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Using SMO Transfer Class to Script Database Objects

I’ve spent some time trying to get the SMO Transfer class to bend to my will. I want to script out all objects of a certain type or a select list of objects. As we will see a moment this was a bit a of challenge and it wasn’t until I had given up , incorrectly figured it was a bug and filled Connect Item did I learn the nuisances of the Transfer class.  So, the item closed with a comment telling me how to properly use the Transfer class. One thing to keep in is that this method creates a script in a single file and not a file per object. If you’re interested in creating a file per object then take a look at Aaron Nelson’s (blog|twitter) Use PowerShell to Script SQL Database Objects post or my post on using Red Gate SQL Compare.

The Transfer class has many properties and options to set to either true or false which control the behavior of the emitted scripts or object/data transferred. Some of these properties default to true. We’d think that setting CopyAllStoredProcedures to true would copy all stored procedures—it doesn’t because two other properties override the setting WithDependencies and CopyAllObjects unless you change their values from true which is the default you’ll get either all objects or the stored procedures plus any objects the procedures depend on. Let’s look a few examples.

All Stored Procedures Creation Script

add-type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91"
add-type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91"
add-type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SqlServer.SMOExtended, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91"
$sourceSrv = "$env:computername\sql1"
$sourceDb = "Northwind"
$server = new-object ("Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server") $sourceSrv
$db = $server.Databases[$sourceDb]
$transfer = new-object ("Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Transfer") $db
$transfer.Options.WithDependencies = $false
$transfer.CopyAllObjects = $false
$transfer.CopyAllStoredProcedures = $true
$transfer.Options.ScriptBatchTerminator = $true
$transfer.Options.FileName = "C:\Users\u00\bin\northwind.createprocedures.sql"
$transfer.Options.IncludeIfNotExists = $true

What this script does is script out all stored procedures only. In addition to setting the properties  WithDependencies, CopyAllObjects and CopyAllStoredProcedures you’ll want to set the following as I have done in the script:

  • ScriptBatchTerminator – Includes a GO statement after each object. Note: batch terminators are only written to the file and not console output.
  • FileName – Set this to create a sql file. You should always use file output for the Transfer class as this is the only way to get batch terminators
  • IncludeIfNotExists – Adds an “IF NOT EXISTS … CREATE PROCEDURE” statement to each stored procedure or “IF NOT EXISTS…DROP PROCEDURE” statement when ScriptDrops property is true.

All Stored Procedures Drop Script

If your goal is first drop all the procedures before creating them you’ll need to create a second script to run first. This script is exactly the same as the create script only change the FileName parameter and add ScriptDrops:

$transfer.Options.FileName = "C:\Users\u00\bin\northwind.dropprocedures.sql"
$transfer.Options.ScriptDrops = $true

Specific Stored Procedures

If you want to script specific stored procedures using the Transfer class you’ll need to set the transfer object ObjectList property as follows:

$objectList = New-Object -TypeName "System.Collections.ArrayList"
$db.StoredProcedures | where {$_.name -like "Cust*"} | foreach {$null = $objectList.Add($_)}
$transfer.ObjectList = $objectList

In this example I’ve created an arraylist of storedprocedure objects where the name is like “Cust*” and set the ObjectList property to the arraylist. Now only those specific procedures will be scripted.

Miscellany Settings

Some other settings which you may want to consider.

Change the default file encoding from Unicode to ASCII:

$encoding = new-object "System.Text.ASCIIEncoding"
$transfer.Options.Encoding = $encoding

Suppress showing scripts on screen:

$transfer.Options.ToFileOnly = $true

Chad Miller

Chad Miller is a Senior Manager of Database Administration at Raymond James Financial. Chad has worked with Microsoft SQL Server since 1999 and has been automating administration tasks using Windows Powershell since 2007. Chad is the Project Coordinator/Developer of the Powershell-based Codeplex project SQL Server PowerShell Extensions (SQLPSX). Chad leads the Tampa Powershell User Group and is a frequent speaker at users groups, SQL Saturdays and Code Camps.


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