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Syntax Conventions (Azure SQL Database)

Updated: February 21, 2014

This topic is OBSOLETE. You can find the most current version in the SQL 14 Transact-SQL Reference.

The following table lists and describes conventions that are used in the syntax diagrams in the Microsoft Microsoft Azure SQL Database Transact-SQL Reference.  


Convention Used for


The Transact-SQL keywords in Microsoft Azure SQL Database.


User-supplied parameters of Transact-SQL syntax.


Table names, column names, index names, stored procedures, utilities, data type names, and text that must be typed exactly as shown.


Indicates the default value applied when the clause that contains the underlined value is omitted from the statement.

| (vertical bar)

Separates syntax items enclosed in brackets or braces. You can use only one of the items separated by the vertical bar.

[ ] (brackets)

Optional syntax items. You do not have to type the brackets.

{ } (braces)

Required syntax items. You do not have to type the braces.


Indicates that the preceding item can be repeated n number of times. The occurrences are separated by commas.


Indicates that the preceding item can be repeated n number of times. The occurrences are separated by blanks.


The Transact-SQL statement terminator. 

<label> ::=

The name for a block of syntax. This convention is used to group and label sections of lengthy syntax or a unit of syntax that can be used in more than one location within a statement. Each location in which the block of syntax can be used is indicated with the label enclosed in chevrons: <label>.

Multipart Names

In Microsoft Azure SQL Database, all Transact-SQL references to the name of a database object can be a two-part name in the following form: 

schema_name . object_name

| object_name

Microsoft Azure SQL Database supports the three-part name database_name.[schema_name].object_name when:

  • the database_name is the current database

  • the database_name is tempdb and the object_name starts with #.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database does not support four-part names.


Term Definition


Specifies the name of a Azure SQL Database database.


Specifies the name of the schema that contains the object if the object is in a Azure SQL Database database.


Refers to the name of the object.

The following table shows the valid formats of object names.


Object reference format Description

database . schema . object

The server name is omitted.

database .. object

The server and schema name are omitted.

schema . object

The server and database name are omitted.


The server, database, and schema name are omitted.

See Also

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