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Converting nvarchar columns datatype to varchar datatype thru scripting

thumper631
thumper631 asked
on
Medium Priority
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hello.

I was given a client SQL database that had be converted from Access to SQL 2000.  My problems is that the data was pull in as NVarchar instead of Varchar.  In another example here in EE https://www.experts-exchange.com/Databases/Microsoft_SQL_Server/Q_20869435.html?query=converting+nvarchar+to+varchar&searchType=topic the script seem to work if I follow the converstation however I am expected to set the width to 500 char.  I was wondering if there was a way for the script to automaticly set the width.  Here is an example of the orginal converting script


DECLARE curFixColsGetTables CURSOR
FOR SELECT TABLE_NAME
FROM information_schema.tables
WHERE table_Type = 'Base Table'
AND table_name <> 'dtproperties'

OPEN curFixColsGetTables
FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables into @TableName

WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
BEGIN
 
  DECLARE curFixColsGetCols CURSOR
  FOR SELECT COLUMN_NAME
  FROM information_schema.columns
  WHERE table_name = @TableName AND DATA_TYPE = 'nvarchar'

  OPEN curFixColsGetCols
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols INTO @ColumnName
 
  WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
  BEGIN
    SELECT @strSQL = 'ALTER TABLE ' + @TableName
           + ' ALTER COLUMN ' + @ColumnName
           + ' varchar(500)'
    PRINT @strSQL
    EXEC  SP_EXECUTESQL @strSQL

    FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols
    INTO @ColumnName
  END
  CLOSE curFixColsGetCols
  DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetCols
 
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables
  INTO @TableName
  END
CLOSE curFixColsGetTables
DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetTables

So if the NVarchar width is NVarchar(60) then I think that I would like for this to be Varchar(60)

Thanks

James
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Scott PletcherSenior DBA
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Commented:
Try this:

DECLARE @ColumnLength SMALLINT

DECLARE curFixColsGetTables CURSOR
FOR SELECT TABLE_NAME, CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH
FROM information_schema.tables
WHERE table_Type = 'Base Table'
AND table_name <> 'dtproperties'

OPEN curFixColsGetTables
FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables into @TableName, @ColumnLength

WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
BEGIN
 
  DECLARE curFixColsGetCols CURSOR
  FOR SELECT COLUMN_NAME
  FROM information_schema.columns
  WHERE table_name = @TableName AND DATA_TYPE = 'nvarchar'

  OPEN curFixColsGetCols
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols INTO @ColumnName
 
  WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
  BEGIN
    SELECT @strSQL = 'ALTER TABLE ' + @TableName
           + ' ALTER COLUMN ' + @ColumnName
           + ' varchar(' + CAST(@ColumnLength AS VARCHAR(5)) + ')'
    PRINT @strSQL
    --EXEC  SP_EXECUTESQL @strSQL

    FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols
    INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength
  END
  CLOSE curFixColsGetCols
  DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetCols
 
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables
  INTO @TableName
  END
CLOSE curFixColsGetTables
DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetTables
Scott PletcherSenior DBA
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Most Valuable Expert 2018
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
CORRECTION:

The first FETCH should be:

FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength

[rather than:  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols INTO @ColumnName]

Author

Commented:
Scott.

I received the following 3 errors when running the script

Server: Msg 137, Level 15, State 1, Line 10
Must declare the variable '@TableName'.

Server: Msg 137, Level 15, State 1, Line 22
Must declare the variable '@ColumnName'.

Server: Msg 137, Level 15, State 1, Line 29
Must declare the variable '@strSQL'.

Thx

James
Scott PletcherSenior DBA
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Commented:
I don't what the declarations should most accurately be, since those variables were in your original code, I didn't add them.  They should use whatever declarations they were using before.

I did one new variable, so I added a DECLARE for it.
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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
you don't really need all the cursors etc...

just run this...

SELECT 'ALTER TABLE [' + TABLE_NAME + '] ALTER COLUMN [' + column_name + '] varchar('
 + convert(char(10),CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH )
FROM information_schema.tables as t
inner Join
 (select * from information_schema.columns
    Where DATA_TYPE = 'NVARCHAR') as c
 on t.table_name=c.table_name
and t.table_schema=c.table_schema
and t.table_catalog=c.table_catalog
WHERE t.table_Type = 'Base Table'
AND t.table_name <> 'dtproperties'
order by 1

and then execute the output.

