SQL Summary

Question:
How do I print out all of the tables, the fields the tables contain, and the datatype of the fields in my accounting database (for report creation)? I am running Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 and have Crystal Reports 8 and Microsoft Access 2000.

Answer:
If you’re using SQL Server, you can do this by accessing the SQL Server system tables. The sysobjects table has all the objects and their IDs in a database. This table can be joined with syscolumns to return all the columns for each table. The syscolumns table can be joined with the systypes table to return the column datatypes.

Before using Access or Crystal Reports on the tables directly, you can try calling sp_columns and sp_tables to see if these system-stored procedures will return the data you need. A word of warning when working with the system tables: be sure to back them up and don’t change any data. Doing so could corrupt your database.

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