Simple way to create a SQL Server Job Using T-SQL


By:   |   Updated: 2021-10-15   |   Comments (15)   |   Related: > SQL Server Agent


Problem

Sometimes we have a T-SQL process that we need to run that takes some time to run or we want to run it during idle time on the server. We could create a SQL Agent job manually, but is there any simple way to create a scheduled job?

Solution

This tip contains T-SQL code to create a SQL Agent job dynamically instead of having to use the SSMS GUI.

I am going to create a stored procedure named sp_add_job_quick that takes a few parameters to create the job. For my example, I will create a SQL Agent job that will call stored procedure sp_who and the job will be scheduled to run once at 4:00 PM.

Creating a Stored Procedure to create SQL Agent jobs

In this sample we are going to create a job dynamically using T-SQL Code:

USE msdb
go
CREATE procedure [dbo].[sp_add_job_quick] 
@job nvarchar(128),
@mycommand nvarchar(max), 
@servername nvarchar(28),
@startdate nvarchar(8),
@starttime nvarchar(8)
as
--Add a job
EXEC dbo.sp_add_job
    @job_name = @job ;
--Add a job step named process step. This step runs the stored procedure
EXEC sp_add_jobstep
    @job_name = @job,
    @step_name = N'process step',
    @subsystem = N'TSQL',
    @command = @mycommand
--Schedule the job at a specified date and time
exec sp_add_jobschedule @job_name = @job,
@name = 'MySchedule',
@freq_type=1,
@active_start_date = @startdate,
@active_start_time = @starttime
-- Add the job to the SQL Server 
EXEC dbo.sp_add_jobserver
    @job_name =  @job,
    @server_name = @servername

This is a stored procedure named sp_add_job_quick that calls 4 msdb stored procedures:

  1. sp_add_job creates a new job
  2. sp_add_jobstep adds a new step in the job
  3. sp_add_jobschedule schedules a job for a specific date and time
  4. sp_add_jobserver adds the job to a specific server

Let's invoke the stored procedure in order to create the job:

exec dbo.sp_add_job_quick 
@job = 'myjob', -- The job name
@mycommand = 'sp_who', -- The T-SQL command to run in the step
@servername = 'serverName', -- SQL Server name. If running locally, you can use @servername=@@Servername
@startdate = '20130829', -- The date August 29th, 2013
@starttime = '160000' -- The time, 16:00:00

If everything is OK, a job named myjob will be created with a step that runs the sp_who stored procedure that will run on August 29th at 4:00PM.

job created

Explanation of the SQL Agent job creation code

Here I will walk through the code and what each step does.

The sp_add_job is a procedure in the msdb database that creates a job.

EXEC dbo.sp_add_job
    @job_name = @job   

The sp_add_jobstep creates a job step in the job created. In this tip, the step name is process_step and the action is a TSQL command.

EXEC sp_add_jobstep
    @job_name = @job,
    @step_name = N'process step',
    @subsystem = N'TSQL',
    @command = @mycommand  

job step

In the declare section we are assigning to the @mycommand variable the stored procedure sp_who.

job step stored procedure

The following section let's you create the schedule for the job in T-SQL. The schedule name is MySchedule. The frequency type is once (1). If you need to run the job daily the frequency type is 4 and weekly 8 . The active start time is 16:00:00 (4PM). The start date uses the date assigned to the startdate variable '20130823'.

exec sp_add_jobschedule @job_name = @job,
@name = 'MySchedule',
@freq_type=1,
@active_start_date = @startdate,
@active_start_time = @starttime 

sql job schedule

Some additional values for the sp_add_job

Some other parameters than can be useful for the sp_add_job stored procedure are the following:

Enabled

The @enabled parameter is used to set the status of the job. If enable is 0, the job is disabled. Otherwise, it is enabled.

Example

The following examples show how to enable (1) and disable (0) the jobs.

  • @enabled=1
  • @enabled=0

Description

It is an optional parameter used to describe the functionality of the job. It is a best practice to add a good explanation of what the job does. The description supports 512 characters.

Example

This parameter is used to describe the job itself.

  • @description=N'This job is used for...'

Start_step_id

Sometimes, we do not start the job in step 1, but we start at another step. You can decide which one is the first step in the job with this parameter.

Example

The following example will start the job at step 3.

