Fair warning, I know this isn't the best way to do this, but I'm trying to extend some existing code without needing to do a rewrite.

Anyway, I've got two SQL Server 2012 installs, one local in my office and another at a remote site. The server at the remote site has a linked server setup for my local system.

An application at the remote site inserts a record to a table on the linked server which has an INSTEAD OF trigger. That trigger has a select statement at the end which returns a single integer value. If I do the insert on the local box in SSMS I get the integer as output. If I do the insert on the remote box all I get is 1 row(s) affected.

Is there anyway I can get the trigger's output passed back to the linked server or am I going to need to rewrite as a stored procedure?


All connections are made in the security context of a single user on the remote side. The output appears as expected if I use EXECUTE AS USER on the local server to do the insert rather than do it across the link, so it isn't a permission issue with the account.

Server options are:

Collation Compatible=False  
Data Access=True  
RPC Out=True  
Use Remote Collation=True  
Collation Name=(blank)  
Connection Timeout=0  
Query Timeout=0  
Lazy Schema Validation=False  
Enable Promotion of Distributed Transaction=True
  • What are the linked server settings that you have currently ?
    – Kin Shah
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 17:06
  • @Kin All connections are made in the security context of a single user on the remote side. Server options are: Collation Compatible=False, Data Access=True, RPC=True, RPC Out=True, Use Remote Collation=True, Collation Name=(blank), Connection Timeout=0, Query Timeout=0, Distributer=False, Publisher=False, Subscriber=False, Lazy Schema Validation=False, Enable Promotion of Distributed Transaction=True Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 18:31
  • Can you try using sp_executesql with OUTPUT clause ?
    – Kin Shah
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 19:19
  • I ended up just rewriting the code as a stored procedure. The more I reviewed the trigger code the less happy I was about just modifying it. Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Have you thought about modifying your trigger to put that integer into a table? Include some identifying information, say the primary key from the table you are inserting into. Then just query the table after the insert.

  • The system doing the insert doesn't have an identifier, this process is what generates one. If a bunch of inserts happened at once there would be no way for the client to know which record in the outputmtable was theirs. I'll try that on Monday though so I can figure out if that works. Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 14:34
  • Putting logging in the trigger is the way to go here, but the danger is setting up a big distributed transaction where the insert fires, plus the output table is read, all from a transaction done across servers. Recipe for concurrency problems there.
    – Brent Ozar
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 7:00

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