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OBJECT_DEFINITION (Transact-SQL)

Returns the Transact-SQL source text of the definition of a specified object.

Applies to: SQL Server (SQL Server 2008 through current version), Azure SQL Database.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

OBJECT_DEFINITION ( object_id )

object_id

Is the ID of the object to be used. object_id is int, and assumed to represent an object in the current database context.

nvarchar(max)

Returns NULL on error or if a caller does not have permission to view the object.

A user can only view the metadata of securables that the user owns or on which the user has been granted permission. This means that metadata-emitting, built-in functions such as OBJECT_DEFINITION may return NULL if the user does not have any permission on the object. For more information, see Metadata Visibility Configuration.

The SQL Server Database Engine assumes that object_id is in the current database context. The collation of the object definition always matches that of the calling database context.

OBJECT_DEFINITION applies to the following object types:

  • C = Check constraint

  • D = Default (constraint or stand-alone)

  • P = SQL stored procedure

  • FN = SQL scalar function

  • R = Rule

  • RF = Replication filter procedure

  • TR = SQL trigger (schema-scoped DML trigger, or DDL trigger at either the database or server scope)

  • IF = SQL inline table-valued function

  • TF = SQL table-valued function

  • V = View

System object definitions are publicly visible. The definition of user objects is visible to the object owner or grantees that have any one of the following permissions: ALTER, CONTROL, TAKE OWNERSHIP, or VIEW DEFINITION. These permissions are implicitly held by members of the db_owner, db_ddladmin, and db_securityadmin fixed database roles.

A. Returning the source text of a user-defined object

The following example returns the definition of a user-defined trigger, uAddress, in the Person schema. The built-in function OBJECT_ID is used to return the object ID of the trigger to the OBJECT_DEFINITION statement.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT OBJECT_DEFINITION (OBJECT_ID(N'Person.uAddress')) AS [Trigger Definition]; 
GO

B. Returning the source text of a system object

The following example returns the definition of the system stored procedure sys.sp_columns.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT OBJECT_DEFINITION (OBJECT_ID(N'sys.sp_columns')) AS [Object Definition];
GO
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