System Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL)

APPLIES TO: YesSQL Server 2016 and later YesAzure SQL Database NoAzure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW) NoParallel Data Warehouse

In SQL Server 2019 (15.x), many administrative and informational activities can be performed by using system stored procedures. The system stored procedures are grouped into the categories shown in the following table.

In This Section

Category Description
Active Geo-Replication Stored Procedures Used to manage to manage Active Geo-Replication configurations in Azure SQL Database
Catalog Stored Procedures Used to implement ODBC data dictionary functions and isolate ODBC applications from changes to underlying system tables.
Change Data Capture Stored Procedures Used to enable, disable, or report on change data capture objects.
Cursor Stored Procedures Used to implements cursor variable functionality.
Data Collector Stored Procedures Used to work with the data collector and the following components: collection sets, collection items, and collection types.
Database Engine Stored Procedures Used for general maintenance of the SQL Server Database Engine.
Database Mail Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL) Used to perform e-mail operations from within an instance of SQL Server.
Database Maintenance Plan Stored Procedures Used to set up core maintenance tasks that are required to manage database performance.
Distributed Queries Stored Procedures Used to implement and manage distributed queries.
Filestream and FileTable Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL) Used to configure and manage the FILESTREAM and FileTable features.
Firewall Rules Stored Procedures (Azure SQL Database) Used to configure the Azure SQL Database firewall.
Full-Text Search Stored Procedures Used to implement and query full-text indexes.
General Extended Stored Procedures Used to provide an interface from an instance of SQL Server to external programs for various maintenance activities.
Log Shipping Stored Procedures Used to configure, modify, and monitor log shipping configurations.
Management Data Warehouse Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL) Used to configure the management data warehouse.
OLE Automation Stored Procedures Used to enable standard Automation objects for use within a standard Transact-SQL batch.
Policy-Based Management Stored Procedures Used for Policy-Based Management.
PolyBase stored procedures Add or remove a computer from a PolyBase scale-out group.
Query Store Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL) Used to tune performance.
Replication Stored Procedures Used to manage replication.
Security Stored Procedures Used to manage security.
Snapshot Backup Stored Procedures Used to delete the FILE_SNAPSHOT backup along with all of its snapshots or to delete an individual backup file snapshot.
Spatial Index Stored Procedures Used to analyze and improve the indexing performance of spatial indexes.
SQL Server Agent Stored Procedures Used by SQL Server Profiler to monitor performance and activity.
SQL Server Profiler Stored Procedures Used by SQL Server Agent to manage scheduled and event-driven activities.
Stretch Database Stored Procedures Used to manage stretch databases.
Temporal Tables Stored Procedures Use for temporal tables
XML Stored Procedures Used for XML text management.


Unless specifically documented otherwise, all system stored procedures return a value of 0 to indicate success. To indicate failure, a nonzero value is returned.

API System Stored Procedures

Users that run SQL Server Profiler against ADO, OLE DB, and ODBC applications may notice these applications using system stored procedures that are not covered in the Transact-SQL Reference. These stored procedures are used by the Microsoft SQL Server Native Client OLE DB Provider and the SQL Server Native Client ODBC driver to implement the functionality of a database API. These stored procedures are just the mechanism the provider or driver uses to communicate user requests to an instance of SQL Server. They are intended only for the internal use of the provider or the driver. Calling them explicitly from a SQL Server-based application is not supported.

The sp_createorphan and sp_droporphans stored procedures are used for ODBC ntext, text, and image processing.

The sp_reset_connection stored procedure is used by SQL Server to support remote stored procedure calls in a transaction. This stored procedure also causes Audit Login and Audit Logout events to fire when a connection is reused from a connection pool.

The system stored procedures in the following tables are used only within an instance of SQL Server or through client APIs and are not intended for general customer use. They are subject to change and compatibility is not guaranteed.

