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Connect to SQL Server from command prompt – list tables and database

Q. How do I connect to Microsoft SQL Server from command prompt? I just wanted to see list of tables and database.

A. MS- SQL Server is relational database management system.

Its primary query language is Transact-SQL, an implementation of the ANSI/ISO standard Structured Query Language (SQL) used by both Microsoft and Sybase.

There is command line tool available and it is called as sqlcmd. you need to enter the word GO after every command.

On the Start menu click Run. In the Open box type cmd, and then click OK to open a Command Prompt window.

At the command prompt, type sqlcmd.

Press ENTER.

Let us say your username is vivek and password is foo, use:
C:> sqlcmd -U vivek -P foo

Once connected you should see 1> prompt. Type following command to use database called sales:
use sales
GO

To list tables type:
sp_help
OR
select * from SYSOBJECTS where TYPE = 'U' order by NAME

To List all the databases on the server:
sp_databases

To list fields in a table called foo:
sp_help tablename
sp_help foo

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{ 38 comments… add one }

  • Suman January 11, 2007, 7:18 am

    How do i connect from sql server query analyzer of one server to query analyzer of another server using sql server command

  • Telly B March 16, 2007, 4:58 pm

    I Just want to say thanks for having this answer on this article. I did not want to drag each table 1 by 1 in SSMS.

  • suman May 24, 2007, 10:49 am

    hi ,
    how can we know all the tables in a single database in sql 2000.

  • Balaji Vinu July 9, 2007, 6:35 am

    Hi ,
    How can i connect to informix database using unix testbox.
    please let me know the command and the environmental changes that i have to make.

    Thanks and Regards
    Balaji Vinu

  • Praveen February 10, 2008, 1:42 pm

    Hi

    How to get the column names from a table.

    e.g. Select Emp_Id, Emp_Name from Employee.

    I know that i have the table Employee. I have to query and get the column names using those column name i want to do a select query.

    Kindly let me know

    Regards

    • Ramees April 4, 2012, 9:19 am

      SP_HELP tablename

      Above will give you column details of your table. You can use your mouse to select/copy the column name and paste it where ever you want

  • Rakesh Kumar March 24, 2008, 9:21 am

    select * from syscolumns where id in (select id from sysobjects where name = ‘Employee’)

  • awadhesh March 27, 2008, 10:43 am

    how can we know all the tables in a single database in sql 2000.

    • Ramees April 4, 2012, 9:22 am

      1- For all tables
      SELECT * FROM SYS.TABLES

      2- For all tables which contain a specific text
      SELECT * FROM SYS.TABLES WHERE NAME LIKE ‘%Ramees%’

  • avn April 23, 2008, 7:01 am

    how to connect sql server from dos command prompt

    • Bhagwati June 29, 2011, 12:14 pm

      sqlcmd -SCONFROOM-PC1\SQLEXPRESS -UBhagwati -PPal-Q”SELECT * FROM [DBO].[TableName]”

  • GIRIDHARI July 30, 2008, 9:45 am

    How to connect to another server using sqlcmd?

  • suneela February 25, 2009, 5:45 am

    i have written a batch backup script to backup Cash register express data base
    which is present in sql server which is remote.
    how to run this batch file from command line

  • Ankit Saxena April 1, 2009, 10:16 am

    let me know how i can add 3 & 4 table in one table & how I can transfer data one table to another table ,if i want to include new colunm in a table how the value of that colunm insert predifined table & how we insert a colunm a particular place by using the alter command or other command .

  • Rakesh Saini May 19, 2009, 7:59 am

    how I can see the table in linux please tell me

  • horny hindu September 24, 2009, 3:03 pm

    how can i install it on system for database please tell me my boss will kill when he finds out I lied on my application for this job and have no ability to figure even the simplest things out for myself.

    • subi August 29, 2011, 8:57 am

      I have the connect to data base query,i reply to the please send to my e-mail id

    • Amir May 21, 2014, 6:09 am

      horny hindu :) sounds like black-is-white :)

  • Prathamesh November 13, 2009, 7:25 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for ur contribution, this page really helped me.

