Join our team, we're recruiting Contact us on: +44 (0)121 3145 374

The Site Doctor Blog

Footprints in the snow of a warped mind

< Back to Blog

How to search every table and field in a SQL Server Database

Update: I have corrected the original issue with this script. Please see: Search every table and field in a SQL Server Database Updated.

Today I had an issue with Umbraco and a copy of a deleted page appearing in the menu, I'll post how I fix it if I ever do find the answer but while trying to track the issue down I came across a really useful piece of T-SQL from Narayana Vyas Kondreddi (Vyas) that searches each table in a database and then each field in the table. I had to expand it to include integers etc but all credit to him! For reference here's a copy of the code:

Search all tables and fields in a SQL Server Database

CREATE PROC SearchAllTables
    @SearchStr nvarchar(100)
    -- Copyright © 2002 Narayana Vyas Kondreddi. All rights reserved.
    -- Purpose: To search all columns of all tables for a given search string
    -- Written by: Narayana Vyas Kondreddi
    -- Site:
    -- Tested on: SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000
    -- Date modified: 28th July 2002 22:50 GMT
    CREATE TABLE #Results (ColumnName nvarchar(370), ColumnValue nvarchar(3630))


    DECLARE @TableName nvarchar(256), @ColumnName nvarchar(128), @SearchStr2 nvarchar(110)
    SET  @TableName = ''
    SET @SearchStr2 = QUOTENAME('%' + @SearchStr + '%','''')

    WHILE @TableName IS NOT NULL
        SET @ColumnName = ''
        SET @TableName = 
            WHERE         TABLE_TYPE = 'BASE TABLE'
                AND    QUOTENAME(TABLE_SCHEMA) + '.' + QUOTENAME(TABLE_NAME) > @TableName
                AND    OBJECTPROPERTY(
                            QUOTENAME(TABLE_SCHEMA) + '.' + QUOTENAME(TABLE_NAME)
                             ), 'IsMSShipped'
                               ) = 0

        WHILE (@TableName IS NOT NULL) AND (@ColumnName IS NOT NULL)
            SET @ColumnName =
                WHERE         TABLE_SCHEMA    = PARSENAME(@TableName, 2)
                    AND    TABLE_NAME    = PARSENAME(@TableName, 1)
                    AND    DATA_TYPE IN ('char', 'varchar', 'nchar', 'nvarchar', 'int', 'decimal')
                    AND    QUOTENAME(COLUMN_NAME) > @ColumnName
            IF @ColumnName IS NOT NULL
                INSERT INTO #Results
                    'SELECT ''' + @TableName + '.' + @ColumnName + ''', LEFT(' + @ColumnName + ', 3630) 
                    FROM ' + @TableName + ' (NOLOCK) ' +
                    ' WHERE ' + @ColumnName + ' LIKE ' + @SearchStr2

    SELECT ColumnName, ColumnValue FROM #Results
Author: Tim on

Liked this post? Got a suggestion? Leave a comment