query How to check if a column exists in a SQL Server table?




sql query to check if column exists in database (20)

Here is a simple script I use to manage addition of columns in the database:

IF NOT EXISTS (
        SELECT *
        FROM sys.Columns
        WHERE Name = N'QbId'
            AND Object_Id = Object_Id(N'Driver')
        )
BEGIN
    ALTER TABLE Driver ADD QbId NVARCHAR(20) NULL
END
ELSE
BEGIN
    PRINT 'QbId is already added on Driver'
END

In this example, the Name is the ColumnName to be added and Object_Id is the TableName

I need to add a specific column if it does not exist. I have something like the following, but it always returns false:

IF EXISTS(SELECT *
          FROM   INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
          WHERE  TABLE_NAME = 'myTableName'
                 AND COLUMN_NAME = 'myColumnName') 

How can I check if a column exists in a table of the SQL Server database?


SQL Server 2005 onwards:

IF EXISTS(SELECT 1 FROM sys.columns 
          WHERE Name = N'columnName'
          AND Object_ID = Object_ID(N'schemaName.tableName'))
BEGIN
    -- Column Exists
END

Martin Smith's version is shorter:

IF COL_LENGTH('schemaName.tableName', 'columnName') IS NOT NULL
BEGIN
    -- Column Exists
END

For the people who is checking the column existence to drop it.

In SQL Server 2016 you can use new DIE statements instead of big IF wrappers

ALTER TABLE Table_name DROP COLUMN IF EXISTS Column_name

Below query can be used to check whether searched column exists or not in the table. We can take decision based on the searched result also as shown below.

IF EXISTS (SELECT 'Y' FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS WHERE TABLE_NAME = <YourTableName> AND COLUMN_NAME = <YourColumnName>)
  BEGIN
    SELECT 'Column Already Exists.'
  END
  ELSE
  BEGIN
    ALTER TABLE <YourTableName> ADD <YourColumnName> <DataType>[Size]
  END

declare @myColumn   as nvarchar(128)
set @myColumn = 'myColumn'
if not exists (
    select  1
    from    information_schema.columns columns 
    where   columns.table_catalog   = 'myDatabase'
        and columns.table_schema    = 'mySchema' 
        and columns.table_name      = 'myTable' 
        and columns.column_name     = @myColumn
    )
begin
    exec('alter table myDatabase.mySchema.myTable add'
    +'    ['[email protected]+'] bigint       null')
end

First check if the table/column(id/name) combination exists in dbo.syscolumns (an internal SQL Server table that contains field definitions), and if not issue the appropriate ALTER TABLE query to add it. For example:

IF NOT EXISTS ( SELECT  *
            FROM    syscolumns
            WHERE   id = OBJECT_ID('Client')
                    AND name = 'Name' ) 
ALTER TABLE Client
ADD Name VARCHAR(64) NULL

Try this

SELECT COLUMNS.*
FROM   INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS COLUMNS,
       INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES TABLES
WHERE  COLUMNS.TABLE_NAME = TABLES.TABLE_NAME
       AND Upper(COLUMNS.COLUMN_NAME) = Upper('column_name') 

if exists (select * from INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS where TABLE_NAME='<table_name>' and COLUMN_NAME='<column_name>')
  begin
    print 'Column you have specified exists'
  end
else
  begin
    print 'Column does not exists'
  end

I'd prefer INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS over a system table because Microsoft does not guarantee to preserve the system tables between versions. For example, dbo.syscolumns does still work in SQL 2008, but it's deprecated and could be removed at any time in future.


select distinct object_name(sc.id)
from syscolumns sc,sysobjects so  
where sc.name like '%col_name%' and so.type='U'

One of the most simple and understandable solution is:

IF COL_LENGTH('Table_Name','Column_Name') IS NULL
 BEGIN
    -- Column Not Exists, implement your logic
 END 
ELSE
 BEGIN
    -- Column Exists, implement your logic
 END

Try something like:

CREATE FUNCTION ColumnExists(@TableName varchar(100), @ColumnName varchar(100))
RETURNS varchar(1) AS
BEGIN
DECLARE @Result varchar(1);
IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.Columns WHERE TABLE_NAME = @TableName AND COLUMN_NAME = @ColumnName)
BEGIN
    SET @Result = 'T'
END
ELSE
BEGIN
    SET @Result = 'F'
END
RETURN @Result;
END
GO

GRANT EXECUTE ON  [ColumnExists] TO [whoever]
GO

Then use it like this:

IF ColumnExists('xxx', 'yyyy') = 'F'
BEGIN
  ALTER TABLE xxx
  ADD yyyyy varChar(10) NOT NULL
END
GO

It should work on both SQL Server 2000 & SQL Server 2005. Not sure about SQL Server 2008, but don't see why not.


There are several ways to check the existence of a column. I would strongly recommend to use INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS as it is created in order to communicate with user. Consider following tables:

 sys.objects
 sys.columns

and even some other access methods available to check system catalog.

Also, no need to use SELECT *, simply test it by NULL value

IF EXISTS(
           SELECT NULL 
           FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
           WHERE
             TABLE_NAME = 'myTableName'
             AND COLUMN_NAME = 'myColumnName'
         ) 

IF NOT EXISTS( SELECT NULL
            FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
           WHERE table_name = 'tablename'
             AND table_schema = 'db_name'
             AND column_name = 'columnname')  THEN

  ALTER TABLE `TableName` ADD `ColumnName` int(1) NOT NULL default '0';

END IF;

Try this...

IF NOT EXISTS(
  SELECT TOP 1 1
  FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
  WHERE 
    [TABLE_NAME] = 'Employees'
    AND [COLUMN_NAME] = 'EmployeeID')
BEGIN
  ALTER TABLE [Employees]
    ADD [EmployeeID] INT NULL
END

A good friend and colleague of mine showed me how you can also use an IF block with SQL functions OBJECT_ID and COLUMNPROPERTY in SQL SERVER 2005+ to check for a column. You can use something similar to the following:

You can see for yourself here

IF (OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[myTable]') IS NOT NULL AND
    COLUMNPROPERTY( OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[myTable]'), 'ThisColumnDoesNotExist', 'ColumnId') IS NULL)
BEGIN
    SELECT 'Column does not exist -- You can add TSQL to add the column here'
END

This worked for me in SQL 2000:

IF EXISTS 
(
    SELECT * 
    FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS 
    WHERE table_name = 'table_name' 
    AND column_name = 'column_name'
)
BEGIN
...
END

You can use the information schema system views to find out pretty much anything about the tables you're interested in:

SELECT *
  FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS
 WHERE TABLE_NAME = 'yourTableName'
 ORDER BY ORDINAL_POSITION

You can also interrogate views, stored procedures and pretty much anything about the database using the Information_schema views.


A more concise version

IF COL_LENGTH('table_name','column_name') IS NULL
BEGIN
/* Column does not exist or caller does not have permission to view the object */
END

The point about permissions on viewing metadata applies to all answers not just this one.

Note that the first parameter table name to COL_LENGTH can be in one, two, or three part name format as required.

An example referencing a table in a different database is

COL_LENGTH('AdventureWorks2012.HumanResources.Department','ModifiedDate')

One difference with this answer compared to using the metadata views is that metadata functions such as COL_LENGTH always only return data about committed changes irrespective of the isolation level in effect.


Tweak the below to suit your specific requirements:

if not exists (select
                     column_name
               from
                     INFORMATION_SCHEMA.columns
               where
                     table_name = 'MyTable'
                     and column_name = 'MyColumn')
    alter table MyTable add MyColumn int

Edit to deal with edit to question: That should work - take a careful look over your code for stupid mistakes; are you querying INFORMATION_SCHEMA on the same database as your insert is being applied to for example? Do you have a typo in your table/column name in either statement?





sql-server-2016