SQL Server and Sybase ASE both support the highly dubious feature of grouping stored procedures by appending a number:


The only tangible benefit is that DROP PROCEDURE Foo will drop all of these procedures together -- and that's it; to call them you still need to append the number explicitly. The drawbacks of allowing a semicolon to be part of a procedure name and having non-obvious DROP semantics should be obvious, and indeed many tools don't (properly) support this format and things like contained databases outright forbid them.

In what version of SQL Server and/or Sybase ASE was this feature introduced, and from what version onwards was it deprecated? I'd consult the documentation, but documentation that goes back far enough does not appear to be available. I've found the following:

This leads me to think the feature might have existed in very early versions indeed, possibly before the split between Sybase and Microsoft, but still doesn't tell me what the earliest introduction and deprecation was. The asteroid to kill this dinosaur is still in orbit, but how old is the dinosaur?


2 Answers 2


Looking at the SQL Server 2000 T-SQL help, there is no mention of deprecation so it seems numbered stored procedures were deprecated with the release SQL Server 2005.

I don't recall numbered procs ever not being in the Microsoft SQL Server product on Windows so I'm pretty sure the feature stems from it's Sybase roots and is in the 4.21a Windows release. I can't speak to the OS/2 version since I dodged that bullet :-)


Numbered procs have been in ASE (early 90's: Sybase SQL Server) since at least version 4.2.

And yes, numbered procs are still in ASE today (eg, ASE 16.x).

I never found a use for them and can't recall every coming across their usage (I've worked at a few dozen companies over the years).

I've no idea why these dino's are still around except possibly for backwards compatibility for anyone (still) using them.

As for killing off these dino's ... *shrug* ... I can think of a lot of places (in ASE) where the effort would be better spent. In the meantime, while I know numbered procs exist, I just ignore them and continue on my merry way ...

  • Is the version info from personal experience or because you still have the docs somewhere? It's fine either way; just having the source is nice. May 2, 2018 at 12:08
  • Personal experience (25 years working with Sybase). In the early 90's the docs were printed ... I tossed those manuals many, many years ago.
    – markp-fuso
    May 2, 2018 at 12:12
  • I guess this is as good as it gets, then. There's a small chance this feature might be as old as Sybase 3.0, which first introduced sprocs (if Wikipedia is to be believed), but I'd have better luck confirming that on retrocomputing.SE. :-) May 2, 2018 at 12:19

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