sp_help (Transact-SQL)

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO:yesSQL Server (starting with 2008)yesAzure SQL DatabasenoAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

Reports information about a database object (any object listed in the sys.sysobjects compatibility view), a user-defined data type, or a data type.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

Syntax


sp_help [ [ @objname = ] 'name' ]  

Arguments

[ @objname=] 'name'
Is the name of any object, in sysobjects or any user-defined data type in the systypes table. name is nvarchar(776), with a default of NULL. Database names are not acceptable. Two or three part names must be delimited, such as 'Person.AddressType' or [Person.AddressType].

Return Code Values

0 (success) or 1 (failure)

Result Sets

The result sets that are returned depend on whether name is specified, when it is specified, and what database object it is.

  1. If sp_help is executed with no arguments, summary information of objects of all types that exist in the current database is returned.

    Column name Data type Description
    Name nvarchar(128) Object name
    Owner nvarchar(128) Object owner (This is the database principal that owns object. Defaults to the owner of the schema that contains the object.)
    Object_type nvarchar(31) Object type
  2. If name is a SQL Server data type or user-defined data type, sp_help returns this result set.

    Column name Data type Description
    Type_name nvarchar(128) Data type name.
    Storage_type nvarchar(128) SQL Server type name.
    Length smallint Physical length of the data type (in bytes).
    Prec int Precision (total number of digits).
    Scale int Number of digits to the right of the decimal.
    Nullable varchar(35) Indicates whether NULL values are allowed: Yes or No.
    Default_name nvarchar(128) Name of a default bound to this type.

    NULL = No default is bound.
    Rule_name nvarchar(128) Name of a rule bound to this type.

    NULL = No default is bound.
    Collation sysname Collation of the data type. NULL for non-character data types.
  3. If name is any database object other than a data type, sp_help returns this result set and also additional result sets, based on the type of object specified.

    Column name Data type Description
    Name nvarchar(128) Table name
    Owner nvarchar(128) Table owner
    Type nvarchar(31) Table type
    Created_datetime datetime Date table created

    Depending on the database object specified, sp_help returns additional result sets.

    If name is a system table, user table, or view, sp_help returns the following result sets. However, the result set that describes where the data file is located on a file group is not returned for a view.

    • Additional result set returned on column objects:

      Column name Data type Description
      Column_name nvarchar(128) Column name.
      Type nvarchar(128) Column data type.
      Computed varchar(35) Indicates whether the values in the column are computed: Yes or No.
      Length int Column length in bytes.

      Note: If the column data type is a large value type (varchar(max), nvarchar(max), varbinary(max), or xml), the value will display as -1.
      Prec char(5) Column precision.
      Scale char(5) Column scale.
      Nullable varchar(35) Indicates whether NULL values are allowed in the column: Yes or No.
      TrimTrailingBlanks varchar(35) Trim the trailing blanks. Returns Yes or No.
      FixedLenNullInSource varchar(35) For backward compatibility only.
      Collation sysname Collation of the column. NULL for noncharacter data types.
    • Additional result set returned on identity columns:

      Column name Data type Description
      Identity nvarchar(128) Column name whose data type is declared as identity.
      Seed numeric Starting value for the identity column.
      Increment numeric Increment to use for values in this column.
      Not For Replication int IDENTITY property is not enforced when a replication login, such as sqlrepl, inserts data into the table:

      1 = True

      0 = False
    • Additional result set returned on columns:

      Column name Data type Description
      RowGuidCol sysname Name of the global unique identifier column.
    • Additional result set returned on filegroups:

      Column name Data type Description
      Data_located_on_filegroup nvarchar(128) Filegroup in which the data is located: Primary, Secondary, or Transaction Log.
    • Additional result set returned on indexes:

      Column name Data type Description
      index_name sysname Index name.
      Index_description varchar(210) Description of the index.
      index_keys nvarchar(2078) Column names on which the index is built. Returns NULL for xVelocity memory optimized columnstore indexes.
    • Additional result set returned on constraints:

      Column name Data type Description
      constraint_type nvarchar(146) Type of constraint.
      constraint_name nvarchar(128) Name of the constraint.
      delete_action nvarchar(9) Indicates whether the DELETE action is: NO_ACTION, CASCADE, SET_NULL, SET_DEFAULT, or N/A.

      Only applicable to FOREIGN KEY constraints.
      update_action nvarchar(9) Indicates whether the UPDATE action is: NO_ACTION, CASCADE, SET_NULL, SET_DEFAULT, or N/A.

      Only applicable to FOREIGN KEY constraints.
      status_enabled varchar(8) Indicates whether the constraint is enabled: Enabled, Disabled, or N/A.

      Only applicable to CHECK and FOREIGN KEY constraints.
      status_for_replication varchar(19) Indicates whether the constraint is for replication.

      Only applicable to CHECK and FOREIGN KEY constraints.
      constraint_keys nvarchar(2078) Names of the columns that make up the constraint or, in the case for defaults and rules, the text that defines the default or rule.
    • Additional result set returned on referencing objects:

      Column name Data type Description
      Table is referenced by nvarchar(516) Identifies other database objects that reference the table.
    • Additional result set returned on stored procedures, functions, or extended stored procedures.

      Column name Data type Description
      Parameter_name nvarchar(128) Stored procedure parameter name.
      Type nvarchar(128) Data type of the stored procedure parameter.
      Length smallint Maximum physical storage length, in bytes.
      Prec int Precision or total number of digits.
      Scale int Number of digits to the right of the decimal point.
      Param_order smallint Order of the parameter.

Remarks

The sp_help procedure looks for an object in the current database only.

When name is not specified, sp_help lists object names, owners, and object types for all objects in the current database. sp_helptrigger provides information about triggers.

sp_help exposes only orderable index columns; therefore, it does not expose information about XML indexes or spatial indexes.

Permissions

Requires membership in the public role. The user must have at least one permission on objname. To view column constraint keys, defaults, or rules, you must have VIEW DEFINITION permission on the table.

Examples

A. Returning information about all objects

The following example lists information about each object in the master database.

USE master;  
GO  
EXEC sp_help;  
GO  

B. Returning information about a single object

The following example displays information about the Person table.

USE AdventureWorks2012;  
GO  
EXEC sp_help 'Person.Person';  
GO  

See Also

Database Engine Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL)
sp_helpindex (Transact-SQL)
sp_helprotect (Transact-SQL)
sp_helpserver (Transact-SQL)
sp_helptrigger (Transact-SQL)
sp_helpuser (Transact-SQL)
System Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL)
sys.sysobjects (Transact-SQL)