By Rossini


2008-10-16 16:44:42 8 Comments

I have a stored procedure that returns 80 columns, and 300 rows. I want to write a select that gets 2 of those columns. Something like

SELECT col1, col2 FROM EXEC MyStoredProc 'param1', 'param2'

When I used the above syntax I get the error:

"Invalid Column Name".

I know the easiest solution would be to change the stored procedure, but I didn't write it, and I can't change it.

Is there any way to do what I want?

  • I could make a temp table to put the results in, but because there are 80 columns so I would need to make an 80 column temp table just to get 2 columns. I wanted to avoid tracking down all the columns that are returned.

  • I tried using WITH SprocResults AS .... as suggested by Mark, but I got 2 errors

    Incorrect syntax near the keyword 'EXEC'.
    Incorrect syntax near ')'.

  • I tried declaring a table variable and I got the following error

    Insert Error: Column name or number of supplied values does not match table definition

  • If I try
    SELECT * FROM EXEC MyStoredProc 'param1', 'param2'
    I get the error :

    Incorrect syntax near the keyword 'exec'.

17 comments

@Humayoun_Kabir 2019-06-12 07:02:10

I know executing from sp and insert into temp table or table variable would be an option but I don't think that's your requirement. As per your requirement this below query statement should work:

Declare @sql nvarchar(max)
Set @sql='SELECT   col1, col2 FROM OPENROWSET(''SQLNCLI'', ''Server=(local);uid=test;pwd=test'',
     ''EXEC MyStoredProc ''''param1'''', ''''param2'''''')'
 Exec(@sql)

if you have trusted connection then use this below query statement :

Declare @sql nvarchar(max)
Set @sql='SELECT   col1, col2 FROM OPENROWSET(''SQLNCLI'', ''Server=(local);Trusted_Connection=yes;'',
     ''EXEC MyStoredProc ''''param1'''', ''''param2'''''')'
 Exec(@sql)

if you are getting error to run the above statement then just run this statement below:

sp_configure 'Show Advanced Options', 1
GO
RECONFIGURE
GO
sp_configure 'Ad Hoc Distributed Queries', 1
GO
RECONFIGURE
GO

I hope this will help someone who will have faced this kind of similar problem. If someone would to try with temp table or table variable that should be like this below but in this scenario you should to know how many columns your sp is returning then you should create that much columns in temp table or table variable:

--for table variable 
Declare @t table(col1 col1Type, col2 col2Type)
insert into @t exec MyStoredProc 'param1', 'param2'
SELECT col1, col2 FROM @t

--for temp table
create table #t(col1 col1Type, col2 col2Type)
insert into #t exec MyStoredProc 'param1', 'param2'
SELECT col1, col2 FROM #t

@Emil 2019-01-09 18:29:57

For anyone who has SQL 2012 or later, I was able to accomplish this with stored procedures that aren't dynamic and have the same columns output each time.

The general idea is I build the dynamic query to create, insert into, select from, and drop the temp table, and execute this after it's all generated. I dynamically generate the temp table by first retrieving column names and types from the stored procedure.

Note: there are much better, more universal solutions that will work with fewer lines of code if you're willing/able to update the SP or change configuration and use OPENROWSET. Use the below if you have no other way.

DECLARE @spName VARCHAR(MAX) = 'MyStoredProc'
DECLARE @tempTableName VARCHAR(MAX) = '#tempTable'

-- might need to update this if your param value is a string and you need to escape quotes
DECLARE @insertCommand VARCHAR(MAX) = 'INSERT INTO ' + @tempTableName + ' EXEC MyStoredProc @param=value'

DECLARE @createTableCommand VARCHAR(MAX)

-- update this to select the columns you want
DECLARE @selectCommand VARCHAR(MAX) = 'SELECT col1, col2 FROM ' + @tempTableName

DECLARE @dropCommand VARCHAR(MAX) = 'DROP TABLE ' + @tempTableName

-- Generate command to create temp table
SELECT @createTableCommand = 'CREATE TABLE ' + @tempTableName + ' (' +
    STUFF
    (
        (
            SELECT ', ' + CONCAT('[', name, ']', ' ', system_type_name)
            FROM sys.dm_exec_describe_first_result_set_for_object
            (
              OBJECT_ID(@spName), 
              NULL
            )
            FOR XML PATH('')
        )
        ,1
        ,1
        ,''
    ) + ')'

EXEC( @createTableCommand + ' '+ @insertCommand + ' ' + @selectCommand + ' ' + @dropCommand)

@Gulzar Nazim 2008-10-16 16:48:54

Can you split up the query? Insert the stored proc results into a table variable or a temp table. Then, select the 2 columns from the table variable.

