What are the pros and cons to keeping SQL in Stored Procs versus Code


What are the advantages/disadvantages of keeping SQL in your C# source code or in Stored Procs? I've been discussing this with a friend on an open source project that we're working on (C# ASP.NET Forum). At the moment, most of the database access is done by building the SQL inline in C# and calling to the SQL Server DB. So I'm trying to establish which, for this particular project, would be best.

So far I have:

Advantages for in Code:

  • Easier to maintain - don't need to run a SQL script to update queries
  • Easier to port to another DB - no procs to port

Advantages for Stored Procs:

  • Performance
  • Security
10/27/2008 2:46:03 PM

Accepted Answer

I am not a fan of stored procedures

Stored Procedures are MORE maintainable because: * You don't have to recompile your C# app whenever you want to change some SQL

You'll end up recompiling it anyway when datatypes change, or you want to return an extra column, or whatever. The number of times you can 'transparently' change the SQL out from underneath your app is pretty small on the whole

  • You end up reusing SQL code.

Programming languages, C# included, have this amazing thing, called a function. It means you can invoke the same block of code from multiple places! Amazing! You can then put the re-usable SQL code inside one of these, or if you want to get really high tech, you can use a library which does it for you. I believe they're called Object Relational Mappers, and are pretty common these days.

Code repetition is the worst thing you can do when you're trying to build a maintainable application!

Agreed, which is why storedprocs are a bad thing. It's much easier to refactor and decompose (break into smaller parts) code into functions than SQL into... blocks of SQL?

You have 4 webservers and a bunch of windows apps which use the same SQL code Now you realized there is a small problem with the SQl code so do you rather...... change the proc in 1 place or push the code to all the webservers, reinstall all the desktop apps(clickonce might help) on all the windows boxes

Why are your windows apps connecting directly to a central database? That seems like a HUGE security hole right there, and bottleneck as it rules out server-side caching. Shouldn't they be connecting via a web service or similar to your web servers?

So, push 1 new sproc, or 4 new webservers?

In this case it is easier to push one new sproc, but in my experience, 95% of 'pushed changes' affect the code and not the database. If you're pushing 20 things to the webservers that month, and 1 to the database, you hardly lose much if you instead push 21 things to the webservers, and zero to the database.

More easily code reviewed.

Can you explain how? I don't get this. Particularly seeing as the sprocs probably aren't in source control, and therefore can't be accessed via web-based SCM browsers and so on.

More cons:

Storedprocs live in the database, which appears to the outside world as a black box. Simple things like wanting to put them in source control becomes a nightmare.

There's also the issue of sheer effort. It might make sense to break everything down into a million tiers if you're trying to justify to your CEO why it just cost them 7 million dollars to build some forums, but otherwise creating a storedproc for every little thing is just extra donkeywork for no benefit.

9/19/2013 3:28:31 PM

This is being discussed on a few other threads here currently. I'm a consistent proponent of stored procedures, although some good arguments for Linq to Sql are being presented.

Embedding queries in your code couples you tightly to your data model. Stored procedures are a good form of contractual programming, meaning that a DBA has the freedom to alter the data model and the code in the procedure, so long as the contract represented by the stored procedure's inputs and outputs is maintained.

Tuning production databases can be extremely difficult when the queries are buried in the code and not in one central, easy to manage location.

[Edit] Here is another current discussion

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