Is there anyway to execute stored procedure with SET LOCK_TIMEOUT explicitly?

E.g. I have sproc called dbo.LoadData. It just takes data from table dbo.Abc and insert them in table dbo.Xyz.

Now I want to execute the sproc dbo.LoadData, but if the table dbo.Abc is locked for e.g. more than 10 seconds, stop the execution of the stored procedure.

I know the option SET LOCK_TIMEOUT can be implemented in the sproc dbo.LoadData itself, but I am wondering if there is any way how to call it explicitly (= not implementing the option in the stored procedure itself).

  • any way how to call it explicitly--You mean at a session level? – SqlWorldWide Jul 10 '17 at 12:20
  • Yes. Pseudocode: EXEC dbo.LoadData WITH SET LOCK_TIMEOUT 10. – DNac Jul 10 '17 at 12:22
  • Do yo mind explaining why you don't want to set it in the stored procedure itself? – Joe Obbish Jul 11 '17 at 23:27
  • Sure. There is one Master Stored procedure that starts other stored procedure based on some logic. So I want to move the LOCK TIMEOUT logic to this master stored proc and handle all the logic there. – DNac Jul 17 '17 at 7:03
  • It might be better to batch your inserts, then dial down the rows inserted until it finishes under your deadline. – James Dec 21 '17 at 13:53

LOCK_TIMEOUT is not only a session-level setting, it also needs to be set in a separate batch. But, it cannot be set via a variable. So, this can be accomplished by using Dynamic SQL in the "master" Stored Procedure. This will allow for setting LOCK_TIMEOUT and then executing whatever other Stored Procedure that should run within this particular setting. It has to be a single execution of Dynamic SQL since the setting will revert back to the value of the top-most / outer-most process. For example:

Run this in one query tab in SSMS:

INSERT INTO ##LockedTable ([ID]) VALUES (1);

    @SecondsUntilTimeout INT = 2

SET @SecondsUntilTimeout = ISNULL(@SecondsUntilTimeout, 2); -- enforce default

SET @SQL += CONVERT(NVARCHAR(MAX), @SecondsUntilTimeout * 1000) + N';

SET @SQL += N'EXEC ##ShouldTimeout;'; -- use CASE / IF to decide what to exec

RAISERROR(@SQL, 10, 1) WITH NOWAIT; -- print Dynamic SQL in "Messages" tab


Run the following in another query tab in SSMS:

CREATE TABLE ##LockedTable (ID INT);


Now go back to the first query tab (where you created the two temporary Stored Procedures) and run the following two tests:

EXEC ##TimeoutTest;
-- this will timeout after 2 seconds (the default)

EXEC ##TimeoutTest 5;
-- this will timeout after 5 seconds

Now go back to the second query tab and execute the ROLLBACK ;-).


No you cannot do that. This is a property of your connection.

Books online:

At the beginning of a connection, this setting has a value of -1. After it is changed, the new setting stays in effect for the remainder of the connection. The setting of SET LOCK_TIMEOUT is set at execute or run time and not at parse time.

Few example and discussion of how it can be used:

  1. SET LOCK_TIMEOUT, is it session or statement based?
  2. https://blog.sqlauthority.com/2013/01/28/sql-server-basic-explanation-of-set-lock_timeout-how-to-not-wait-on-locked-query/
  3. Can we set LOCK_TIMEOUT instance- or database-wide?

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