Declare @tablevar table(col1 col1Type,..
insert into @tablevar(col1,..) exec MyStoredProc 'param1', 'param2'

SELECT col1, col2 FROM @tablevar

@chuck taylor 2010-07-27 19:25:45

this won't work if MyStoredProc calls any other stored procs

@Ian Boyd 2010-11-10 15:09:43

It also doesn't work when you don't know the table definition

@d-_-b 2012-03-04 23:37:24

didn't know about that type. Are they implemented the same as temp tables? Or is it strictly in memory?

@d-_-b 2012-03-04 23:40:39

This was interesting: sqlnerd.blogspot.com/2005/09/…

@LawfulHacker 2014-07-02 14:20:01

This don't work on SQL Server 2000, Peter Nazarov answer do.

@Chagbert 2016-05-17 13:15:22

This works okay if the number of columns supplied in the temp table is the same as those in the output of the stored procedure. chagbert.

@sqluser 2016-02-24 06:02:21

As it's been mentioned in the question, it's hard to define the 80 column temp table before executing the stored procedure.

So the other way around this is to populate the table based on the stored procedure result set.

SELECT * INTO #temp FROM OPENROWSET('SQLNCLI', 'Server=localhost;Trusted_Connection=yes;'
                                   ,'EXEC MyStoredProc')

If you are getting any error, you need to enable ad hoc distributed queries by executing following query.

sp_configure 'Show Advanced Options', 1
GO
RECONFIGURE
GO
sp_configure 'Ad Hoc Distributed Queries', 1
GO
RECONFIGURE
GO

To execute sp_configure with both parameters to change a configuration option or to run the RECONFIGURE statement, you must be granted the ALTER SETTINGS server-level permission

Now you can select your specific columns from the generated table

SELECT col1, col2
FROM #temp

@LTMOD 2016-02-19 22:55:42

For SQL Server, I find that this works fine:

Create a temp table (or permanent table, doesn't really matter), and do a insert into statement against the stored procedure. The result set of the SP should match the columns in your table, otherwise you'll get an error.

Here's an example:

DECLARE @temp TABLE (firstname NVARCHAR(30), lastname nvarchar(50));

INSERT INTO @temp EXEC dbo.GetPersonName @param1,@param2;
-- assumption is that dbo.GetPersonName returns a table with firstname / lastname columns

SELECT * FROM @temp;

That's it!

@Hardik 2019-02-25 05:26:33

For this, need to create a copy of table definition. Is there any way to avoid it?

@newbie007 2010-06-24 15:03:49

It might be helpful to know why this is so difficult. A stored procedure may only return text (print 'text'), or may return multiple tables, or may return no tables at all.

So something like SELECT * FROM (exec sp_tables) Table1 will not work

@Ian Boyd 2010-11-10 15:11:39

SQL Server is free to raise an error if that happens. e.g. if i write a subquery that returns more than one value. Yes it can happen, but in reality it doesn't. And even if it did: it's not difficult to raise an error.

@dyatchenko 2015-01-31 03:21:45

If you are able to modify your stored procedure, you can easily put the required columns definitions as a parameter and use an auto-created temporary table:

CREATE PROCEDURE sp_GetDiffDataExample
      @columnsStatement NVARCHAR(MAX) -- required columns statement (e.g. "field1, field2")
AS
BEGIN
    DECLARE @query NVARCHAR(MAX)
    SET @query = N'SELECT ' + @columnsStatement + N' INTO ##TempTable FROM dbo.TestTable'
    EXEC sp_executeSql @query
    SELECT * FROM ##TempTable
    DROP TABLE ##TempTable
END

In this case you don't need to create a temp table manually - it is created automatically. Hope this helps.

