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View the Definition of a Stored Procedure

You can view the definition of a stored procedure in SQL Server Management Studio using Object Explorer menu options or in the Query Editor using Transact-SQL. This topic describes how to view the definition of procedure in Object Explorer and by using a system stored procedure, system function, and object catalog view in the Query Editor.

Security

Permissions

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System Stored Procedure: sp_helptext

Requires membership in the public role. 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.

System Function: OBJECT_DEFINITION

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.

Object Catalog View: sys.sql_modules

The visibility of the metadata in catalog views is limited to securables that a user either owns or on which the user has been granted some permission. For more information, see Metadata Visibility Configuration.

You can use one of the following:

Using SQL Server Management Studio

To view the definition a procedure in Object Explorer

  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of Database Engine and then expand that instance.

  2. Expand Databases, expand the database in which the procedure belongs, and then expand Programmability.

  3. Expand Stored Procedures, right-click the procedure and then click Script Stored Procedure as, and then click one of the following: Create To, Alter To, or Drop and Create To.

  4. Select New Query Editor Window. This will display the procedure definition.

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Using Transact-SQL

To view the definition of a procedure in Query Editor

System Stored Procedure: sp_helptext
  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the Database Engine.

  2. On the toolbar, click New Query.

  3. In the query window, enter the following statement that uses the sp_helptext system stored procedure. Change the database name and stored procedure name to reference the database and stored procedure that you want.

    USE AdventureWorks2012;
    GO
    EXEC sp_helptext N'AdventureWorks2012.dbo.uspLogError';
    
System Function: OBJECT_DEFINITION
  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the Database Engine.

  2. On the toolbar, click New Query.

  3. In the query window, enter the following statements that use the OBJECT_DEFINITION system function. Change the database name and stored procedure name to reference the database and stored procedure that you want.

    USE AdventureWorks2012;
    GO
    SELECT OBJECT_DEFINITION (OBJECT_ID(N'AdventureWorks2012.dbo.uspLogError'));
    
Object Catalog View: sys.sql_modules
  1. In Object Explorer, connect to an instance of the Database Engine.

  2. On the toolbar, click New Query.

  3. In the query window, enter the following statements that use the sys.sql_modules catalog view. Change the database name and stored procedure name to reference the database and stored procedure that you want.

    USE AdventureWorks2012;
    GO
    SELECT definition
    FROM sys.sql_modules
    WHERE object_id = (OBJECT_ID(N'AdventureWorks2012.dbo.uspLogError'));
    

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