  • Mike November 23, 2009, 2:09 am

    @Giridhari,

    To connect to MS SQL Server (on your local machine), try a line like this one:
    “C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Binn\SQLCMD.exe” -Shostname\sqlservername -E

    More information on the parameters for SQLCMD.exe here: http://www.databasejournal.com/features/mssql/article.php/3654176/SQL-Server-2005-Command-Line-Tool-SQLCMD–Part-I.htm

  • Aginesh Kumar December 8, 2009, 2:31 pm

    Ihow can retive database connect with sql server Connect by cmd

    • ALEEMUDDIN SIDDIQUI January 26, 2015, 6:56 am

      YOU CAN CONNECT WITH CMD PROMPT WITH THE FOLLOWING COMMAND TO SQL SERVER

      c:\>sqlcmd -U <> -P <>
      i.e.
      c:\>sqlcmd -U sa -P aleem

  • mohan February 5, 2010, 7:11 am

    hi sir/madam

    if user deleted the existing (default) tables in the database, how to retrive emp table once agin, what is the command can u mail to my id,plsss

  • Tapan Lonkar March 18, 2010, 5:44 am

    please can anybody send me the query for

    Displaying Database from SQL and then list of tables of DYNAMICALLY selected Database?
    please give attention over the word DYNAMICALLY selected……….
    thanx plz mail me as soon as possible….
    thanks………

  • Amitha June 11, 2010, 7:47 am

    Very useful! thanks!

  • dalu November 6, 2010, 6:26 am

    how can i create tables and fields in SQL?

    • ALEEMUDDIN SIDDIQUI January 26, 2015, 6:51 am

      FIRST CONNECT WITH YOUR SQL SERVER I.E. 2005/2008

      SELECT DATABASE <>
      RIGHT CLICK ON <> TAB
      CLICK ON “NEW TABLE” TAB
      WINDOW TO START DESIGNING NEW TABLE OPEN

  • thiyagi January 18, 2011, 6:49 pm

    thanks..

  • Siva January 27, 2011, 5:28 am

    This is a good article, but it is not good enough to how to connect SQL through command prompt?

    thanks for the article. keep it up…:-)

  • siva.sanniyasi@gmail.com January 27, 2011, 7:22 am

    We can also use like this:

    osql /S ServerName /d databaseName /U Username /P password /i c:\test.sql(location of sql file)

    Thank you

  • SQL_2005 June 3, 2011, 6:51 am

    Hi. We had a batch with ISQLW command to run a query in the Query Analyzer of SQL Server 2000. After upgrading to SQL Server 2005 ISQLW cannot be used anymore so we changed it to the recommended command: SQLCMD. But now the query is run in MS-DOS mode and so its result is shown on a black-not-cool screen. Does anyone know how to obtain the result in a Server Management Studio window? Of course, opening the Server Management Studio and paste the query is not a valid answer. The query must be run from the batch. Thanks in advanced.

  • mrityunjay singh August 26, 2011, 7:31 am

    when i am trying to connect sql server through command prompt i am unable to connect it ….

    • ALEEMUDDIN SIDDIQUI January 26, 2015, 6:59 am

      I THINK YOU ARE USING YOUR OWN DESKTOP WHILE IT IS NECESSARY TO CONNECT USING REMOTE SERVER DESKTOP TO CONNECT PROPERLY IN SQL SERVER THROUGH COMMAND PROMPT

  • arash November 26, 2012, 8:36 am

    i should recall that after sp_…. you should use go command to run.for exapmle:

    1>sp_help
    2>go

  • Sarit Hod January 29, 2014, 4:40 am

    Can you please mention SQLS*Plus – this is a great free command line tool. There is command there “show tables” that lists all tables.

  • Matias Colli May 29, 2014, 8:19 pm

    I didn’t know that sp_databases as “SHOW DATABASE” ANSI SQL.
    Thanks.
    Matias Colli
    Perito Judicial en Informática

  • zulfiqar ali January 26, 2015, 9:18 am

    how can i used sql through cmd

    • ALEEMUDDIN SIDDIQUI January 30, 2015, 6:10 am

      ZULFIQAR,
      YOU CAN USE BY FOLLOWING SYNTAX :

      C:\>sqlcmd -U -P

      AFTER THIS, YOU ARE CONNECTED WITH YOUR HOSTED SQL SERVER AND YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING BY PASSING COMMAND OF SQL SERVER.

      ALEEMUDDIN SIDDIQUI
      SAP ADMINISTRATOR

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