@eKelvin 2017-07-25 10:17:21

Be careful using ##tables as they are shared between sessions

@eKelvin 2017-07-26 07:33:45

You can find a short description for differences between # and ## tables in stackoverflow.com/a/34081438/352820

@Navneet 2014-09-03 06:11:56

To achieve this, first you create a #test_table like below:

create table #test_table(
    col1 int,
    col2 int,
   .
   .
   .
    col80 int
)

Now execute procedure and put value in #test_table:

insert into #test_table
EXEC MyStoredProc 'param1', 'param2'

Now you fetch the value from #test_table:

select col1,col2....,col80 from #test_table

@Dave Kelly 2016-06-29 15:56:24

Is there advantage to creating a temp table instead of a table variable?

@Umar 2016-11-15 14:12:18

best solution i found on stackoverflow ! :)

@Keval Patel 2017-02-28 07:33:13

What if I need only one column from other Stored Procedure?

@Andrew 2013-09-16 20:23:09

I'd cut and paste the original SP and delete all columns except the 2 you want. Or. I'd bring the result set back, map it to a proper business object, then LINQ out the two columns.

@jriver27 2018-06-06 15:53:01

People Don't do this. This will violate the DRY Principle. When things change, not if, you will now need to track down and input your change in all locations.

@Martijn Tromp 2013-07-23 14:12:04

Easiest way to do if you only need to this once:

Export to excel in Import and Export wizard and then import this excel into a table.

@deutschZuid 2013-11-07 22:48:49

The whole point of creating a stored proc is reusability. Your answer totally contradicts that.

@Bishop 2014-03-31 20:31:53

To counter deutschZuid, in the original post, he doesn't mention whether or not he wants to reuse this or if he is just trying to look through the results of a stored proc. Martin is right, this is probably the easiest way if he only needs to do it once.

@ShawnFeatherly 2012-11-09 01:17:13

If you're doing this for manual validation of the data, you can do this with LINQPad.

Create a connection to the database in LinqPad then create C# statements similar to the following:

DataTable table = MyStoredProc (param1, param2).Tables[0];
(from row in table.AsEnumerable()
 select new
 {
  Col1 = row.Field<string>("col1"),
  Col2 = row.Field<string>("col2"),
 }).Dump();

Reference http://www.global-webnet.net/blogengine/post/2008/09/10/LINQPAD-Using-Stored-Procedures-Accessing-a-DataSet.aspx

@Samir Basic 2012-01-28 00:48:22

A quick hack would be to add a new parameter '@Column_Name' and have the calling function define the column name to be retrieved. In the return part of your sproc, you would have if/else statements and return only the specified column, or if empty - return all.

CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[MySproc]
        @Column_Name AS VARCHAR(50)
AS
BEGIN
    IF (@Column_Name = 'ColumnName1')
        BEGIN
            SELECT @ColumnItem1 as 'ColumnName1'
        END
    ELSE
        BEGIN
            SELECT @ColumnItem1 as 'ColumnName1', @ColumnItem2 as 'ColumnName2', @ColumnItem3 as 'ColumnName3'
        END
END

@Peter Nazarov 2010-10-18 22:38:46

CREATE TABLE #Result
(
  ID int,  Name varchar(500), Revenue money
)
INSERT #Result EXEC RevenueByAdvertiser '1/1/10', '2/1/10'
SELECT * FROM #Result ORDER BY Name
DROP TABLE #Result

Source:
http://stevesmithblog.com/blog/select-from-a-stored-procedure/

@LawfulHacker 2014-07-02 14:18:51

This works on SQL Server 2000, Gulzar Nazim answer don't.

@John Zabroski 2019-03-07 19:17:51

@LawfulHacker Holy smokes. What are you doing on SQL Server 2000 in the year 2014?

