Problem using CREATE TABLE with/without EXEC

Posted on 2004-09-22
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I am creating a generic SP to update tables in my app. I pass in a field definition string, the field name string and a values string. Elements within the strings are delimited. - e.g. the field definition string could be:

[id] int,[date] datetime,consultant int,[note] ntext

The SP needs to copy records to a temporary table to begin with, and my intention was to create the temporary table using the field defn. string and the command:

EXEC('CREATE TABLE #tmpRec (' + @FieldDefstr + ')')

 - but any future refs to #tmpRec cause the error "Invalid object name '#tmpRec'."
I get the same error if I explicitly exclude the @FieldDefstr and use:

EXEC('CREATE TABLE #tmpRec ([id] int,[date] datetime,consultant int,[note] ntext)')

but all works ok when I do:

CREATE TABLE #tmpRec ([id] int,[date] datetime,consultant int,[note] ntext)

in the SP

This is no good though, as I must be able to create a temp table based whose structure is based on a SP parameter!

As an even simpler experiment, just try the foll. commands

DROP TABLE #tmprec
--CREATE TABLE #tmpRec ([id] int,[date] datetime,consultant int,[note] ntext)
EXEC('CREATE TABLE #tmpRec ([id] int,[date] datetime,consultant int,[note] ntext)')
SELECT * FROM #tmprec

(comment out lines 1..3 as reqd)

I can only imagine that the temp table created by EXEC is somehow inaccessible to the calling context...

Any suggestions?

STOP PRESS: since laboriously writing the above, I've just seen the BOL text:
"In the stored procedure or trigger, all statements that contain the name of a temporary table must refer to a temporary table created in the same stored procedure. The temporary table cannot have been created in a calling or called stored procedure, or in a string executed using EXECUTE or sp_executesql."

The qu therefore boils down to:
   - can I create a temp table based whose structure is based on a SP parameter?
   - or, must I use a normal table instead (and manage its creation/deletion)



Question by:jxstewart
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12129151
You can create a temp table based on variable. Something like this:

DECLARE @sql nvarchar(4000)
SET @sql = 'CREATE TABLE #tmpREC(' + @FieldDefstr + ')'
EXEC sp_executesql @sql

Then you can reference #tmpREC in the rest of your code.
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

mcmonap earned 125 total points
ID: 12131015
Hi jxstewart,

you could do this by making the temporary table a global temporary table, just add another hash to the start of your table name, this will mean that the table is assecible to any sql session for the duration of your sp running (it means if the table name is static only one session can run the sp at a time) - don't know if this is an issue?:

--begin code
DECLARE @FieldDefstr nVARCHAR(4000)

SET @FieldDefstr = '[id] int,[date] datetime,consultant int,[note] ntext'
EXEC('CREATE TABLE ##tmpRec (' + @FieldDefstr + ')')

--end code

or maybe:

--begin code
CREATE PROCEDURE usp_test @FieldDefstr nVARCHAR(4000)
EXEC('CREATE TABLE ##tmpRec (' + @FieldDefstr + ')')

INSERT INTO ##tmpREC VALUES (1,'2004-09-23',23,'this is a test')


usp_test '[id] int,[date] datetime,consultant int,[note] ntext'
--end code

Author Comment

ID: 12131613

I had tried jslambert's solution - sp_executesql  causes the same problem (probably for the same reason), as far as I can see.

The best solution seems to create a global temporary table - and indeed (no doubt until _just_ after I close this thread...) all works fine now.

Many thanks, mcmonap


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