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Select columns from result set of stored procedure

Rossini Published in 2008-10-16 16:44:42Z

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'.

Matthew Reply to 2018-02-16 08:00:27Z

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
Lance McNearney
Lance McNearney Reply to 2008-10-16 17:37:27Z

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.

Brannon Reply to 2008-10-16 18:09:25Z

(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.

SelvirK Reply to 2010-01-05 12:48:12Z

try this

use mydatabase
create procedure sp_onetwothree as
select 1 as '1', 2 as '2', 3 as '3'
SELECT a.[1], a.[2]
FROM OPENROWSET('SQLOLEDB','myserver';'sa';'mysapass',
    'exec mydatabase.dbo.sp_onetwothree') AS a
bluish Reply to 2015-11-26 08:03:30Z

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

takrl Reply to 2011-06-28 12:49:33Z
  ID int,  Name varchar(500), Revenue money
INSERT #Result EXEC RevenueByAdvertiser '1/1/10', '2/1/10'


Merenzo Reply to 2011-02-04 03:06:49Z

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

SELECT name, current_execution_status 
  '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 = '''+@param1+''', @job_aspect = N'''+@param2+'''' ;

-- 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.")

Taryn Reply to 2012-10-26 21:07:57Z

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.

        @Column_Name AS VARCHAR(50)
    IF (@Column_Name = 'ColumnName1')
            SELECT @ColumnItem1 as 'ColumnName1'
            SELECT @ColumnItem1 as 'ColumnName1', @ColumnItem2 as 'ColumnName2', @ColumnItem3 as 'ColumnName3'
ShawnFeatherly Reply to 2012-11-09 01:17:13Z

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"),

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

Martijn Tromp
Martijn Tromp Reply to 2013-07-23 14:12:04Z

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.

Andrew Reply to 2013-09-16 20:23:09Z

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.

JasonMArcher Reply to 2014-09-28 23:03:59Z

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
dyatchenko Reply to 2015-08-17 09:27:49Z

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")
    SET @query = N'SELECT ' + @columnsStatement + N' INTO ##TempTable FROM dbo.TestTable'
    EXEC sp_executeSql @query
    SELECT * FROM ##TempTable
    DROP TABLE ##TempTable

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

LTMOD Reply to 2016-02-19 22:55:42Z

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!

sqluser Reply to 2016-02-24 06:08:46Z

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
sp_configure 'Ad Hoc Distributed Queries', 1

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
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