In the Computer Programming world, a snippet is a piece of reusable source code that can be easily incorporated into larger sections of code. Similarly, in SQL Server, a T-SQL snippet is a template of code containing the basic structure of a T-SQL statement or block.
There are two types of T-SQL snippets: (i) Expansion, (ii) Surround-with.
Expansion T-SQL snippets, when used, are added in your code right after the cursor.
Surround-with snippets, when used, encapsulate the highlighted T-SQL code. An example of the Surround-with snippets is the IF statement or BEGIN…END etc.
The below screenshot shows an example on how you can use a snippet in SQL Server Management Studio. After right clicking within the Query Window, in this example I selected “Insert Snippet” (you can also make use of the key combination Ctrl+K and Ctrl+X) and then selected the “Create Index Basic” snippet:
As you can see, the result was to get the template T-SQL code of a CREATE INDEX statement in the Query Window:
Now, the question everybody might have: How do I create a T-SQL snippet?
Well, you have two options towards creating a new T-SQL snippet:
- You can either do this manually by following the instructions in this article, or:
- You can use a Graphical User Interface tool for this purpose.
A recommended tool for easily creating T-SQL Snippets for SQL Server Management Tool 2012 or later, is SQLNetHub’s Snippets Generator (see below screenshot).
With Snippets Generator, you can create and modify T-SQL snippets, apply syntax highlighting and code formatting, as well as store your T-SQL snippets as templates.
With the Snippet Templates library, you can use built-in templates for creating your own T-SQL snippets, but also store your snippets as templates in order to be able to create more complex snippets at any time in the future.