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.
Do not use this feature. This feature has been replaced by sp_describe_first_result_set (Transact-SQL), sp_describe_undeclared_parameters (Transact-SQL), sys.dm_exec_describe_first_result_set (Transact-SQL), and sys.dm_exec_describe_first_result_set_for_object (Transact-SQL).
Applies to: SQL Server (SQL Server 2008 through current version), Azure SQL Database.
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