In our application we sporadically experience a locking issue caused by the execution of an sp_tables statement.

We use SQL Server 2012. In our code and queries in our stored procedures we don't make use of sp_tables.

How can I trace who is the responsible of this call? At least how can I log when this call happens?

I read that it's also called by third parties, in this case how can I track who is responsible?


in our application we use Hibernate as ORM and c3p0 for connection pooling.

EDIT 2: we didn't succed in understanding when and by who the sp_tables was called but today we succeded in replicate the issue.

Seems that the sp_tables is called in responde to a failed delete tried on the schema.

The delete fails because there are other rows referencing the row that we try to delete, so we get an exception

SQLServerException: The DELETE statement conflicted with the REFERENCE constraint..

Is there evidence somewhere that this kind of errors triggers an sp_tables on the db?

  • 2
    It may be worth noting that SPIDs 1-50 are reserved for system processes. – RDFozz May 3 '17 at 19:20
  • 3
    When it's blocking you, you should be able to gather information about the source using sys.dm_exec_requests, sys.dm_exec_sessions, sys.dm_exec_connections, etc. Or by running sp_WhoIsActive. – Aaron Bertrand May 3 '17 at 20:10
  • Tnx, good points. I will keep note of this next time we're blocked – frankieta May 3 '17 at 20:36
  • @frankieta, what you are getting error number? Did you follow "Aaron Bertrand" given instruction. – Md Haidar Ali Khan May 24 '17 at 10:38
  • @MdHaidarAliKhan no, I couldn't execute it because it was on a production db and they already had killed the sp_tables transaction. We are going to try replicate it in test – frankieta May 24 '17 at 11:06

You can set up an extended event session with following code. I tested this and it works (at least the way I was calling).

   (SET collect_statement=(1)   
    WHERE ( [sqlserver].[like_i_sql_unicode_string]
ADD event sqlserver.sql_statement_completed( 
ADD TARGET package0.event_file(SET filename=N'C:\callspTables.xel',
        max_rollover_files=(100)) WITH (max_memory=4096 kb, 
        max_dispatch_latency=120 seconds, 
        max_event_size=0 kb, 
| improve this answer | |
  • we didn't succed in logging the sp_tables with extended events, but today we replicated the issue, so I updated my question. – frankieta May 24 '17 at 10:26
  • You can set up a test case and see if sp_tables get called. – SqlWorldWide May 24 '17 at 12:29

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