Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SQLCMD -- Part VIII (:r and about concatenating string with spaces)


:r -- parses additional T-SQL statements and sqlcmd commands from the file specified by into the statement cache.

In this article we would see the usage of :r as well as handling spaces in SQLCMD.

In SQL Mgmt Studio:

Step 1: 01VariableInitialization.sql

:setvar filepath "C:\Vadivel\SQL Related\Scripts\sqlcmd"
:r $(filePath)\02TableCreation.sql

Step 2: 02TableCreation.sql

Create table tblTest
Sno int identity,
FName varchar(20)

:r $(filePath)\03InsertScripts.sql

Step 3: 03InsertScripts.sql

Insert into tblTest (Fname) values ('alpha')

Explanation of each file:

01VariableInitialization.sql -- In this file we create a scripting variable 'filePath' which will hold the path of the .sql files which we use for this demo. Then it executes 02TableCreation.sql.

02TableCreation.sql -- In this, we create tables of our choice. Also we make use of the scripting variable created in the previous file here to call another .sql file to insert records into this table.

It's advisable to check whether that table exists before creating it.

03InsertScripts.sql -- Insert records into our dummy table.

In Command Prompt:

Now open command prompt (start >> Run >> cmd) and connect to a DB server to execute the first .sql file alone.

Step 4: SQLCMD -i "C:\Vadivel\SQL Related\Scripts\sqlcmd\01VariableInitialization.sql"

Till now everything would have worked properly.

Step 5: If at all you have your 01VariableInitialization.sql as shown below:

:setvar filepath "C:\Vadivel"
:r $(filePath)\SQL Related\Scripts\sqlcmd\02TableCreation.sql

If you try this it would fail. Why? Because there is a space within the string which we have concatenated with our scripting variable. So if we have space then we need to enclose the string within quotes.

Is this the way to add quotes?
:r $"(filePath)\SQL Related\Scripts\sqlcmd\02TableCreation.sql"

No this would throw an syntax error!!

The correct way to add quotes is shown below:

:r $(filePath)"\SQL Related\Scripts\sqlcmd\02TableCreation.sql"

So the lesson learned is add quotes only for the string which is being concatenated with a scripting variable (that too if it has spaces in it).

Hope this helps!


Anonymous said...

Thanks - I thought there must be way to do it!

Anonymous said...


I was wondering if you knew if it was possible to assign a variable from another. ie.

:setvar a 1
:setvar b 2

I would like to define a third variable c equal to (1,2)

I tried

:setvar c ($(a),$(b)) but it doesn't work?

select '$(c)' returns ($(a),$(b)) not (1,2) this even possible?