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Check if table exists in SQL Server

Vincent
1#
Vincent Published in 2008-10-03 16:00:33Z

I would like this to be the ultimate discussion on how to check if a table exists in SQL Server 2000/2005 using SQL Statement.

When you Google for the answer, you get so many different answers. Is there an official/backward and forward compatible way of doing it?

Here are two possible ways of doing it. Which one among the two is the standard/best way of doing it?

First way:

IF EXISTS (SELECT 1 
           FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
           WHERE TABLE_TYPE='BASE TABLE' 
           AND TABLE_NAME='mytablename') 
   SELECT 1 AS res ELSE SELECT 0 AS res;

Second way:

IF OBJECT_ID (N'mytablename', N'U') IS NOT NULL 
   SELECT 1 AS res ELSE SELECT 0 AS res;

MySQL provides the simple SHOW TABLES LIKE '%tablename%'; statement. I am looking for something similar.

SteveC
2#
SteveC Reply to 2012-05-03 10:26:39Z

For queries like this it is always best to use an INFORMATION_SCHEMA view. These views are (mostly) standard across many different databases and rarely change from version to version.

To check if a table exists use:

IF (EXISTS (SELECT * 
                 FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
                 WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = 'TheSchema' 
                 AND  TABLE_NAME = 'TheTable'))
BEGIN
    --Do Stuff
END
Vinko Vrsalovic
3#
Vinko Vrsalovic Reply to 2008-10-03 16:03:54Z

Using the Information Schema is the SQL Standard way to do it, so it should be used by all databases that support it.

shA.t
4#
shA.t Reply to 2015-06-15 12:44:15Z

We always use the OBJECT_ID style for as long as I remember

IF OBJECT_ID('*objectName*', 'U') IS NOT NULL 
Even Mien
5#
Even Mien Reply to 2009-10-21 14:58:15Z

If you need to work on different databases:

DECLARE @Catalog VARCHAR(255)
SET @Catalog = 'MyDatabase'

DECLARE @Schema VARCHAR(255)
SET @Schema = 'dbo'

DECLARE @Table VARCHAR(255)
SET @Table = 'MyTable'

IF (EXISTS (SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES   
    WHERE TABLE_CATALOG = @Catalog 
      AND TABLE_SCHEMA = @Schema 
      AND TABLE_NAME = @Table))
BEGIN
   --do stuff
END
James Bloomer
6#
James Bloomer Reply to 2010-01-28 14:50:03Z

Also note that if for any reason you need to check for a temporary table you can do this:

if OBJECT_ID('tempdb..#test') is not null
 --- temp table exists
dko
7#
dko Reply to 2011-01-21 15:37:37Z

I know it is an old question but I have found this possibility if you plan to call it often.

create procedure Table_Exists
@tbl varchar(50)
as
return (select count(*) from sysobjects where type = 'U' and name = @tbl)
go
Code Maverick
8#
Code Maverick Reply to 2014-02-04 17:35:56Z
IF EXISTS 
(
    SELECT   * 
    FROM     sys.objects 
    WHERE    object_id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[Mapping_APCToFANavigator]') 
             AND 
             type in (N'U')
)
BEGIN

    -- Do whatever you need to here.

END

Here in the above code, the table name is Mapping_APCToFANavigator.

Larry Leonard
9#
Larry Leonard Reply to 2012-03-15 17:19:42Z

Looking for a table on a different database:

if exists (select * from MyOtherDatabase.sys.tables where name = 'MyTable')
    print 'Exists'
sumon
10#
sumon Reply to 2013-04-10 18:32:06Z

consider in one database you have a table t1. you want to run script on other Database like - if t1 exist then do nothing else create t1. To do this open visual studio and do the following:

Right click on t1, then Script table as, then DROP and Create To, then New Query Editor

you will find your desired query. But before executing that script don't forget to comment out the drop statement in the query as you don't want to create new one if there is already one.

Thanks

Code Maverick
11#
Code Maverick Reply to 2014-02-04 17:32:27Z
IF EXISTS 
(
    SELECT  * 

    FROM    INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 

    WHERE   TABLE_SCHEMA = 'PutSchemaHere'     
            AND  
            TABLE_NAME   = 'PutTableNameHere'
)
shA.t
12#
shA.t Reply to 2015-06-15 12:44:52Z
IF OBJECT_ID('mytablename') IS NOT NULL 
Maslow
13#
Maslow Reply to 2014-02-07 18:48:06Z

If anyone is trying to do this same thing in linq to sql (or especially linqpad) turn on option to include system tables and views and do this code:

let oSchema = sys.Schemas.FirstOrDefault(s=>s.Name==a.schema )
where oSchema !=null
let o=oSchema!=null?sys.Objects.FirstOrDefault (o => o.Name==a.item && o.Schema_id==oSchema.Schema_id):null
where o!=null

given that you have an object with the name in a property called item, and the schema in a property called schema where the source variable name is a

MarceloMadnezz
14#
MarceloMadnezz Reply to 2014-02-10 18:54:51Z
select name from SysObjects where xType='U' and name like '%xxx%' order by name
Blauhirn
15#
Blauhirn Reply to 2014-07-23 13:55:00Z

Something important to know for anybody who hasn't found their solution yet: SQL server != MYSQL. If you want to do it with MYSQL, it is quite simple

    $sql = "SELECT 1 FROM `db_name`.`table_name` LIMIT 1;";
    $result = mysql_query($sql);
    if( $result == false )
        echo "table DOES NOT EXIST";
    else
        echo "table exists";

Posting this here because it's the top hit at Google.

