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Use Table-Valued Parameters (Database Engine)

Table-valued parameters are declared by using user-defined table types. You can use table-valued parameters to send multiple rows of data to a Transact-SQL statement or a routine, such as a stored procedure or function, without creating a temporary table or many parameters.

Table-valued parameters are like parameter arrays in OLE DB and ODBC, but offer more flexibility and closer integration with Transact-SQL. Table-valued parameters also have the benefit of being able to participate in set-based operations. 

Transact-SQL passes table-valued parameters to routines by reference to avoid making a copy of the input data. You can create and execute Transact-SQL routines with table-valued parameters, and call them from Transact-SQL code, managed and native clients in any managed language.

In This Topic:

Benefits

Restrictions

Table-Valued Parameters vs. BULK INSERT Operations

Example

A table-valued parameter is scoped to the stored procedure, function, or dynamic Transact-SQL text, exactly like other parameters. Similarly, a variable of table type has scope like any other local variable that is created by using a DECLARE statement. You can declare table-valued variables within dynamic Transact-SQL statements and pass these variables as table-valued parameters to stored procedures and functions.

Table-valued parameters offer more flexibility and in some cases better performance than temporary tables or other ways to pass a list of parameters. Table-valued parameters offer the following benefits:

  • Do not acquire locks for the initial population of data from a client.

  • Provide a simple programming model.

  • Enable you to include complex business logic in a single routine.

  • Reduce round trips to the server.

  • Can have a table structure of different cardinality.

  • Are strongly typed.

  • Enable the client to specify sort order and unique keys.

  • Are cached like a temp table when used in a stored procedure. Starting with SQL Server 2012, table-valued parameters are also cached for parameterized queries.

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Table-valued parameters have the following restrictions:

  • SQL Server does not maintain statistics on columns of table-valued parameters.

  • Table-valued parameters must be passed as input READONLY parameters to Transact-SQL routines. You cannot perform DML operations such as UPDATE, DELETE, or INSERT on a table-valued parameter in the body of a routine.

  • You cannot use a table-valued parameter as target of a SELECT INTO or INSERT EXEC statement. A table-valued parameter can be in the FROM clause of SELECT INTO or in the INSERT EXEC string or stored procedure.

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Using table-valued parameters is comparable to other ways of using set-based variables; however, using table-valued parameters frequently can be faster for large data sets. Compared to bulk operations that have a greater startup cost than table-valued parameters, table-valued parameters perform well for inserting less than 1000 rows.

Table-valued parameters that are reused benefit from temporary table caching. This table caching enables better scalability than equivalent BULK INSERT operations. By using small row-insert operations a small performance benefit might be gained by using parameter lists or batched statements instead of BULK INSERT operations or table-valued parameters. However, these methods are less convenient to program, and performance decreases quickly as rows increase.

Table-valued parameters perform equally well or better than an equivalent parameter array implementation.

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The following example uses Transact-SQL and shows you how to create a table-valued parameter type, declare a variable to reference it, fill the parameter list, and then pass the values to a stored procedure.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO

/* Create a table type. */
CREATE TYPE LocationTableType AS TABLE 
( LocationName VARCHAR(50)
, CostRate INT );
GO

/* Create a procedure to receive data for the table-valued parameter. */
CREATE PROCEDURE dbo. usp_InsertProductionLocation
    @TVP LocationTableType READONLY
    AS 
    SET NOCOUNT ON
    INSERT INTO AdventureWorks2012.Production.Location
           (Name
           ,CostRate
           ,Availability
           ,ModifiedDate)
        SELECT *, 0, GETDATE()
        FROM  @TVP;
        GO

/* Declare a variable that references the type. */
DECLARE @LocationTVP AS LocationTableType;

/* Add data to the table variable. */
INSERT INTO @LocationTVP (LocationName, CostRate)
    SELECT Name, 0.00
    FROM AdventureWorks2012.Person.StateProvince;

/* Pass the table variable data to a stored procedure. */
EXEC usp_InsertProductionLocation @LocationTVP;
GO

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