The following stored procedures are documented in SQL Server Books Online:

sp_catalogs sp_column_privileges
sp_column_privileges_ex sp_columns
sp_columns_ex sp_databases
sp_cursor sp_cursorclose
sp_cursorexecute sp_cursorfetch
sp_cursoroption sp_cursoropen
sp_cursorprepare sp_cursorprepexec
sp_cursorunprepare sp_execute
sp_datatype_info sp_fkeys
sp_foreignkeys sp_indexes
sp_pkeys sp_primarykeys
sp_prepare sp_prepexec
sp_prepexecrpc sp_unprepare
sp_server_info sp_special_columns
sp_sproc_columns sp_statistics
sp_table_privileges sp_table_privileges_ex
sp_tables sp_tables_ex

The following stored procedures are not documented:

sp_assemblies_rowset sp_assemblies_rowset_rmt
sp_assemblies_rowset2 sp_assembly_dependencies_rowset
sp_assembly_dependencies_rowset_rmt sp_assembly_dependencies_rowset2
sp_bcp_dbcmptlevel sp_catalogs_rowset
sp_catalogs_rowset;2 sp_catalogs_rowset;5
sp_catalogs_rowset_rmt sp_catalogs_rowset2
sp_check_constbytable_rowset sp_check_constbytable_rowset;2
sp_check_constbytable_rowset2 sp_check_constraints_rowset
sp_check_constraints_rowset;2 sp_check_constraints_rowset2
sp_column_privileges_rowset sp_column_privileges_rowset;2
sp_column_privileges_rowset;5 sp_column_privileges_rowset_rmt
sp_column_privileges_rowset2 sp_columns_90
sp_columns_90_rowset sp_columns_90_rowset_rmt
sp_columns_90_rowset2 sp_columns_ex_90
sp_columns_rowset sp_columns_rowset;2
sp_columns_rowset;5 sp_columns_rowset_rmt
sp_columns_rowset2 sp_constr_col_usage_rowset
sp_datatype_info_90 sp_ddopen;1
sp_ddopen;10 sp_ddopen;11
sp_ddopen;12 sp_ddopen;13
sp_ddopen;2 sp_ddopen;3
sp_ddopen;4 sp_ddopen;5
sp_ddopen;6 sp_ddopen;7
sp_ddopen;8 sp_ddopen;9
sp_foreign_keys_rowset sp_foreign_keys_rowset;2
sp_foreign_keys_rowset;3 sp_foreign_keys_rowset;5
sp_foreign_keys_rowset_rmt sp_foreign_keys_rowset2
sp_foreign_keys_rowset3 sp_indexes_90_rowset
sp_indexes_90_rowset_rmt sp_indexes_90_rowset2
sp_indexes_rowset sp_indexes_rowset;2
sp_indexes_rowset;5 sp_indexes_rowset_rmt
sp_indexes_rowset2 sp_linkedservers_rowset
sp_linkedservers_rowset;2 sp_linkedservers_rowset2
sp_oledb_database sp_oledb_defdb
sp_oledb_deflang sp_oledb_language
sp_oledb_ro_usrname sp_primary_keys_rowset
sp_primary_keys_rowset;2 sp_primary_keys_rowset;3
sp_primary_keys_rowset;5 sp_primary_keys_rowset_rmt
sp_primary_keys_rowset2 sp_procedure_params_90_rowset
sp_procedure_params_90_rowset2 sp_procedure_params_rowset
sp_procedure_params_rowset;2 sp_procedure_params_rowset2
sp_procedures_rowset sp_procedures_rowset;2
sp_procedures_rowset2 sp_provider_types_90_rowset
sp_provider_types_rowset sp_schemata_rowset
sp_schemata_rowset;3 sp_special_columns_90
sp_sproc_columns_90 sp_statistics_rowset
sp_statistics_rowset;2 sp_statistics_rowset2
sp_stored_procedures sp_table_constraints_rowset
sp_table_constraints_rowset;2 sp_table_constraints_rowset2
sp_table_privileges_rowset sp_table_privileges_rowset;2
sp_table_privileges_rowset;5 sp_table_privileges_rowset_rmt
sp_table_privileges_rowset2 sp_table_statistics_rowset
sp_table_statistics_rowset;2 sp_table_statistics2_rowset
sp_tablecollations sp_tablecollations_90
sp_tables_info_90_rowset sp_tables_info_90_rowset_64
sp_tables_info_90_rowset2 sp_tables_info_90_rowset2_64
sp_tables_info_rowset sp_tables_info_rowset;2
sp_tables_info_rowset_64 sp_tables_info_rowset_64;2
sp_tables_info_rowset2 sp_tables_info_rowset2_64
sp_tables_rowset;2 sp_tables_rowset;5
sp_tables_rowset_rmt sp_tables_rowset2
sp_usertypes_rowset sp_usertypes_rowset_rmt
sp_usertypes_rowset2 sp_views_rowset
sp_views_rowset2 sp_xml_schema_rowset

See Also

Stored Procedures (Database Engine)
Running Stored Procedures (OLE DB)
Running Stored Procedures
Database Engine Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL)
Running Stored Procedures