Artjom B.
16#
Artjom B. Reply to 2014-08-18 22:32:56Z

If this is to be the 'ultimate' discussion, then it should be noted that Larry Leonard's script can query a remote server as well if the servers are linked.

if exists (select * from REMOTE_SERVER.MyOtherDatabase.sys.tables where name = 'MyTable')
    print 'Exists'
BTE
17#
BTE Reply to 2014-11-18 14:36:47Z
    IF OBJECT_ID (N'dbo.T', N'U') IS NOT NULL 
      BEGIN 
          print 'deleted table';
          drop table t 
      END
    else 
      begin 
          print 'table not found' 
      end

Create table t (id int identity(1,1) not null, name varchar(30) not null, lastname varchar(25) null)
insert into t( name, lastname) values('john','doe');
insert into t( name, lastname) values('rose',NULL);

Select * from t
1   john    doe
2   rose    NULL

-- clean
drop table t
BrainCoder
18#
BrainCoder Reply to 2014-12-22 12:01:58Z

Please see the below approaches,

Approach 1: Using INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES view

We can write a query like below to check if a Customers Table exists in the current database.

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES WHERE TABLE_NAME = N'Customers')
BEGIN
    PRINT 'Table Exists'
END

Approach 2: Using OBJECT_ID() function

We can use OBJECT_ID() function like below to check if a Customers Table exists in the current database.

IF OBJECT_ID(N'dbo.Customers', N'U') IS NOT NULL
BEGIN
    PRINT 'Table Exists'
END

Approach 3: Using sys.Objects Catalog View

We can use the Sys.Objects catalog view to check the existence of the Table as shown below:

IF EXISTS(SELECT 1 FROM sys.Objects WHERE  Object_id = OBJECT_ID(N'dbo.Customers') AND Type = N'U')
BEGIN
   PRINT 'Table Exists'
END

Approach 4: Using sys.Tables Catalog View

We can use the Sys.Tables catalog view to check the existence of the Table as shown below:

 IF EXISTS(SELECT 1 FROM sys.Tables WHERE  Name = N'Customers' AND Type = N'U')
 BEGIN
      PRINT 'Table Exists'
 END

Approach 5: Avoid Using sys.sysobjects System table

We should avoid using sys.sysobjects System Table directly, direct access to it will be deprecated in some future versions of the Sql Server. As per Microsoft BOL link, Microsoft is suggesting to use the catalog views sys.objects/sys.tables instead of sys.sysobjects system table directly.

  IF EXISTS(SELECT name FROM sys.sysobjects WHERE Name = N'Customers' AND xtype = N'U')
  BEGIN
     PRINT 'Table Exists'
  END

referred from: http://sqlhints.com/2014/04/13/how-to-check-if-a-table-exists-in-sql-server/

marcello miorelli
19#
marcello miorelli Reply to 2015-01-23 17:55:50Z

Just adding here, for the benefit of developers and fellow DBAs

a script that receives @Tablename as a parameter

(which may or may not contain the schemaname) and returns the info below if the schema.table exists:

the_name                object_id   the_schema  the_table       the_type
[Facts].[FactBackOrder] 758293761   Facts       FactBackOrder   Table

I produced this script to be used inside other scripts every time I need to test whether or not a table or view exists, and when it does, get its object_id to be used for other purposes.

It raises an error when either you passed an empty string, wrong schema name or wrong table name.

this could be inside a procedure and return -1 for example.

As an example, I have a table called "Facts.FactBackOrder" in one of my Data Warehouse databases.

This is how I achieved this:

PRINT 'THE SERVER IS ' + @@SERVERNAME
--select db_name()
PRINT 'THE DATABASE IS ' + db_NAME() 
PRINT ''
GO

SET NOCOUNT ON
GO

--===================================================================================
-- @TableName is the parameter
-- the object we want to deal with (it might be an indexed view or a table)
-- the schema might or might not be specified
-- when not specified it is DBO
--===================================================================================

DECLARE @TableName SYSNAME

SELECT @TableName = 'Facts.FactBackOrder'
--===================================================================================
--===================================================================================
DECLARE @Schema SYSNAME
DECLARE @I INT
DECLARE @Z INT 

SELECT @TableName = LTRIM(RTRIM(@TableName))
SELECT @Z = LEN(@TableName)

IF (@Z = 0) BEGIN

            RAISERROR('Invalid @Tablename passed.',16,1)

END 

SELECT @I = CHARINDEX('.',@TableName )
--SELECT @TableName ,@I

IF @I > 0 BEGIN

        --===================================================================================
        -- a schema and table name have been passed
        -- example Facts.FactBackOrder 
        -- @Schema = Fact
        -- @TableName = FactBackOrder
        --===================================================================================

