List columns using INFORMATION_SCHEMA

09 April,2014 by Tom Collins

Question: How can I list all columns in a database?  I don’t know in which table the column exists.

I've read  Find column data types using sys.types and sys.syscolumns

Answer: You can use either the SYS or INFORMATION_SCHEMA  metadata schemas. I prefer to use the INFORMATION_SCHEMA .   The reasons are:

1)      INFORMATION_SCHEMA are ISO compliant. The theory is you can migrate queries across other ISO compliant database server platforms.

 2)      I support  multiple database plaforms, so portability of code is useful. If I were supporting only SQL server – the sys views have a better level of detail .

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Author: Tom Collins (


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