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SET FMTONLY (Transact-SQL)

Returns only metadata to the client. Can be used to test the format of the response without actually running the query.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

SET FMTONLY { ON | OFF } 

No rows are processed or sent to the client because of the request when SET FMTONLY is turned ON.

The setting of SET FMTONLY is set at execute or run time and not at parse time.

Requires membership in the public role.

The following example changes the SET FMTONLY setting to ON and executes a SELECT statement. The setting causes the statement to return the column information only; no rows of data are returned.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SET FMTONLY ON;
GO
SELECT * 
FROM HumanResources.Employee;
GO
SET FMTONLY OFF;
GO

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