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How to Script Out SQL Server Objects

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4.76/5 (18 votes)
10 Feb 2009CPOL4 min read 147K   1K   47   27
A VBScript script which allows to script out all the SQL Server objects in each independent file


I usually come across the need to script out the objects from an SQL Server database to text files. I like to create one script per object, with different file extensions to identify the object type. There are many ways this can be done. One can connect to the SQL Server and script out the objects using Enterprise Manager. One can use Visual Studio and create a database project. This too allows you to script out the object. However, these methods are not effective if you want to automate this process. One should think about a continuous integration process which can allow one to have a clean database build process with the most recent changes. Another benefit is the ability to maintain these script files in a source control repository.


The main goal of this article is to show an approach of how to script out the SQL Server objects using the SQL-DMO COM object. There are other approaches, but the focus on this article is using this COM object with VBScript. Any other language which supports COM can be used to achieve the same. This script has been tested using SQL 2000/2005, MSDE/Express.


This script uses the SQLDMO.SQLServer2 COM interface. DMO stands for Distributed Management Objects. It provides an interface to programmatically manage SQL Server. The reader is encouraged to read further on this topic.

Using the Code

This script connects to a SQL Server database using Windows or SQL Server authentication. Once it is connected, it iterates through the collection of objects in the database and scripts each one of them.

The command line syntax to run the script is as follows:

cscript 0g_sqlextract.vbs [server] [database] [output folder] [username] [password]


server location/IP address/instance name


database name/initial catalog

[output folder]

a folder (must exist) where to write the files to


user (optional - SQL authentication)


password (optional)

The usage for a SQL Express instance with Windows authentication is:

cscript 0g_sqlextract.vbs localhost\my-sql-instance mydatabase c:\sqloutput

The usage for a SQL 2000 server with SQL Server authentication is:

cscript 0g_sqlextract.vbs localhost mydatabase c:\sqloutput sa mypassword

The code is divided into three main areas. There are the constant declarations which are needed to provide the different scripting options. For example, if one wants the script to first drop the object before creating it. The entry point, Main, handles the parameter validation and drives the calls to script the objects and the ScriptObjects subroutine which iterates through the elements of the collection.

The constant definitions are needed when a call to the Script method is made. There are other options, but these are the ones used in this article.

'List all Microsoft® SQL Server™ components that 
'depend on the referenced SQL Server component.
const SQLDMODep_Children = 262144
'Apply descending order to returned list.
const SQLDMODep_OrderDescending = 131072
'SQLDMOScript_DRI_Checks, SQLDMOScript_DRI_Defaults, 
'SQLDMOScript_DRI_ForeignKeys, SQLDMOScript_DRI_PrimaryKey, and 
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_AllConstraints=520093696 
const SQLDMOScript_ToFileOnly = 64              'output file
const SQLDMOScript_OwnerQualify =  262144       'object owner
'Generate Transact-SQL creating the referenced component.
const SQLDMOScript_PrimaryObject = 4
'Include Transact-SQL privilege defining statements 
'when scripting database objects.
const SQLDMOScript_ObjectPermissions = 2
const SQLDMOScript_IncludeIfNotExists =4096     'if exists
const SQLDMOScript_Indexes = 73736              'indexes
const SQLDMOScript2_NoCollation = 8388608       'no collation
const SQLDMOScript_Triggers = 16                'triggers
'Generate Transact-SQL to remove the referenced component. 
'Script tests for existence prior attempt to remove component.
const SQLDMOScript_Drops = 1
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_NonClustered = 4194304
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_Clustered = 8388608
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_Checks = 16777216
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_Defaults = 33554432
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_UniqueKeys = 67108864
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_ForeignKeys = 134217728
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_PrimaryKey = 268435456
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_AllKeys = 469762048
const SQLDMOScript_DRIWithNoCheck = 536870912
const SQLDMOScript_DRI_All = 532676608
const SQLDMOScript_NoIdentity = 1073741824

'folder definitions
const PROC_FOLDER = "\stored procedures"
const VIW_FOLDER ="\views"
const UDF_FOLDER = "\functions"
const TAB_FOLDER ="\tables"

The Main subroutine reads the arguments. The arguments are referenced by the objArgs variable which holds an array of values. The first three parameters are required. The last two parameters are optional. A reference to the COM interface is created:

Set oSql = WScript.CreateObject("SQLDMO.SQLServer2")

If only three arguments are passed, the script sets the LoginSecure property to True, which indicates that Windows Authentication is used to connect to the database. Otherwise, SQL Authentication is used. Once the connection is successful, calls to ScriptObjects are made using the following collections:

  • oSql.Databases(database).Tables
  • oSql.Databases(database).Views
  • oSql.Databases(database).StoredProcedures
  • oSql.Databases(database).UserDefinedFunctions
sub Main
   'get the parameter list   

   dim objArgs: Set objArgs = WScript.Arguments

   if objArgs.Count > 2 then
    connString = objArgs(0)   'connection   

    database = objArgs(1)     'database

    folder = objArgs(2)       'output folder      

    dim user
    dim pw

    Set oSql = WScript.CreateObject("SQLDMO.SQLServer2")      
    if objArgs.Count > 4 then
        user = objArgs(3) 
        pw = objArgs(4) 
        StdOut.Echo "SQL Authentication - Connection to database"

        oSql.LoginSecure = False            'SQL authentication 

        oSql.Connect connString ,user,pw   
        StdOut.Echo "windows Authentication - Connection to database"
        oSql.LoginSecure = True   'windows authentication 

        oSql.Connect connString   
    end if
    call ScriptObjects(oSQL.Databases(database).Tables,"TAB",_
                       "Reading tables: ")
    call ScriptObjects(oSQL.Databases(database).Views,"VIW",_
                       "Reading views: ")      
    call ScriptObjects(oSQL.Databases(database).StoredProcedures,_
                       "PRC","Reading procedures: ")      
    call ScriptObjects(oSQL.Databases(database).UserDefinedFunctions,_
                       "UDF","Reading functions: ")      
    StdOut.Echo "Usage: sqlextract.vbs [server or sql " & _ 
                "instance name] [database] [output folder]"   
   end if

    set oSql = nothing  
    if err.Description <> "" then        
        StdOut.Echo err.Description
    end if

end sub

The ScriptObjects subroutine iterates through the elements in the list. It checks to make sure the object is not a SystemObject. This is because one only needs to script out user objects. The options are a combination of constant values which are passed as an argument to the Script method. This is what allows us to create additional information in the script. This information can be constraint definitions, triggers, options to look if object exists and to drop it before creating it. There are also two additional arguments to this subroutine, ext and msg. The ext argument is used as the file extension. The msg argument is used to display the status of what is being generated. The format of the files generated is OWNER.OBJECTNAME.EXTENSION, so for the MyProc stored procedure which belongs to dbo, the script generated would be: dbo.MyProc.PRC.

sub ScriptObjects(list,ext,msg)
    Dim object
    StdOut.Echo ""
    StdOut.Echo msg 
    'set the scripting options

    dim options
    options = SQLDMOScript_Indexes _
            OR SQLDMOScript_Drops _
            OR SQLDMOScript_IncludeIfNotExists _
            OR SQLDMOScript_OwnerQualify _
            OR SQLDMOScript_PrimaryObject _
            Or SQLDMODep_Children _
            Or SQLDMOScript_DRI_AllConstraints _
            Or SQLDMODep_OrderDescending _
            Or SQLDMOScript_ObjectPermissions _
            Or SQLDMOScript_ToFileOnly _
            OR SQLDMOScript2_NoCollation _
            OR SQLDMOScript_Triggers _
        OR SQLDMOScript_DRI_All
    For Each object In list
        If Not object.SystemObject Then
            StdOut.Echo object.Name
            object.Script options, GetFolderName(ext) + "\" + _
                          object.Owner + "." + object.Name + "." + ext
        End If
end sub

There are two helper functions to help us create a folder for each object type. The GetFolderName function maps the file extension to a predefined folder name (i.e. TAB = Tables). A call to the CreateFolder subroutine is made to create the folder if it does not already exist. The purpose here is to group the object types in separate folders. This is similar to the way the objects are presented using SQL Server tools.

function GetFolderName(ext)

   dim tmpFolder
   tmpFolder = ""

   select case ext
          case "TAB" tmpFolder = TAB_FOLDER 
    case "VIW" tmpFolder = VIW_FOLDER 
    case "PRC" tmpFolder = PROC_FOLDER 
    case "UDF" tmpFolder = UDF_FOLDER 
    end select

    CreateFolder folder + tmpFolder
    GetFolderName = folder  + tmpFolder

end function

sub CreateFolder(path) 
    Dim fso
    Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    if not fso.FolderExists(path) then
    end if

    set fso=nothing

end sub

Points of Interest

This article only covers a small subset of the functionality available using SQL-DMO. If the goal is to have an automated build and source control process, this article can provide you with some direction. I hope some of you can find this useful.


