I have some standard SQL that I run against multiple databases on a single server to help me diagnose problems:

    MAX(case when sc.text like '%remote%' then '' ELSE 'N' END) AS Relevant,
    @@ServerName as Server,
    DB_Name() as DBName 
    sysobjects so with (nolock)
    join syscomments sc with (nolock) on so.id = sc.id
where (sc.text like '%emote%')
group by so.name, so.type
order by so.type, so.name

How can I execute this against all databases on a single server? (besides manually connecting to one at a time and executing)

  • You may find this alternative of ms_foreachdb useful as well.
    – Nomad
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 13:59

6 Answers 6



One option is sp_MSForEachDB. It's undocumented but useful nonetheless

DECLARE @command varchar(1000) 
SELECT @command = 
    'USE [?] UPDATE Table1 SET Field1 = ''ninjas'' WHERE Field2 = ''pirates''' 
EXEC sp_MSforeachdb @command

A search of the interwebs has many more examples too

Note: Being an unsupported function (which has some known bugs) you may want to write your own version (thanks @Pradeep)

The SQL example above would need to be restructured as:

DECLARE @findKeySQL nvarchar(2000)
DECLARE @searchKey nvarchar(20)

SET @searchKey = lower('%remote%')

SET @findKeySQL = 'IF ''[?]'' NOT IN (''[master]'', ''[model]'', 
                                     ''[msdb]'', ''[tempdb]'')
            @@ServerName as Server,
            ''?'' as DBName 
            [?].dbo.sysobjects so with (nolock)
            join [?].sys.all_sql_modules sc with (nolock) on so.id = sc.object_id
        where (lower(sc.definition) like ''' + @searchKey + ''')
        group by so.name, so.type
        order by so.type, so.name'

EXEC sp_MSForEachDB @findKeySQL


  1. ? is replaced in the query as the database name, so structure the query to explicitly define which DB it is to query against
  2. modified to use sys.all_sql_modules as holds complete module text (syscomments could split the keyword when reach the spanning over rows)
  • sp_MSforeachdb can be flaky sometimes, so look at the link provided in Pradeep's answer. Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 4:37
  • The sp_MSForEachDB seems good for a quick query. Is there a way I can get it to show which database each results came from?
    – Diskdrive
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 1:37
  • @Diskdrive: add , ''?'' AS DBName to any select statement. As per my example
    – gbn
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 6:59

Just my $0.05: SQL Multi Script (execution of multiple scripts against multiple SQL Servers).

  • 1
    Answers like this, endorsing a commercial solution, should be banned SO!
    – Fandango68
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 23:14
  • 2
    @Fandango68 I am not working for that company. I have just used so tool. No conflict of interests, what about you? ).
    – garik
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 8:48
  • 4
    @Fandango68 I would rather they were not. The best solutions should always be considered, and the best free solutions weighed against them.
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 14:41

SSMS Tools Pack does this nicely and it is free for database servers prior to 2012. The feature: "Run on Multiple Targets" - http://www.ssmstoolspack.com/Features?f=6


There is a further method that will give output in a single semi-merged result set. First open Registered Servers and create a new group under Local Server Groups then register your server once for each DB, in each case setting the default DB to the one desired.

Once complete right click on your group and select New Query. The query window that opens will have "multiple" where you would normally see a server name on the status bar. Any queries run in this window will operate on each registered server that was in the group. The first column of the results will be the name of the registered server. The result set will be fragmented by that first column and order by wills only operate within that fragment.

Very powerful but overlooked piece of functionality for when you routinely have to run the same SQL on multiple servers.

  • I use this a lot and it's a great feature in SSMS. The downside is that it is for manual use only, so not useful if you want to automate something to run regularly. Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 2:55

My company has developed a tool called xSQL Script Executor. It is free for personal use, and for me, it has made deploying scripts on multiple targets very easy.

  • This is a great program! Easy to use and intuitive.
    – AKDiscer
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 19:59

I developed this tool: https://github.com/andreujuanc/TakoDeploy

Im still writing some lines on it, but its pretty stable by now. I have used it against production databases and works like a charm.

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