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DDL Triggers


Applies To: SQL Server 2016

DDL triggers fire in response to a variety of Data Definition Language (DDL) events. These events primarily correspond to Transact-SQL statements that start with the keywords CREATE, ALTER, DROP, GRANT, DENY, REVOKE or UPDATE STATISTICS. Certain system stored procedures that perform DDL-like operations can also fire DDL triggers.

Use DDL triggers when you want to do the following:

  • Prevent certain changes to your database schema.

  • Have something occur in the database in response to a change in your database schema.

  • Record changes or events in the database schema.

System_CAPS_ICON_important.jpg Important

Test your DDL triggers to determine their responses to system stored procedures that are run. For example, the CREATE TYPE statement and the sp_addtype stored procedure will both fire a DDL trigger that is created on a CREATE_TYPE event.

Transact-SQL DDL Trigger
A special type of Transact-SQL stored procedure that executes one more more Transact-SQL statements in response to a server-scoped or database-scoped event. For example, a DDL Trigger may fire if a statement such as ALTER SERVER CONFIGURATION is executed or if a table is deleted by using DROP TABLE.

CLR DDL Trigger
Instead of executing a Transact-SQL stored procedure, a CLR trigger executes one or more methods written in managed code that are members of an assembly created in the .NET Framework and uploaded in SQL Server.

DDL triggers fire only after the DDL statements that trigger them are run. DDL triggers cannot be used as INSTEAD OF triggers. DDL triggers do not fire in response to events that affect local or global temporary tables and stored procedures.

DDL triggers do not create the special inserted and deleted tables.

The information about an event that fires a DDL trigger, and the subsequent changes caused by the trigger, is captured by using the EVENTDATA function.

Multiple triggers to be created for each DDL event.

Unlike DML triggers, DDL triggers are not scoped to schemas. Therefore, functions such as OBJECT_ID, OBJECT_NAME, OBJECTPROPERTY, and OBJECTPROPERTYEX cannot be used for querying metadata about DDL triggers. Use the catalog views instead.

Server-scoped DDL triggers appear in the SQL Server Management Studio Object Explorer in the Triggers folder. This folder is located under the Server Objects folder. Database-scoped DDL triggers appear in the Database Triggers folder. This folder is located under the Programmability folder of the corresponding database.

System_CAPS_ICON_important.jpg Important

Malicious code inside triggers can run under escalated privileges. For more information about how to help reduce this threat, see Manage Trigger Security.

DDL triggers can fire in response to a Transact-SQL event processed in the current database, or on the current server. The scope of the trigger depends on the event. For example, a DDL trigger created to fire in response to a CREATE_TABLE event can do so whenever a CREATE_TABLE event occurs in the database, or on the server instance. A DDL trigger created to fire in response to a CREATE_LOGIN event can do so only when a CREATE_LOGIN event occurs in the server instance.

In the following example, DDL trigger safety will fire whenever a DROP_TABLE or ALTER_TABLE event occurs in the database.

   PRINT 'You must disable Trigger "safety" to drop or alter tables!'   

In the following example, a DDL trigger prints a message if any CREATE_DATABASE event occurs on the current server instance. The example uses the EVENTDATA function to retrieve the text of the corresponding Transact-SQL statement. For more information about how to use EVENTDATA with DDL triggers, see Use the EVENTDATA Function.

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM sys.server_triggers  
    WHERE name = 'ddl_trig_database')  
DROP TRIGGER ddl_trig_database  
CREATE TRIGGER ddl_trig_database   
    PRINT 'Database Created.'  
    SELECT EVENTDATA().value('(/EVENT_INSTANCE/TSQLCommand/CommandText)[1]','nvarchar(max)')  
DROP TRIGGER ddl_trig_database  

The lists that map the Transact-SQL statements to the scopes that can be specified for them are available through the links provided in the section "Selecting a Particular DDL Statement to Fire a DDL Trigger," later in this topic.

Database-scoped DDL triggers are stored as objects in the database in which they are created. DDL triggers can be created in the master database and behave just like those created in user-designed databases. You can obtain information about DDL triggers by querying the sys.triggers catalog view. You can query sys.triggers within the database context in which the triggers are created or by specifying the database name as an identifier, such as master.sys.triggers.

Server-scoped DDL triggers are stored as objects in the master database. However, you can obtain information about server-scoped DDL triggers by querying the sys.server_triggers catalog view in any database context.

Selecting a Particular DDL Statement to Fire a DDL Trigger

DDL triggers can be designed to fire after one or more particular Transact-SQL statements are run. In the previous example, trigger safety fires after any DROP_TABLE or ALTER_TABLE event. For lists of the Transact-SQL statements that can be specified to fire a DDL trigger, and the scope at which the trigger can fire, see DDL Events.

Selecting a Predefined Group of DDL Statements to Fire a DDL Trigger

A DDL trigger can fire after execution of any Transact-SQL event that belongs to a predefined grouping of similar events. For example, if you want a DDL trigger to fire after any CREATE TABLE, ALTER TABLE, or DROP TABLE statement is run, you can specify FOR DDL_TABLE_EVENTS in the CREATE TRIGGER statement. After CREATE TRIGGER is run, the events that are covered by an event group are added to the sys.trigger_events catalog view.

In SQL Server 2005, if a trigger is created on an event group, sys.trigger_events does not include information about the event group, sys.trigger_events includes information only about the individual events covered by that group. In SQL Server 2008 and higher, sys.trigger_events persists metadata about the event group on which the triggers is created, and also about the individual events that the event group covers. Therefore, changes to the events that are covered by event groups in SQL Server 2008 and higher do not apply to DDL triggers that are created on those event groups in SQL Server 2005.

For a list of the predefined groups of DDL statements that are available for DDL triggers, the particular statements the event groups cover, and the scopes at which these event groups can be programmed, see DDL Event Groups.

Describes how to create, modify, delete or disable DDL triggers.Implement DDL Triggers
Describes how to create a CLR DDL trigger.Create CLR Triggers
Describes how to return information about DDL triggers.Get Information About DDL Triggers
Describes how to return information about an event that fires a DDL trigger by using the EVENTDATA function.Use the EVENTDATA Function
Describes how to manage trigger security.Manage Trigger Security

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