  • 0g10112006 - Initial version
  • 0g05102008 - Script table keys and create folders for each object type
  • 0g02092009 - Source code updated


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Architect OG-BITechnologies
United States United States
Software engineer, author & speaker who enjoys mentoring, learning, speaking and sharing with others about software development technologies. Microsoft MVP.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Orlando Selenu15-Mar-12 23:41
Orlando Selenu15-Mar-12 23:41 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 Pin
ozkary18-Sep-12 4:49
ozkary18-Sep-12 4:49 
Questionerror when trying to run the script Pin
onmni20-Aug-11 21:25
onmni20-Aug-11 21:25 
AnswerRe: error when trying to run the script Pin
Lonyem23-Sep-11 7:58
Lonyem23-Sep-11 7:58 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
prmioto23-Feb-11 3:42
prmioto23-Feb-11 3:42 
QuestionHow would you script Triggers? Pin
wooddsw18-Nov-09 2:25
wooddsw18-Nov-09 2:25 
AnswerRe: How would you script Triggers? Pin
ozkary18-Nov-09 4:03
ozkary18-Nov-09 4:03 
GeneralRe: How would you script Triggers? Pin
wooddsw18-Nov-09 4:28
wooddsw18-Nov-09 4:28 
QuestionHave you found a solution to avoid the varchar(-1) generated Pin
singueur19-Aug-09 11:00
singueur19-Aug-09 11:00 
QuestionRe: Have you found a solution to avoid the varchar(-1) generated Pin
uuthanh30-Sep-09 5:50
uuthanh30-Sep-09 5:50 
AnswerRe: Have you found a solution to avoid the varchar(-1) generated Pin
ozkary30-Sep-09 7:54
ozkary30-Sep-09 7:54 
GeneralRe: Have you found a solution to avoid the varchar(-1) generated Pin
uuthanh30-Sep-09 17:09
uuthanh30-Sep-09 17:09 
Answergreat tool ... Pin
Coosile216-Jul-09 12:28
Coosile216-Jul-09 12:28 
QuestionANy tips for getting this to work with SQL SERVER 2005 named instances? Pin
tradergordo6-May-09 11:18
tradergordo6-May-09 11:18 
QuestionOrderDescending Option Wrong? Pin
Randy Syring27-Jan-09 11:32
Randy Syring27-Jan-09 11:32 
AnswerRe: OrderDescending Option Wrong? Pin
ozkary9-Feb-09 4:45
ozkary9-Feb-09 4:45 
Generalgood starting point, but needed work Pin
frendy glasser25-Sep-08 2:02
frendy glasser25-Sep-08 2:02 
General[Message Removed] Pin
Mojtaba Vali23-May-08 22:07
Mojtaba Vali23-May-08 22:07 
GeneralGreat script! Pin
chrelad9-May-08 8:07
chrelad9-May-08 8:07 
GeneralRe: Great script! Pin
ozkary11-May-08 3:48
ozkary11-May-08 3:48 
GeneralHere is another snippit that scripts out constraints (for those who care) Pin
Punktech.com1-May-08 11:20
Punktech.com1-May-08 11:20 
QuestionRe: Here is another snippit that scripts out constraints (for those who care) Pin
chrelad9-May-08 7:52
chrelad9-May-08 7:52 
NewsRe: Here is another snippit that scripts out constraints (for those who care) Pin
chrelad9-May-08 8:06
chrelad9-May-08 8:06 
GeneralRe: Here is another snippit that scripts out constraints (for those who care) Pin
ozkary11-May-08 4:38
ozkary11-May-08 4:38 
GeneralAwesome script! Pin
maniatisa23-Apr-07 9:50
maniatisa23-Apr-07 9:50 

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