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DROP IF EXISTS T-SQL Enhancement in SQL Server 2016

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SQL Server 2016 introduces a new DROP IF EXISTS statement to DROP objects such as tables, columns, indexes, stored procedures, schemas, triggers and user-defined functions. DROP IF EXISTS statement can be used to check whether the object exists before it is dropped or removed from the database.

This is Part 3 of 10 Part T-SQL Enhancements in SQL Server 2016 for Developers and DBAs. Click here to read it from the beginning….

Prior to SQL Server 2016 you would write the T-SQL script similar to one below to check whether the object existed before it could be dropped from the database.


IF EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM sys.objects WHERE object_id = OBJECT_ID(N'[SchemaName].[TableName]') 
AND [type] IN (N'U')) 

DROP TABLE [SchemaName].[TableName]

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Example DROP IF EXISTS in SQL Server 2016

Starting SQL Server 2016, you could achieve the same functionality by executing the below simplified T-SQL script.


DROP TABLE IF EXISTS [SchemaName].[TableName]

DROP PROCEDURE IF EXISTS [SchemaName].[ProcedureName]

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Ashish Mehta

Ashish Kumar Mehta is a database manager, trainer and technical author. He has more than a decade of IT experience in database administration, performance tuning, database development and technical training on Microsoft SQL Server from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2014. Ashish has authored more than 325 technical articles on SQL Server across leading SQL Server technology portals. Over the last few years, he has also developed and delivered many successful projects in database infrastructure; data warehouse and business intelligence; database migration; and upgrade projects for companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cognizant and Centrica PLC, UK. He holds an engineering degree in computer science and industry standard certifications from Microsoft including MCITP Database Administrator 2005/2008, MCDBA SQL Server 2000 and MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications.

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