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Find all Stored Procedures having a given text in it

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5 Jun 2013CPOL
How to find all the Stored Procedures having a given text in it.

Recently, I was needed to search for all the Stored Procedures having a given text in its definition. So, as usual I did the Googling, and most of the top results returned were suggesting to use the INFORMATION_SCHEMA.ROUTINES view like below, which is not going to return the correct result in all scenarios:


As usual, I tried to understand the query and thought of checking its correctness. And to my surprise, when I checked this view’s definition using: sp_helptext 'INFORMATION_SCHEMA.ROUTINES', the ROUTINE_DEFINITION column was returning only the first 4000 characters of the Stored Procedure definition, i.e., in the view, the ROUTINE_DEFINITION column is defined as:

convert(nvarchar(4000),object_definition(o.object_id))AS ROUTINE_DEFINITION

So with this, it is clear that it will not return all the Stored Procedures which have the first occurrence of the search sting in its definition after 4000 characters.

To get the correct results, we can use the sys.procedures view as below, as the return type of the function OBJECT_DEFINITION(object_id) which returns the Stored Procedure definition of type nvarchar(max):

FROM sys.procedures
WHERE OBJECT_DEFINITION(object_id) LIKE '%SearchString%'

There are multiple alternative ways with which we can correctly find all the Stored Procedures having a given text. And sys.procedures explained in this article is one such solution.

Please correct me if my understanding is wrong. Comments are always welcome. Visit my blog: for many more such articles on SQL Server.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Basavaraj P Biradar
Technical Lead
India India

Comments and Discussions

QuestionGetting Specific text in the Store procedure Pin
Member 1462361315-Oct-19 4:33
MemberMember 1462361315-Oct-19 4:33 
AnswerTy! Pin
Stefan Karlsson4-Sep-13 4:59
MemberStefan Karlsson4-Sep-13 4:59 

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Posted 9 Oct 2011

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