by MAK [Muthusamy Anantha Kumar]

With SQL Server 6.5, Microsoft gave us an opportunity to do a backup (DUMP Table) of the tables. However, after 6.5, with both 7.0 and 2000, that feature has been removed for some reason. Here is a stored procedure that I wrote which gives similar functionality for backing up table data. This is very useful if the database size is extremely large and you need to backup only a few tables.

Stored Procedure:

use master
Create procedure SP_BKUPTables 
@Tablelist varchar(2000),
@BackupPath varchar(2000)
set nocount on
--Objective: To backup one or more tables
--Created by: MAK
--Date Created : May 2, 2003
--Error Checking 
declare @count1 int
declare @i int
declare @table varchar(128)
declare @query varchar(1000)
declare @length int
declare @errorflag tinyint
declare @backupdbname varchar(38)
declare @Tablelist2 varchar(2000)
set @errorflag =0
set @backupdbname ="["+convert(varchar(36),newid())+"]"
If replace(@Tablelist," ","")="" 
set @errorflag=1 
If replace(@Backuppath," ","")="" begin 
set @Backuppath =(select replace(replace(filename,"tempdb.mdf","")," ","") + 
"Mytable.TBL" from sysfiles where fileid =1)
Print "USP_BKUPTables Parameters"
Print "_________________________" 
Print "Developed by : MAK [Muthusamy Anantha Kumar]"
Print ""
print "Database Name: "+ db_name()
print "Table List   : "+ @tablelist
print "Backup Path  : "+ @backuppath
Create table #backuptable (id int identity(1,1),name varchar(128))
set @Tablelist2 =@Tablelist +","
set @length =len(@tablelist2)
while @length >0
insert into #backuptable select replace(left(@Tablelist2,charindex(',',@Tablelist2,1)),',','')
set @Tablelist2 = replace(@Tablelist2 ,left(@Tablelist2,charindex(',',@Tablelist2,1)),"")
set @length =len(@tablelist2)
if (select count(*) from #backuptable) <> (select count(*) from 
sysobjects where name in (select name from #backuptable) and type='u')
set @errorflag =1
Print "Error********:  One or More tables not found"
set @i=1
--select * from #backuptable
if @errorflag =0 
print "                               "
print "Creating temporary database..."
print "                               "
exec ("create database "+ @backupdbname )
select @count1 = count(*) from #backuptable
print @count1
print "                               "
print "Enabling Select into bulk copy..."
print "                               "
set @query = "sp_dboption "+ @backupdbname+ ",'select into/bulkcopy',true"
--print @query
exec (@query)
print "                               "
print "Copying Data..."
print "                               "
 while @i <= @count1
 select @table = name from #backuptable where id = @i
print "Copying "+@Table+"..."
 set @query = "select * into "+ @backupdbname +".dbo."+ @table + " from " + @table
 exec (@query)
-- print @query
 set @i=@i+1
print "                               "
print "Backuping Database..."
print "                               "
exec (" backup database "+ @backupdbname + " to disk = '" + @BackupPath + "' with init")
print "                               "
print "Dropping Temporary Database..."
print "                               "
exec ("Drop database "+@backupdbname )


SP_BKUPTables 'SNAR_Request,mytable1,employee','d:\mytable.bak'


The basic concept of this procedure is to:

  1. Create a temporary database on the fly (uses uniqueidentifier as databasename)
  2. Enable temporary database to handle 'Select into/bulk copy'
  3. Copy all the tables in the list to the temporary database
  4. Take a backup of the temporary database. If database path is not given (SP_BKUPTables 'SNAR_request','') then it takes the tempdb's path as the default path for backup file location.
  5. Delete the temporary database

Error Messages:

The user gets an error message when there is no such table (given in the table list) available in the database.


Since we create this as a system stored procedure, it can be executed from any database. Thus by using this stored procedure, we can recreate the same functionality we had in SQL Server 6.5 (DUMP table). The database can be restored the same way and the data can be retrieved when necessary. This stored procedure can be used in both SQL Server 7.0 and 2000.