Author

Commented:
Ok, my orginial sql script copy was incomplete.  The code with the addition that Scott made is now the following.......

set nocount on
declare @ColumnName varchar(255)
declare @TableName  varchar(255)
declare @strSQL nvarchar(255)
DECLARE @ColumnLength SMALLINT

DECLARE curFixColsGetTables CURSOR
FOR SELECT TABLE_NAME, CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH
FROM information_schema.tables
WHERE table_Type = 'Base Table'
AND table_name <> 'dtproperties'

OPEN curFixColsGetTables
FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables into @TableName, @ColumnLength

WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
BEGIN
 
  DECLARE curFixColsGetCols CURSOR
  FOR SELECT COLUMN_NAME
  FROM information_schema.columns
  WHERE table_name = @TableName AND DATA_TYPE = 'nvarchar'

  OPEN curFixColsGetCols
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength
 
  WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
  BEGIN
    SELECT @strSQL = 'ALTER TABLE ' + @TableName
           + ' ALTER COLUMN ' + @ColumnName
           + ' varchar(' + CAST(@ColumnLength AS VARCHAR(5)) + ')'
    PRINT @strSQL
    --EXEC  SP_EXECUTESQL @strSQL

    FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols
    INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength
  END
  CLOSE curFixColsGetCols
  DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetCols
 
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables
  INTO @TableName
  END
CLOSE curFixColsGetTables
DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetTables

The error that I now receiving is

Server: Msg 207, Level 16, State 3, Line 9
Invalid column name 'CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH'.

The problem with the suggest that Lowfatspread has suggest is that I have to do this for 30+ tables.

Please keep the suggestion coming as I am learning more and more on SQL each day.....

James


Scott PletcherSenior DBA
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Most Valuable Expert 2018
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
D'OH, SORRY, I added the column to the wrong query.  Below is corrected code (minus the variable DECLAREs):


DECLARE curFixColsGetTables CURSOR
FOR SELECT TABLE_NAME
FROM information_schema.tables
WHERE table_Type = 'Base Table'
AND table_name <> 'dtproperties'

OPEN curFixColsGetTables
FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables into @TableName

WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
BEGIN
 
  DECLARE curFixColsGetCols CURSOR
  FOR SELECT COLUMN_NAME, CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH
  FROM information_schema.columns
  WHERE table_name = @TableName AND DATA_TYPE = 'nvarchar'

  OPEN curFixColsGetCols
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength
 
  WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
  BEGIN
    SELECT @strSQL = 'ALTER TABLE ' + @TableName
           + ' ALTER COLUMN ' + @ColumnName
           + ' varchar(' + CAST(@ColumnLength AS VARCHAR(5)) + ')'
    PRINT @strSQL
    --EXEC  SP_EXECUTESQL @strSQL

    FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols
    INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength
  END
  CLOSE curFixColsGetCols
  DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetCols
 
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables
  INTO @TableName
  END
CLOSE curFixColsGetTables
DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetTables
Scott PletcherSenior DBA
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Distinguished Expert 2019
Commented:
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Author

Commented:
Here is the finally solution that I used for anyone else who may need to use this

--  Changes all NVarChar --> VarChar in your database
--  thx to Scott Pletcher of Expert Exchange to helping me to complete this

set nocount on
declare @ColumnName varchar(255)
declare @TableName  varchar(255)
declare @strSQL nvarchar(255)
DECLARE @ColumnLength SMALLINT

DECLARE curFixColsGetTables CURSOR
FOR SELECT TABLE_NAME
FROM information_schema.tables
WHERE table_Type = 'Base Table'
AND table_name <> 'dtproperties'

OPEN curFixColsGetTables
FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables into @TableName

WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
BEGIN
 
  DECLARE curFixColsGetCols CURSOR
  FOR SELECT COLUMN_NAME, CHARACTER_MAXIMUM_LENGTH
  FROM information_schema.columns
  WHERE table_name = @TableName AND DATA_TYPE = 'nvarchar'

  OPEN curFixColsGetCols
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength
 
  WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
  BEGIN
    SELECT @strSQL = 'ALTER TABLE ' + @TableName
           + ' ALTER COLUMN ' + @ColumnName
           + ' varchar(' + CAST(@ColumnLength AS VARCHAR(5)) + ')'
   
--  Run as is to see what fields are going to be change
PRINT @strSQL

--  Uncomment next line to commit changes
--  EXEC  SP_EXECUTESQL @strSQL

    FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetCols
    INTO @ColumnName, @ColumnLength
  END
  CLOSE curFixColsGetCols
  DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetCols
 
  FETCH NEXT FROM curFixColsGetTables
  INTO @TableName
  END
CLOSE curFixColsGetTables
DEALLOCATE curFixColsGetTables

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Top Expert 2011

Commented:
thanks for sharing the solution.
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