  • @start_step_id =3

Category_id

You can use the category id instead of using the category name. The find the category ID and the category name, use the following query:

use msdb
go
select category_id, name from dbo.syscategories  
GO  

Example

  • @category_id=3

Delete_level

This parameter indicates if the job will be deleted. By default it is 0 which means that the job will not be deleted after execution. We can delete the job after a successful or a failure or even after completion. For this parameter we created an exclusive article for you: Automatic cleanup of SQL Server Agent scheduled jobs.

For more information about the sp_add_job, go to the next steps section.

Some additional parameters for the sp_add_job_step

Some other parameters than can be useful for the sp_add_job_step stored procedure are the following:

Subsystem

The @subsystem parameter is used to define the job action. Possible values are the CmdExec, Distribution, Snapshot, LogReader, Merge, ANALYSISQUERY, ANALYSISCOMMAND, SSIS, PowerShell, TSQL.

Examples

  • @subsystem=N'CmdExec'
  • @subsystem=N'PowerShell'
  • @subsystem=N'ANALYSISCOMMAND'
  • @subsystem=N'TSQL'

On_success_action

The @on_success_action parameter is used to define what to do if the step is executed successfully. You can quit the job reporting success (value equal to 1), quit reporting a failure (2), go to the next step (3) and finally, go to an specific success step id (4).

Examples

  • @on_success_action=1
  • @on_success_action=2
  • @on_success_action=3

On_fail_action

The @on_fail_action parameter is used to define what to do if the step is executed with failure. You can quit the job reporting success (value equal to 1), quit reporting a failure (2), go to the next step (3) and finally, go to an specific success step id (4).

Examples

The following examples will show how to quit when the step success (1) and also will show how to quit on failure (2) and how to go to the next step (3):

  • @on_success_action=1
  • @on_success_action=2
  • @on_success_action=3

Retry_attempts

The @retry_attempts parameter is used to define the number of retries in case the job fails.

Examples

The following examples show how to set the number of retry attempts to 1, 2 or 3:

  • @retry_attempts=1
  • @retry_attempts=2
  • @retry_attempts=3

Retry_intervals

The @retry_intervals parameter is the number of minutes to wait between attempts.

Examples

The following example will show how to set the @retry_interval parameter into 15, 30 and 60 minutes.

  • @retry_intervals=15
  • @retry_intervals=30
  • @retry_intervals=60

Command

The @command parameter depends on the subsystem, if the subsystem is TSQL, the command will be T-SQL statements, if the subsystem is CmdExec, the command will be the command line and so on.

Examples

The following example is an ANALYSISCOMMAND:

@command=N'<Batch xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/analysisservices/2003/engine">
<Parallel>
<Process xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" 
xmlns:ddl2="http://schemas.microsoft.com/analysisservices/2003/engine/2" 
xmlns:ddl2_2="http://schemas.microsoft.com/analysisservices/2003/engine/2/2" 
xmlns:ddl100_100="http://schemas.microsoft.com/analysisservices/2008/engine/100/100">
<Object>
<DatabaseID>Adventure Works DW</DatabaseID>
<CubeID>Adventure Works DW</CubeID>
</Object>
<Type>ProcessFull</Type>
<WriteBackTableCreation>UseExisting</WriteBackTableCreation>
</Process>
</Parallel>
</Batch>'

The following example copies a backup from the C drive to the D drive using PowerShell:

@command=N'Copy-Item "C:\adw.bak" -Destination "d:\"' 

The following example copies a backup from the C drive to the D drive:

@command=N'copy c:\adw.bak d:' 

Some additional parameters for the sp_add_schedule

Some other parameters than can be useful for the sp_add_schedule stored procedure are the following:

Freq_type

The @freq_type parameter is used to define how often will be the run the job. The number 1 is to run once, the number 4 to run daily, the number 8 to run weekly, 16 monthly, 64 when the SQL Agent service starts and 128 when the computer is idle.

Examples

The following example shows how to set the frequency to run weekly:

  • @freq_type=8

Active_start_date

The @active_start_date parameter is used to define the date that the job will start. The format is YYYYMMDD.

Examples

The following example shows how to set the active start date to 2021-10-14:

  • @active_start_date=20211014.

Active_end_date

The @active_end_date is used to the date that the job will end. The format is YYYYMMDD.

