The SQL Search tool helps you find specific words or text phrases in SQL Server schema objects including table columns, T-SQL scripts, or other SQL code in use on an instance. With this global search, you can quickly and easily complete tasks such as updating copyright notices or changing all usages of a stored procedure call.

The SQL Search tool helps you:

  • Perform case-sensitive searches.
  • Search across all SQL on a SQL Server instance.
  • Search SQL used on specific databases or by specific objects.
  • Search SQL on system databases.
  • Search for an exact word or text phrase, or use SQL wild cards to broaden your results.
  • See how many times the specified word or phrase appears, which objects contain this string, and the full SQL source.
  • Save your search results.

How to SQL Search tool works

By default, SQL Search connects to the specified SQL Server instance using the credentials of your currently logged on Windows account. SQL Search then looks at all the SQL code used by stored procedures, functions, triggers, and views to determine when a specific word or phrase is being used on a SQL Server instance. The SQL Search tool offers the following options when searching for specific text:

Limit to first x matches

Before using SQL Search, be sure to decide how broad a search you actually need. Consider limiting your search to only the necessary databases and objects. Keep in mind that large searches impact performance. By default, the SQL Search tool returns a maximum of 500 matches.

Perform a case-sensitive search

Limit your results to only text matching the case of the search text.

Use SQL wildcards

Allow SQL wildcard characters to retrieve more results. To search for text variations using SQL wildcards, append or prefix the word with an underscore character. For example, "lab" or "lab".

Include system databases

Include system databases in your search. Leave this box unchecked to exclude system databases from your search.

Use the SQL Search tool

To search for specific text using the SQL Search tool:

  1. Open the Idera SQL Admin Toolset Launchpad, and then click SQL Search.
  2. Search for and then select the SQL Server instance whose schema you want to search.
  3. Search for and then select the database on this instance you want to search. To specify multiple databases, separate each database name with a semicolon. Leave this field empty if you want to search all user databases.
  4. Type the word or phrase you want to find. To search for text variations using SQL wildcards, append or prefix the word with an underscore character. For example, "lab" or "lab".
  5. Optional. Check the options you want to use in this SQL text search.
  6. Click Perform Search.
  7. If you want to see the SQL source, select the SQL excerpt, and then click View Source.
  8. If you want to save the results, click Copy Results To Clipboard, or right-click to save the results as an XML or CSV file.


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