Check if table exists in SQL Server


I would like this to be the ultimate discussion on how to check if a table exists in SQL Server 2000/2005 using SQL Statements.

When you Google for the answer, you get so many different answers. Is there an official/backward and forward compatible way of doing it?

Here are two possible ways of doing it. Which one among the two is the standard/best way of doing it?

First way:

IF EXISTS (SELECT 1 
           FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
           WHERE TABLE_TYPE='BASE TABLE' 
           AND TABLE_NAME='mytablename') 
   SELECT 1 AS res ELSE SELECT 0 AS res;

Second way:

IF OBJECT_ID (N'mytablename', N'U') IS NOT NULL 
   SELECT 1 AS res ELSE SELECT 0 AS res;

MySQL provides the simple

SHOW TABLES LIKE '%tablename%'; 

statement. I am looking for something similar.


Answers:


For queries like this it is always best to use an INFORMATION_SCHEMA view. These views are (mostly) standard across many different databases and rarely change from version to version.

To check if a table exists use:

IF (EXISTS (SELECT * 
                 FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES 
                 WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA = 'TheSchema' 
                 AND  TABLE_NAME = 'TheTable'))
BEGIN
    --Do Stuff
END