How can I pass an array of values to a SQL Server stored-procedure?

Neil Pike

May 31, 1999

1 Min Read
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A. Basically you can't - SQL Server has no array type - ANSI SQL 92 does not specify array support. But there are various ways around it.

1. You could simulate an array by passing one or more varchar(255) fields with comma-separated values and then use a WHILE loop with PATINDEX and SUBSTR to extract the values.

2. The more usual way to do this would be to populate a temporary table with the values you need and then use the contents of that table from within the stored-procedure. Example of this below

create procedure mytest @MyParmTempTable varchar(30)
-- @MyParmTempTable contains my parameter list...

-- For simplicity use dynamic sql to copy into a normal temp table...

create table #MyInternalList (
list_itemvarchar( 2 ) not null

set nocount on

insert #MyInternalList
exec ( "select * from " + @MyParmTempTable )

set nocount off

-- It is now easier to join..
select *
from sysobjects
where type in ( select list_item from #MyInternalList )


To call..

create table #MyList (
list_item varchar( 2 ) not null
insert #MyList values ( 'S' )
insert #MyList values ( 'U' )
insert #MyList values ( 'P' )

exec mytest "#MyList"

3. If all you wanted to do was use the array/list as input to an IN clause in a WHERE statement you could use :-

REATE PROCEDURE sp_MyProcedure (@MyCommaDelimitedString
EXEC ('SELECT * FROM MYTABLE WHERE MYFIELD IN (' + @MyCommaDelimitedString + ')')

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