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Quick Tips–SQL Prompt Aliases for Every Table

I love SQL Prompt, and think it’s a great productivity tool. Even before I worked at Red Gate, I love the tool and had a copy before Red Gate bought the technology from the original developer. Recently I’ve run into a few people that weren’t aware of some of the ways in which it can help you. This is a quick look at one of the ways I use SQL Prompt.


Aliases are used to make code more readable, and shorten the amount of code that one needs to write. Typically we use these to give a short name to a table. Instead of:


We could use an alias. Note the “p” after the table below and the change in the column list.


Automated Aliases

SQL Prompt can automate aliases for me. Under the Options dialog, there is an Aliases selection (shown below).


Note that I’ve checked the “Assign Aliases” box. This is not checked by default, but once I check it, I get aliases. Let me write a query.


I’m about to select my Orders table from the Prompt drop down. Once I click Tab, I’ll get this:


SQL Prompt has added the alias for me. It’s a lower case “o”. If I add another table:


I hit tab at this point and I get:


I have a new alias of “o2”. Not terribly creative, but it works.

I have some options for changing these around. Suppose I want to make these upper case to stand out. I can change this in options:


Now I add a third table:


I hit tab:


My new alias is an upper case “P” for the Product table. That gives me a bit of differentiation for my tables.

I, however, do not like the “AS” keyword. I typically just space my alias after the table. I can change that in options:


I’ve unchecked the box and now I add a new table.


When I hit Tab, I’ll get a new alias, upper case, but no AS.


These are not terribly intuitive aliases, but this does at least clean up your code a bit, so when you see all the column names they aren’t spread way to the right with table names like “ProductDescriptions”.


Filed under: Blog Tagged: QuickTips, Red Gate, SQL Prompt, syndicated

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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