Listing all Tables of a Linked SQL Server Database

Listing all Tables of a Linked SQL Server Database

Listing all Tables of a Linked SQL Server Database

Introduction

There are many scenarios in the DBMSs world where you might need to use a linked server between two different SQL Server instances in order to execute direct queries between them. However, the majority of T-SQL auto-complete tools have difficulties to list the objects (i.e. tables) of the linked server’s database.

 

Custom Stored Procedure to Retrieve Linked SQL Server Database Tables

A way to see these objects, is to browse via SSMS’s Object Explorer. What about however if you want to have a quick view of all the available tables in the linked server’s database while writing your T-SQL script?

The answer is easy! You can do this by using the Information Schema Views. Below you will find a stored procedure that I created which can help you to list all the tables of linked server’s database.

Here’s the code:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- Sample Code for Blog Post: Listing all Tables of a Linked Server's Database
-- Author: Artemakis Artemiou, Former Microsoft Data Platform MVP
--
-- Disclaimer: This is a sample code. Do not use it in Production Systems before properly
-- testing it. You bear sole responsibility for usage of any content of this T-SQL code. 
-- You are responsible for any loss of data, loss of peace or any damages due to usage of 
-- this code. Always take backup of your data.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
USE [ENTER_DATABASE_NAME];
GO

CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[DBTableInfo] (@LinkedServerName varchar(50), @DBName varchar(50))
AS

--variables declaration
DECLARE @LinkedServerNameFiltered VARCHAR(50)
DECLARE @LinkedServerNameFound int
DECLARE @DBsFound int
DECLARE @DBNameFiltered varchar(50)
DECLARE @Command nvarchar(500)

--check if specified linked server exists
SET @LinkedServerNameFiltered=QUOTENAME(@LinkedServerName);
SET @LinkedServerNameFound=0;
SET @LinkedServerNameFound=(SELECT COUNT(*) FROM sys.servers s WHERE s.name=@LinkedServerName);

--report findings
IF @LinkedServerNameFound=0
BEGIN
PRINT 'Error: Linked server ' + @LinkedServerNameFiltered+ ' not found.';
RETURN;
END

--check if specified database exists
DECLARE @QUERY nvarchar(250);
SET @DBNameFiltered = QUOTENAME(@DBName,'''');
SET @DBsFound=0;
SET @QUERY='(SELECT @DBs=COUNT(*) FROM ' + @LinkedServerNameFiltered +'.[master].sys.sysdatabases s WHERE s.name='+@DBNameFiltered+')';
EXEC sp_executesql @QUERY, N'@DBs int OUTPUT', @DBs=@DBsFound OUTPUT;

--report findings
IF @DBsFound=0
BEGIN
PRINT 'Error: Database ' + @DBNameFiltered + ' not found.';
RETURN;
END

--construct dynamic T-SQL statement
SET @DBNameFiltered = QUOTENAME(@DBName);
SET @LinkedServerNameFiltered=QUOTENAME(@LinkedServerName);

SET @Command= 'SELECT TABLE_SCHEMA as TableSchema, TABLE_NAME as TableName,(''SELECT TOP 10 * FROM '+ @LinkedServerNameFiltered +'.'+ @DBNameFiltered +'.'' + QUOTENAME(TABLE_SCHEMA) + ''.'' + QUOTENAME(TABLE_NAME)) as SampleQuery
FROM ' + @LinkedServerNameFiltered+'.' + @DBNameFiltered+'.INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES i WHERE i.TABLE_TYPE LIKE ''%TABLE%'' ORDER BY 1';

--execute the command
EXEC sp_executesql @command;
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You can call the stored procedure as follows:
USE [ENTER_DATABASE_NAME];
GO

EXEC [dbo].[DBTableInfo] 'LINKED_SERVER_NAME', 'LINKED_SERVER_DB'
GO

 

The stored procedure displays three columns for each record: (i) Table Schema, (ii) Table Name, (iii) A sample query that can be executed and returns the top 10 rows for the specific table.

Sample output of the stored procedure:

 

Listing all tables of a linked server - SQL Server - SQLNetHub

 

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Reference: SQLNetHub.com (https://www.sqlnethub.com)

© SQLNetHub

Artemakis Artemiou
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior SQL Server Architect, Author, and a 9 Times Microsoft Data Platform MVP (2009-2018). He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Artemakis is the founder of SQLNetHub and TechHowTos.com. Artemakis is the creator of the well-known software tools Snippets Generator and DBA Security Advisor. Also, he is the author of many eBooks on SQL Server. Artemakis currently serves as the President of the Cyprus .NET User Group (CDNUG) and the International .NET Association Country Leader for Cyprus (INETA). Artemakis's official website can be found at aartemiou.com.