cmdlets that support actions such as running a sqlcmd script containing Transact-SQL or XQuery statements.

SQL Server Versions

SQL PowerShell cmdlets can be used to manage instances of Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and all supported SQL Server products.

SQL Server identifiers that contain characters not supported in PowerShell paths

The Encode-Sqlname and Decode-Sqlname cmdlets help you specify SQL Server identifiers that contain characters not supported in PowerShell paths. For more information, see SQL Server Identifiers in PowerShell.

Use the Convert-UrnToPath cmdlet to convert a Unique Resource Name for a Database Engine object to a path for the SQL Server PowerShell provider. For more information, see Convert URNs to SQL Server Provider Paths.

Query Expressions and Unique Resource Names

Query expressions are strings that use syntax similar to XPath to specify a set of criteria that enumerate one or more objects in an object model hierarchy. A Unique Resource Name (URN) is a specific type of query expression string that uniquely identifies a single object. For more information, see Query Expressions and Uniform Resource Names.

Cmdlet reference