Dynamic Table Name Usage in MS SQL Server: A Step-by-Step Guide


In the world of SQL Server, the ability to dynamically use table names adds a layer of flexibility and efficiency to your queries. Imagine scenarios where you need to interact with tables based on user input or changing conditions. This article will walk you through the process of using table names dynamically in SQL queries within MS SQL Server, empowering you to handle changing data scenarios with finesse.

Step 1: Understanding Dynamic SQL

Before diving into the details, let’s grasp the concept of dynamic SQL. Dynamic SQL involves building SQL queries as strings and executing them within your script.

Step 2: Building Dynamic Queries with Table Names

  1. Using Variables: Utilize variables to store table names dynamically. Construct your SQL query using the EXEC() or sp_executesql function.
  2. Concatenating Strings: Construct your SQL query by concatenating strings. This approach is particularly useful when combining table names with static text.

Step 3: Real-world Example

Imagine a scenario where you want to retrieve data from different customer tables based on user input. I’ll walk you through the process of achieving this dynamically. Let’s see an example:

declare @cur_month varchar(6);
declare @tablename nvarchar(30);
declare @aSQL as nvarchar(500);

set @aMonth='201712';
set @aTableName = 'tbla_sample_table';
set @aMRK_SQL  = 'SELECT TOP 10  * FROM dbo.' +  @aTableName +' WHERE transmonth='''+@aMonth+'''';

execute sp_executesql @aMRK_SQL;
The above code is written for MS SQL Server and before posting, it is tested in SQL Server.


Dynamically using table names in SQL queries within MS SQL Server offers a strategic advantage in scenarios where table names change or user inputs dictate the table to interact with. By mastering the art of dynamic SQL, you unlock a world of possibilities for efficient and flexible data manipulation.

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