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Generating a SQL Server population routine

A script that will stress test your SQL Server data model before going live with it.

In the early stages of application design DBA or a developer creates a data model. Unfortunately many models work very well with a handful of rows but fail miserably when the application grows by leaps and bounds. This is why it is important to populate your data model with data and stress test it prior to making it available for users. Test data doesn't have to be perfect; indeed, you can duplicate the same record, or a few different records, to test the performance of your queries.

In this article, I offer a script for generating INSERT statements for every table in your database. The script is fairly simple -- it relies on three system tables: sysusers, sysobjects and syscolumns. It generates an INSERT statement duplicating the top row in your table. However, it can be easily altered to fit your needs.

SET NOCOUNT ON 
DECLARE @table VARCHAR(200), 
 @owner VARCHAR(100),
 @sql VARCHAR(2000), 
 @sql1 VARCHAR(2000)

DECLARE @schema TABLE (
 table_name VARCHAR(200),
 column_name VARCHAR(200))

INSERT @schema
SELECT c.name + '.' + a.name, b.name FROM sysobjects a INNER JOIN syscolumns b ON b.id = a.id
AND a.type = 'u'
AND a.name <> 'dtproperties'
INNER JOIN sysusers c ON c.uid = a.uid
ORDER BY a.name, b.colid

DECLARE table_cursor CURSOR FOR 

SELECT DISTINCT table_name FROM @schema

OPEN table_cursor
FETCH NEXT FROM table_cursor INTO @table

WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
BEGIN

SELECT @sql1 = ''
SELECT @sql1 = @sql1 + ', '+ column_name FROM @schema
WHERE table_name = @table

SELECT @sql1 = SUBSTRING(@sql1, 3, LEN(@sql1)-2)


SELECT @sql = 'INSERT ' + @table + '( ' + @sql1 + ' ) ' + CHAR(10) + ' SELECT TOP 1 ' + @sql1 + ' FROM ' + 
  @table

SELECT @sql
FETCH NEXT FROM table_cursor INTO @table
END
CLOSE table_cursor
DEALLOCATE table_cursor

In the pubs database, the output will be similar to the following:

INSERT dbo.authors( au_id, au_lname, au_fname, phone, address, city, state, zip, contract ) 
 SELECT TOP 1 au_id, au_lname, au_fname, phone, address, city, state, zip, contract FROM dbo.authors

INSERT dbo.discounts( discounttype, stor_id, lowqty, highqty, discount ) 
 SELECT TOP 1 discounttype, stor_id, lowqty, highqty, discount FROM dbo.discounts

INSERT dbo.employee( emp_id, fname, minit, lname, job_id, job_lvl, pub_id, hire_date ) 
 SELECT TOP 1 emp_id, fname, minit, lname, job_id, job_lvl, pub_id, hire_date FROM dbo.employee

About the Author

Baya Pavliashvili is a MCSE, MCSD and MCDBA with five years experience with SQL Server.

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This was last published in February 2005

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