Examples

The following example shows how to set the active end date to 2021-10-15:

  • @active_end_date=20211015

Additional tables to find information about SQL Agent jobs

Here are some system tables in the msdb database that you can use to get job information. If you need to retrieve job information you may need them.

  • dbo.sysjobactivity - shows the current information of the jobs
  • dbo.sysjobhistory - shows the execution result of the jobs.
  • dbo.sysjobs - shows the information of the jobs programmed.
  • dbo.sysjobsshedules - shows the job schedule information like the next run date and time of the jobs.
  • dbo.sysjobservers - shows the servers assigned to run jobs
  • dbo.sysjobsteps - shows the job steps
  • dbo.sysjobsteplogs - let you see the logs of the steps configured to display the output in a table

SQL Agent Job stored procedures

You also have these stored procedures in the msdb database to retrieve job information:

  • sp_helpjob
  • sp_helpjobactivity
  • sp_helpjobcount
  • sp_helpjobhistory
  • sp_helpjobhistory_full
  • sp_helpjobhistory_sem
  • sp_helpjobhistory_summary
  • sp_helpjobs_in_schedule
  • sp_help_jobschedule
  • sp_help_jobserver
  • sp_help_jobstep
  • sp_help_jobssteplog

I am not going to explain each system stored procedure, but in the next steps you can find links with an explanation for each.

If you want to modify and create your own procedures based on the Microsoft system stored procedures you can review the code using sp_helptext. In this example, we are reviewing sp_help_job. For example, to see the T-SQL code for sp_help_job code use this command:

sp_helptext '[dbo].[sp_help_job]'

The code is displayed here:

stored procedure code
Next Steps

For more information about creating jobs with T-SQL refer to these links:






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About the author
MSSQLTips author Daniel Calbimonte Daniel Calbimonte is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Microsoft Certified IT Professional.

View all my tips


Article Last Updated: 2021-10-15

Comments For This Article




Friday, December 18, 2020 - 5:09:16 PM - Spencer A Sullivan Back To Top (87932)
Fantastic article and great explanations. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 9:49:56 AM - yetanis20 Back To Top (76010)

Excelente articulo! me ayudo bastante, execlente explicación paso a paso.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 2:07:10 AM - Sheik Ahmed SM Back To Top (75473)

 

 Nice Article


Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 4:57:27 AM - Rajendra Back To Top (70120)

 

 Good article.

I need a article with updation of every five seconds time interval.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 6:59:03 AM - c Back To Top (64298)

 

 

 

good one


Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 2:00:19 AM - Andy K Back To Top (59818)

 Thank you very much for this article.

Very concise and straightforward with good example.

 


Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 12:38:35 PM - Farooqui Back To Top (41931)

 

 Nice Article, it really helped me.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 5:43:58 AM - King Back To Top (36440)

good article


Friday, August 1, 2014 - 12:22:35 AM - Thankful User Back To Top (33967)

Thank you very much for this post! It REALLY helped me.


Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 8:35:59 AM - pooja Back To Top (32858)

hi,

i am trying to schedule a job in ql server 2005 for calling a stored procedure daily at a fixe time, at the time of adding the steps i am getting the message in window 'after creating the steps that after executing the steps  go to next step will goes to quit with success. is this intended behavoiur' . while clicking on yes it gives exception

   'execute permission deny for sp_help_operator,msdb '.and it does not create the steps in job. could you provide me the solution .

thanks in advance


Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 5:52:58 PM - Brahim Back To Top (27134)

This is a usefull article. Thanks a lot.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 9:32:26 AM - Daniel Back To Top (27080)

The easiest way is to specify the database name in the command.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 9:27:30 AM - cody leaf Back To Top (27079)

What is the parameter for the database setting if you don't want it to always be "MASTER"?

 

 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 4:24:06 PM - Greg Robidoux Back To Top (26948)

Thanks for pointing that out. The tip has been updated to fix the typo you mentioned.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 3:30:30 PM - TimothyAWiseman Back To Top (26947)

I was not aware of some of those system stored procedures, so this is very enlightening.  Thank you.

Just a small nitpick, but is " The active start time is 16:00:00 (00:00:00)." a typo?  Should it read (04:00:00) to translate the 24-hour clock to the more conventional 12-hour clock?  Or am I just misunderstanding something?



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