SQL Server Stored Procedures – Fundamentals

First, let’s create the header information (like the author, change log, etc.) that should be a part of every stored procedure.

Description:  Adds a user
Author:  Tom O’Neill
Modification Log: Change

Description                  Date         Changed By
Created procedure            7/15/2003    Tom O’Neill

Remember this?


We will put the variables in here, later

Add the “CREATE PROCEDURE” line, assigning the name “usp_adduser”. Our next step is to remove the comments and declare our variables!

To start, let’s look at how our variables will fit. We will need to create a variable for every value we may need to pass. We may not pass a value to every field every time we run the stored procedure. But, we do need to address the possibility that over the life of the stored procedure, every data element may be used. The best way to address this issue is to create a variable for every column in USERLIST. To keep this example simple, we are also assuming that each of the columns can be NULL, and we will also be passing all of the variables to the stored procedure. If some of the columns cannot be NULL, or if not all of the columns will be affected, then the stored procedure and/or the exec statement have to be rewritten slightly. The list below shows the variable and the field with which it is associated.

  • @login—login

  • @pswd—pswd

  • @f_name—f_name

  • @l_name—l_name

  • @address_1—address_1

  • @address_2—address_2

  • @city—city

  • @state—state

  • @zipcode—zipcode

  • @email—email


You have probably noticed that I gave the variables names that closely resemble the column names with which they are associated. This will make it easier for you to maintain the stored procedure in the future. Delete the comments about variables, and put your list of variables beneath the “CREATE PROCEDURE” line.



Next, add datatypes to each of the variables. The datatype assigned to the variable should match the datatype assigned to the corresponding column in the database. For any elements with the “char”, “varchar”, or “numeric” datatypes, you will need to put the maximum character length list in parentheses after the datatype. Separate all variables (except the last one), with a comma.


@login varchar(20),
@pswd varchar(20),
@f_name varchar(25),
@l_name varchar(35),
@address_1 varchar(30),
@address_2 varchar(30),
@city varchar(30),
@state char(2),
@zipcode char(10),
@email varchar(50)



9 Responses to “SQL Server Stored Procedures – Fundamentals”

  1. creating and calling stored procedure in .net:

    create procedure insert1(@userid int,@username varchar(50))
    insert into emp(id,name)values(@userid,@username)

    NOTE:(id,name) are the columns of table in which you want to insert data.


    initialize this globally:
    public partial class1:class
    sqlconnection con;
    sqlcommand cmd;

    on page_load(): // write on page load()
    con=new sqlconnection(“Connection string”);
    cmd=new sqlcommand();
    cmd.commandtype=commandtype.stored procedure;

    on button_click() // write on insert button_clik event

    // stored procedure name just created.

    messagebox.show(“stored procedure inserted…”);

  2. Hi Tom,

    I was reading your article and I would like to appreciate you for making it very simple and understandable. This article gives me a basic idea of stored procedure and it will help me a lot.

    Thank you very much!

  3. Hi Tom
    Your article are really awesome.actually i was in search for some good articles on stored procedures and finally i got one.
    The most important is the simplicity which will be very helpful for the beginners.


  4. Hi Tom,

    This was a really informative article for us beginner SQL developers. The procedure was not very complex and easy to understand. I have been studying from a high level SQL developer in order to understand SQL better and he very much confused me with the very advanced code that he was using. Example of more complex code

    declare @today datetime
    SET @Today = getdate()
    EXECUTE sproc_insertvendor @name = ‘something Else’, @countofpayments = 3, @lastpaydate = @Today, @nextpaydate = @Today, @Comments = null

    IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM SYSOBJECTS WHERE Name = ‘sproc_insertvendor’)
    DROP PROCEDURE sproc_insertvendor

    CREATE PROCEDURE sproc_insertvendor
    @name varchar(200),
    @countOfPayments int,
    @LastPayDate datetime,
    @nextpaydate datetime,
    @comments ntext

    if exists (
    select *
    from vendor v
    where v.name = @name
    Raiserror(‘%s already exists!’,16,2,@name)

    if @@error=0
    INSERT INTO vendor (Name,CountOfPayments,LastPayDate,NextPayDate,Comments)
    VALUES (@Name,@CountOfPayments,@LastPayDate,@NextPayDate,@Comments)
    SELECT @@Identity



  5. I forgot to thank “Om Mohokar” for his post, cheers mate.

  6. Hi Tom,

    This is the best article I have ever found online. Your instruction is extremely easy and helpfulfor me to understand and use for my work.
    Truly appreciate you!
    Best regards,

  7. Unfortunately, far more complex stored procedures have been written, Bryan, but I will walk through it quickly.

    The first two lines are an example of how to declare variables in your stored procedure. DECLARE…uh, declares the variable. SET assigns the variable with a value. You can also do something like SELECT 1 INTO FROM .

    The block that the first lines belong too just serve as an example. Other than the variables it is much like this article explained. Obviously, in the third line, the parameter declaration has values assigned to them.

    The second block is searching for an existing version of a stored procedure with the name ‘sproc_insertvendor’. If it exists, then drop it so that you can create your new one or your new version if you are running this more than once.

    Nothing really new in the third block although I would like to add a side note. To make a parameter optional, you can add a default value (e.g. @countOfPayments INT = 0) which is extremely valuable information to me at least.

    The fourth block introduces you to Raiserror. I don’t personally know if this is built into SQL Server or not, but it is setting the @@error variable. @@ delineates system or global variables the best I can tell.

    Finally, the fifth block is inserting a row as long as the person doesn’t already exist.

    One last side note: try not to write if exists(select *… If you just wanna know if it exists, if exists(select 1… is more performant and gives you the same information you wanted to know.

    Good article, author. I need to find one for advanced beginners now.

  8. Thanks but one important part not mentioned here is “how to modify the stored procedure and save it as the same stored procedure?”

    Right click on the edited query editor page and execute it to save the changes to the stored procedure.(when you change and try to close it prompts you to change as a query, but not as the stored procedure.

  9. Best explanation about stored I have come accross until now.
    here is a syntax to modify a store procedure:

    Alter procedure usp_procedurename
    select*from table

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