FMTONLY is a setting in SQL Server that specifies whether SQL Server should parse and validate the syntax of a Transact-SQL batch, but not actually execute it. When FMTONLY is set to ON, SQL Server does not execute any statements in the batch that would have any effect on the database. Instead, SQL Server simply returns metadata about the result set that would be generated by the batch if it were executed.
FMTONLY is typically used in scenarios where you need to retrieve metadata about a query or stored procedure without actually executing it. For example, if you are building an application that allows users to create custom reports, you might use FMTONLY to retrieve metadata about the columns that would be returned by a user-defined query, so that you can display this information to the user and allow them to select the columns they want to include in the report.
To turn on FMTONLY, you can use the SET FMTONLY ON statement before executing your query or stored procedure. Here is an example:
sqlSET FMTONLY ON; -- Execute your query or stored procedure here SET FMTONLY OFF;
After the SET FMTONLY ON statement is executed, SQL Server will return metadata about the result set that would be generated by the query or stored procedure if it were executed. Once you are done retrieving metadata, you can turn off FMTONLY by executing SET FMTONLY OFF.
Note that when FMTONLY is on, any stored procedures that are executed as part of the batch are not actually executed. This means that any side effects of executing the stored procedure (such as modifying data in the database) will not occur.
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