A Transact-SQL stored procedure is a set of T-SQL code that is stored in a SQL Server database and compiled when used. You create this set of code using the CREATE PROCEDURE command. You can use most Transact-SQL commands in a stored procedure; however, some commands (such as CREATE PROCEDURE, CREATE VIEW, SET SHOWPLAN_TEXT, SET SHOWPLAN_ALL, and so forth) must be the first (or only) statement in a command batch, and therefore aren’t allowed in stored procedures. Most Transact-SQL commands behave the same in a stored procedure as they do in a command batch, but some have special capabilities or exhibit different behavior when executed within the context of a stored procedure.
Although you can do most of the things a stored procedure can do with simple ad hoc Transact-SQL code, stored procedures have a number of advantages over ad hoc queries as mentioned below.
- Execution plan retention and reuse
- Query autoparameterization
- Encapsulation of business rules and policies
- Application modularization
- Sharing of application logic between applications
- Access to database objects that is both secure and uniform
- Consistent, safe data modification
- Network bandwidth conservation
- Support for automatic execution at system start-up