   SELECT @Schema    = SUBSTRING(@TABLENAME,1,@I-1)
   SELECT @TableName = SUBSTRING(@TABLENAME,@I+1,@Z-@I)



END
ELSE BEGIN

        --===================================================================================
        -- just a table name have been passed
        -- so the schema will be dbo
        -- example Orders
        -- @Schema = dbo
        -- @TableName = Orders
        --===================================================================================

   SELECT @Schema    = 'DBO'     


END

        --===================================================================================
        -- Check whether the @SchemaName is valid in the current database
        --===================================================================================

IF NOT EXISTS ( SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.SCHEMATA K WHERE K.[SCHEMA_NAME] = @Schema ) BEGIN

            RAISERROR('Invalid Schema Name.',16,1)

END 

--SELECT @Schema  as [@Schema]
--      ,@TableName as [@TableName]


DECLARE @R1 TABLE (

   THE_NAME SYSNAME
  ,THE_SCHEMA SYSNAME
  ,THE_TABLE SYSNAME
  ,OBJECT_ID INT
  ,THE_TYPE SYSNAME
  ,PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED (THE_SCHEMA,THE_NAME)

)

;WITH RADHE_01 AS (
SELECT QUOTENAME(SCHEMA_NAME(O.schema_id)) + '.' + QUOTENAME(O.NAME) AS [the_name]
      ,the_schema=SCHEMA_NAME(O.schema_id)
      ,the_table=O.NAME
      ,object_id =o.object_id 
      ,[the_type]= CASE WHEN O.TYPE = 'U' THEN 'Table' ELSE 'View' END 
from sys.objects O
where O.is_ms_shipped = 0
AND O.TYPE IN ('U','V')
)
INSERT INTO @R1 (
   THE_NAME 
  ,THE_SCHEMA 
  ,THE_TABLE 
  ,OBJECT_ID
  ,THE_TYPE 
)
SELECT  the_name
       ,the_schema
       ,the_table
       ,object_id
       ,the_type
FROM RADHE_01
WHERE the_schema = @Schema 
  AND the_table  = @TableName

IF (@@ROWCOUNT = 0) BEGIN 

             RAISERROR('Invalid Table Name.',16,1)

END 
ELSE BEGIN

    SELECT     THE_NAME 
              ,THE_SCHEMA 
              ,THE_TABLE 
              ,OBJECT_ID
              ,THE_TYPE 

    FROM @R1

END 
dipi evil
20#
dipi evil Reply to 2015-04-16 13:42:06Z

In SQL Server 2000 you can try:

IF EXISTS(SELECT 1 FROM sysobjects WHERE type = 'U' and name = 'MYTABLENAME')
BEGIN
   SELECT 1 AS 'res' 
END
iliketocode
21#
iliketocode Reply to 2017-05-09 15:13:50Z

Just wanted to mention one situation where it would probably be a little easier to use the OBJECT_ID method. The INFORMATION_SCHEMA views are objects under each database-

The information schema views are defined in a special schema named INFORMATION_SCHEMA. This schema is contained in each database.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186778.aspx

Therefore all tables you access using

IF EXISTS (SELECT 1 
           FROM [database].INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
           WHERE TABLE_TYPE='BASE TABLE' 
           AND TABLE_NAME='mytablename') 
   SELECT 1 AS res ELSE SELECT 0 AS res;

will only reflect what is in [database]. If you wanted to check if tables in another database exist, without dynamically changing the [database] each time, OBJECT_ID will let you do this out of the box. Ex-

IF OBJECT_ID (N'db1.schema.table1', N'U') IS NOT NULL 
   SELECT 1 AS res ELSE SELECT 0 AS res;

works just as well as

IF OBJECT_ID (N'db2.schema.table1', N'U') IS NOT NULL 
   SELECT 1 AS res ELSE SELECT 0 AS res;

SQL SERVER 2016 Edit:

Starting with 2016, Microsoft simplified the ability to check for non-existent objects prior to dropping, by adding the if exists keywords to drop statements. For example,

drop table if exists mytablename

will do the same thing as OBJECT_ID / INFORMATION_SCHEMA wrappers, in 1 line of code.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlserverstorageengine/2015/11/03/drop-if-exists-new-thing-in-sql-server-2016/

Mathieu Dierckx
22#
Mathieu Dierckx Reply to 2017-09-06 09:39:37Z

-- -- create procedure to check if a table exists


DELIMITER $$

DROP PROCEDURE IF EXISTS `checkIfTableExists`;

CREATE PROCEDURE checkIfTableExists(
    IN databaseName CHAR(255),
    IN tableName CHAR(255),
    OUT boolExistsOrNot CHAR(40)
)

  BEGIN
      SELECT count(*) INTO boolExistsOrNot FROM information_schema.TABLES
      WHERE (TABLE_SCHEMA = databaseName)
      AND (TABLE_NAME = tableName);
  END $$

DELIMITER ;

-- -- how to use : check if table migrations exists


 CALL checkIfTableExists('muDbName', 'migrations', @output);
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