Scott Stafford Scott Stafford - 6 months ago 9
SQL Question

Add a column if it doesn't exist to all tables?

I'm using SQL Server 2005/2008. I need to add a column to a table if it does not yet exist. This will apply to all tables in a given database. I hoped I was close, but I'm having issues with this solution.

How can this be done?

Here's what I have:

EXEC sp_MSforeachtable '
declare @tblname varchar(255);
SET @tblname = PARSENAME("?",1);

if not exists (select column_name from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.columns
where table_name = @tblname and column_name = ''CreatedOn'')
begin
ALTER TABLE @tblname ADD CreatedOn datetime NOT NULL DEFAULT getdate();
end
'


But I get errors:


Error 102: Incorrect syntax near '@tblname'.
Incorrect syntax near 'CreatedOn'.
Incorrect syntax near '@tblname'.
Incorrect syntax near 'CreatedOn'.
... and so on, for each table.

Answer

You cannot use variables, like @tableName, in DDL. Besides, splinting the name into part and ignoring the schema can only result in bugs. You should just use the ''?'' replacement in the SQL batch parameter and rely on the MSforeachtable replacement:

EXEC sp_MSforeachtable '
if not exists (select * from sys.columns 
               where object_id = object_id(''?'')
               and name = ''CreatedOn'') 
begin
    ALTER TABLE ? ADD CreatedOn datetime NOT NULL DEFAULT getdate();
end';
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