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Programming Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 by Leonard Lobel and Andrew Brust

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Metadata Discovery

Modern development tools deliver critical productivity features, such as graphical designers and code generators, and those capabilities rely heavily on database metadata discovery. Indeed, it has always been possible to interrogate SQL Server for metadata information. You can easily discover all the objects in a database (tables, views, stored procedures, and so on) and their types by directly querying system tables (not recommended, as they can change from one version of SQL Server to another) or information schema views (which are consistent in each SQL Server version). It is significantly more challenging, however, to discover the result set schema for T-SQL statements or stored procedures that contain conditional logic. ...

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