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Text-based Query Designer User Interface


Use the text-based query designer to specify a query using the query language supported by the data source, run the query, and view the results at design time. You can specify multiple Transact-SQL statements, query or command syntax for custom data processing extensions, and queries that are specified as expressions. Because the text-based query designer does not preprocess the query and can accommodate any kind of query syntax, this is the default query designer tool for many data source types. 

The text-based query designer displays a toolbar and the following two panes:

  • Query   Shows the query text, table name, or stored procedure name.

  • Result   Shows the results of running the query at design time.

The text-based query designer provides a single toolbar for all the command types. The following table lists each button on the toolbar and its function.



Edit As Text

Toggle between the text-based query designer and the graphical query designer. Not all data source types support graphical query designers.


Import an existing query from a file or report. Only file types sql and rdl are supported. For more information, see Report Embedded Datasets and Shared Datasets (Report Builder and SSRS).

Run the query

Run the query and display the result set in the Result pane.

Command Type

Select Text, StoredProcedure, or TableDirect. If a stored procedure has parameters, the Define Query Parameters dialog box appears when you click Run on the toolbar, and you can fill in values as needed.


If a stored procedure returns more than one result set, only the first result set is used to populate the dataset.

Support for command type varies by data source type. For example, only OLE DB and ODBC support TableDirect.

When you create a SQL Server dataset, Report Designer displays the graphical query designer by default. To switch to the text-based query designer, click the Edit As Text toggle button on the toolbar. The text-based query designer presents two panes: the Query pane and the Result pane. The following figure labels each pane.

Generic query designer, for relational data query

The following table describes the function of each pane.




Displays the Transact-SQL query text. Use this pane to write or edit a Transact-SQL query.


Displays the results of the query. To run the query, right-click in any pane and click Run, or click the Run button on the toolbar.

The following query returns the list of last names from the AdventureWorks2012 database Contact table.

SELECT LastName FROM Person.Person;

You can use any Transact-SQL statement for Command type Text, including EXEC statements. The following query calls the AdventureWorks2012 stored procedure uspGetEmployeeManagers and returns the chain-of-command for the employee with identification number 1.

EXEC uspGetEmployeeManagers 1;

When you click Run on the toolbar, the command in the Query pane runs and the results are displayed in the Result pane.

When you select Command type StoredProcedure, the text-based query designer presents two panes: the Query pane and the Result pane. Enter the stored procedure name in the Query pane and click Run on the toolbar. The Define Query Parameters dialog box opens. Enter the parameter values for the stored procedure. A report parameter is created for every stored procedure parameter.

The following query calls the AdventureWorks2012 stored procedure uspGetEmployeeManagers. You must enter a value for the employee identification number parameter when you run the query.


When you select Command type TableDirect, the text-based query designer presents two panes: the Query pane and the Result pane. When you enter a table and click the Run button, all the columns for that table are returned.

The following query returns a result set for all customers in the AdventureWorks2012 database.


When you enter the table name Sales.Customer, it is the equivalent of creating the Transact-SQL statement SELECT * FROM Sales.Customer;.

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