Find text / column in ALL stored procedures and replace, comments?

Posted on 2008-10-27
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi experts!

I had an issue where I needed to rename variable / text in all stored procedures where found. I looked everywhere (i think) for a solution and could not find one so I came up with attached code snippet.

Perhaps this could help others but for me I have allready noticed that if stored procedure is above 8000 chars (usually it is if structured propertly) it doesn't work. Is there other ways to accomplish what I am trying to do?

Thanks in advance.

PS. Did not use a temporary table (temp_procedure) as I wished to see what came out before EXEC(@sql) while debugging.

CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.sp_findandrename_all_storedproc
 @findtext nvarchar(500), 
 @replacetext nvarchar(500) 
CREATE TABLE temp_procedures(id int IDENTITY(1,1) ,sptext varchar(max))
  declare @procstr varchar(max)
  declare @astr varchar(max)
  declare @scid bigint
  declare @plid int
  declare @prid int
	--/ loop thru procedure 
       SET @id = CURSOR FOR 
        SELECT id FROM syscomments
          where text like '%'+@findtext+'%' --/ find procedures with defined text.
        OPEN @id
        FETCH NEXT FROM @id INTO @scid
         WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
			SELECT @astr =
			  FROM sysobjects so
			INNER JOIN syscomments sc ON
				   AND = @scid
              print('Extracted: '+@astr)
              --/ create temp table that stores procedure lines
              CREATE TABLE #proclines(id int IDENTITY(1,1) , procline varchar(max))
              INSERT INTO #proclines exec sp_helptext @astr
               SET @procstr = ''	
			   --/ loop thru lines and create a SQL string	
               DECLARE @id2 CURSOR
               SET @id2 = CURSOR FOR 
                SELECT id FROM #proclines
                OPEN @id2
                FETCH NEXT FROM @id2 INTO @plid
                 WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
                   select @procstr = @procstr + procline
                     from #proclines
                    where id = @plid
                   FETCH NEXT FROM @id2 INTO @plid
                CLOSE @id2
                DEALLOCATE @id2
              --/ make changes in SQL string (procedure string)
			  SELECT @procstr = [dbo].[findandreplace] (@procstr,'CREATE PROC','ALTER PROC')
              SELECT @procstr = [dbo].[findandreplace] (@procstr,@findtext,@replacetext)
              --/ insert procedure string (SQL) into table so we can do EXEC record by record.
			  INSERT INTO temp_procedures(sptext) values(@procstr)
              DROP TABLE #proclines
          FETCH NEXT FROM @id INTO @scid
        CLOSE @id
        DEALLOCATE @id 
   DECLARE @sql varchar(max)
   --/ loop thru procedure table and execute SQL's
   SET @id3 = CURSOR FOR 
    SELECT id FROM temp_procedures
    OPEN @id3
    FETCH NEXT FROM @id3 INTO @prid
       select @sql = sptext
         from temp_procedures
        where id = @prid
       FETCH NEXT FROM @id3 INTO @prid
    CLOSE @id3
   DROP TABLE temp_procedures         

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Question by:westmediasystems
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Daniel Wilson
ID: 22812516
  1. Script out all your stored procedures to a text file.
  2. do a search/replace using your favorite text editor.
  3. run the script to rebuild your procedures.
You can find all of them looking in syscomments as the script above does.  But you need to do a Create Procedure (or Alter Procedure) to change them -- hence the suggestion above.

Author Comment

ID: 22814555
Actually the above snippet did both find procedures and alter them including execute, however... as mentioned the limit of 8000 chars was the issue. Some of the "alter procedure" sql statements became incomplete.

Anyhow, scripting into file is something I haven't done but I presume its easy to find, and of course, this sounds like a excellent way to accomplish what I am trying to do.

LVL 32

Accepted Solution

Daniel Wilson earned 500 total points
ID: 22814601
>>Some of the "alter procedure" sql statements became incomplete.

Right ... those over 8000 characters are stored in multiple rows in syscomments (or whatever the 2005 table behind the syscomments view is).

I guess your script was more complete than I realized ... but scripting all the SP's to a file is pretty easy.

In SSMS, drill down under Programmability and click Stored Procedures.  In the right pane (Object Explorer Details) gang-select them, right-click and choose Script Stored Procedure As | Create To | and one of the 3 options.  I usually go to the clipboard & paste it into my text editor.

Expert Comment

ID: 22815313
Firstly, for SQL2005 threshold is 4000 (not 8000) as it has nvarchar(4000) type.
Secondly, syscomments has PK with two columns: id + colid (procedure can have multiple chunks with the single id).

Create test procedure with more than 4000 chars, and see select * from syscomments.

So you should update your code, changing where you use single id, to use both id and colid.

There can be simplier version:

update syscomments set text = REPLACE(text, 'string1', 'string2')

(AdHoc updates should be allowed.  Make backup first!!!!).
But this version is not COMPLETELY correct because it will not replace strings at the boundaries of 4000-chunks.
If I have a little more time I can write a correct script  :)


Author Comment

ID: 22815594
Hm, either this went straight over my head or I am simplpy a little bit slow here...
What I did was to retreive each line by using "exec sp_helptext" on procedures that had the text that was supposed to be located. Then I bundle every line together with find replace routine into a single column of varchar(8000). This was my @sql param so I could do an exec(@sql) that altered the procedure.

Are you talking about modifying the syscomment directly? If so, hope you get the time to write an correct script... :) Very intresting stuff imo.

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