Enabling and disabling all constraints on a table in SQL Server

These procedures are very useful when you need to load bulk data and you know the data is correct -- but you do not need the foreign keys and check constraints to interfere. You might also use them

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when you want to change key values and don't want the constraints to get in your way.

So, the following procedure will disable/enable all constraints for a given parametric table:


CREATE PROCEDURE sp_ConstraintState 
               @TblName   VARCHAR(128),
           @State BIT = 1
IF @State = 0
             SET @SQLState = 'ALTER TABLE '+ @TblName + ' NOCHECK CONSTRAINT ALL'
                    SET @SQLState = 'ALTER TABLE ' + @TblName + ' CHECK CONSTRAINT ALL'
EXEC (@SQLState)

For example:

exec sp_ConstraintState  'products',0

...will disable all constraints on the products table in the Northwind database.

The following procedure will use sp_constraintState to disable all constraints in the database:

 Create proc sp_disable_all_const_in_db 
  'exec sp_MsForEachTable 'sp_ConstraintState ''?'',0

For example, to disbale all constraints in the database:

EXEC sp_disable_all_const_in_db

About the author

Eli Leiba works at the Israel Electric Company as a senior application DBA in Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. He has certifications from Microsoft and BrainBench in Oracle and SQL Server database administration and implementation. Mr. Leiba holds a B.S. in computer science and has 11 years of experience working in the database field. Additionally, Mr. Leiba teaches SQL Server DBA and development courses at the Microsoft CTEC and serves as a senior database consultant for several Israeli start-up companies.


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This was first published in February 2005

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