@LawfulHacker 2019-03-07 19:35:34

Big corporations with legacy systems :D

@Merenzo 2011-02-04 03:06:49

This works for me: (i.e. I only need 2 columns of the 30+ returned by sp_help_job)

SELECT name, current_execution_status 
FROM OPENQUERY (MYSERVER, 
  'EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_help_job @job_name = ''My Job'', @job_aspect = ''JOB''');  

Before this would work, I needed to run this:

sp_serveroption 'MYSERVER', 'DATA ACCESS', TRUE;

....to update the sys.servers table. (i.e. Using a self-reference within OPENQUERY seems to be disabled by default.)

For my simple requirement, I ran into none of the problems described in the OPENQUERY section of Lance's excellent link.

Rossini, if you need to dynamically set those input parameters, then use of OPENQUERY becomes a little more fiddly:

DECLARE @innerSql varchar(1000);
DECLARE @outerSql varchar(1000);

-- Set up the original stored proc definition.
SET @innerSql = 
'EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_help_job @job_name = '''[email protected]+''', @job_aspect = N'''[email protected]+'''' ;

-- Handle quotes.
SET @innerSql = REPLACE(@innerSql, '''', '''''');

-- Set up the OPENQUERY definition.
SET @outerSql = 
'SELECT name, current_execution_status 
FROM OPENQUERY (MYSERVER, ''' + @innerSql + ''');';

-- Execute.
EXEC (@outerSql);

I'm not sure of the differences (if any) between using sp_serveroption to update the existing sys.servers self-reference directly, vs. using sp_addlinkedserver (as described in Lance's link) to create a duplicate/alias.

Note 1: I prefer OPENQUERY over OPENROWSET, given that OPENQUERY does not require the connection-string definition within the proc.

Note 2: Having said all this: normally I would just use INSERT ... EXEC :) Yes, it's 10 mins extra typing, but if I can help it, I prefer not to jigger around with:
(a) quotes within quotes within quotes, and
(b) sys tables, and/or sneaky self-referencing Linked Server setups (i.e. for these, I need to plead my case to our all-powerful DBAs :)

However in this instance, I couldn't use a INSERT ... EXEC construct, as sp_help_job is already using one. ("An INSERT EXEC statement cannot be nested.")

@ErikE 2013-06-03 23:53:45

I've had 13 single quotes in a row before in dynamic-sql-that-generated-dynamic-sql-that-generated-dynami‌​c-sql...

@alexkovelsky 2018-09-10 16:00:59

I need to check if job is finished. "An INSERT EXEC statement cannot be nested". I hate you Microsoft.

@SelvirK 2010-01-05 12:48:12

try this

use mydatabase
create procedure sp_onetwothree as
select 1 as '1', 2 as '2', 3 as '3'
go
SELECT a.[1], a.[2]
FROM OPENROWSET('SQLOLEDB','myserver';'sa';'mysapass',
    'exec mydatabase.dbo.sp_onetwothree') AS a
GO

@Eric Ness 2010-12-09 15:06:13

Do you really want to code your password into a stored proc?

@Martin Milan 2017-07-07 09:04:34

Lol - he didn't. He coded it into the invocation of the stored procedure instead where it can be far more easily obtained without access to the database by network sniffing.

@Brannon 2008-10-16 18:09:25

(Assuming SQL Server)

The only way to work with the results of a stored procedure in T-SQL is to use the INSERT INTO ... EXEC syntax. That gives you the option of inserting into a temp table or a table variable and from there selecting the data you need.

@Triynko 2016-03-29 18:16:28

That requires knowing the table definition. Not useful.

@Lance McNearney 2008-10-16 17:37:27

Here's a link to a pretty good document explaining all the different ways to solve your problem (although a lot of them can't be used since you can't modify the existing stored procedure.)

How to Share Data Between Stored Procedures

Gulzar's answer will work (it is documented in the link above) but it's going to be a hassle to write (you'll need to specify all 80 column names in your @tablevar(col1,...) statement. And in the future if a column is added to the schema or the output is changed it will need to be updated in your code or it will error out.

@Corin 2012-07-31 20:52:22

I think the OPENQUERY suggestion in that link is much closer to what the OP is looking for.

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