C#: Executing batch T-SQL Scripts containing GO statements

At times, we developers need to run SQL scripts from our .NET applications, in, say Installer Applications. This is not always easy since large SQL scripts typically contain a GO statement to separate individual batches and our ADO.NET classes under System.Data namespace do not know how to handle it. The reason is that the “GO” statement is not a native T-SQL statement but rather used by SQL Server Management Studio to terminate the batches it is sending to the server. To tackle this situation, we have the following choices:

1. Split the script on “GO” command into smaller scripts and execute those individual scripts

A very primitive solution would be to split the script on “GO” text and run the individual sub-scripts in sequence. The problem is how to get a robust split mechanism. Generally, a line break before and after the GO works fine. Here’s how to do this:

//get the script
string scriptText = GetScript();

//split the script on "GO" commands
string[] splitter = new string[] { "\r\nGO\r\n" };
string[] commandTexts = scriptText.Split(splitter,
foreach (string commandText in commandTexts)
  //execute commandText

The above code can produce unnecessary splitting in some situations, thus creating an incorrect SQL Command. A more better approach would be to use Regular Expressions. Again, the problem is how to create a pattern that is robust enough to tackle all sort of scripts. Lets look into the second solution now.

2. Use the Server class from SQL Server Management Objects (SMO)

For this, we need to add the following references in our project:

  • Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo
  • Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo
  • Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Sdk.Sfc

After that, we can simply execute the entire script (with all the “GO” statements) using the code below:

string connectionString, scriptText;
SqlConnection sqlConnection = new SqlConnection(connectionString);
ServerConnection svrConnection = new ServerConnection(sqlConnection);
Server server = new Server(svrConnection);

This is a fairly generic and robust solution and the great thing is that it does not require any change in our original script. Hooray!!!


46 Responses to “C#: Executing batch T-SQL Scripts containing GO statements”

  1. Liu Chang Says:

    I am using MSADO 1.5 which does not understand “GO”. The first solution saved my situation.

  2. Hugo Says:

    I had problems with the second solution. Sometimes, it returns no error but it doesn’t work.

  3. Syed Mehroz Alam Says:


    Strange observation, I wasn’t able to verify this behavior.
    I ran a script with some wrong syntax, it threw a “Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Common.ExecutionFailureException” with Message=”An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch.”, and the InnerException contained a “System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException” with Message=”Could not find stored procedure ‘abc’.”

  4. Hugo Says:

    Lol, now I realize why I have no error. In mi .sql files (the string script) I had harcoded the database, but when I was connecting I was using another database! Lol x)

    It was strange that I had no errors (because the hardcoded database didn’t exists)

    The second solution now workss for me 🙂

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  6. Graham Downs Says:

    Where do I find Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Sdk.Sfc? On Visual Studio 2005, with SQL Server Management Studio 2005 installed.

  7. Syed Mehroz Alam Says:


    The Sdk.Sfc reference is needed in ‘some’ of the cases, can you try running your code without it?

  8. Graham Downs Says:

    Hi, Syed

    Yes, I got it working with the following modifications:

    using Microsoft.SqlServer;
    using Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Common;
    using Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo;

    Here’s my code:

    using (SqlConnection sqlConnection = new SqlConnection(databaseConnectionString))
    ServerConnection svrConnection = new ServerConnection(sqlConnection);
    Server server = new Server(svrConnection);
    string script = File.ReadAllText(Application.StartupPath + “\\filename.sql”);

  9. Waqar Ahmed Says:

    Great help thanku manku

  10. Kuljeet singh Says:

    Hi, Both of the solutions are fine.
    I implemented the 1st solution for executing the script but still there has some problem.
    Problem: Suppose your .sql file contains some space after “GO” or keyword “GO” is not in capitalize. Then the expression will not remove the GO keyword from the statements.
    Solution: I implement some solution which you can try for that.
    1st replace the text “Go” to Capitalize.
    2nd change the regex to “GO\s+\r\n”.

    Note: \s+ is for space after GO

  11. Xavier Averbouch Says:

    Working great!
    thank you.

  12. Abhay Says:

    How should i set Timeout to “0” so that it will keep executing while it finishes its task ???

  13. Julio Daetz Says:

    I have some problems with library.
    Add this references:
    Microsoft.SqlServer.Sml and Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo.
    and working sucessfull.

  14. Brian Hart Says:

    How about the output messages, and errors etc that are displayed in the messages screen during query output? Also, what if the query outputs one (or more) results sets (i.e., from SELECT statements)

  15. Brian Hart Says:

    How about the output messages, and errors etc that are displayed in the messages screen during query output? Also, what if the query outputs one (or more) results sets (i.e., from SELECT statements)

  16. Sha Says:

    Thanks for the good post and it save me lot of time. 2nd solution worked out for me…

  17. awess Says:

    Se produjo una excepción en el inicializador de tipo de ‘System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection’. me sale ese error x.x

  18. Dragan Says:

    Thanks for the solution. One thing I’m having problems with, is deploying app to machine not having MSSQL SMO installed on it. I want to execute scripts having go statements but also would like to avoid installing MSSQL SMO package on target machine. I tried manually copying .dlls to bin folder of executable but there are always some dlls needed to run the app. Any help with this?

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  26. Faisal Says:

    After applying the second solution (using SMO) as proposed in this forum, I am getting constantly the following error:

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    Actually I have created a Windows Form project on which the user gives Server Name and Database details and then I execute a .sql script file in the backend. The Windows Form project is called from a Web Setup installer. On executing the installer, the windows form dialog displays fine but when it comes to ExecuteNonQuery() line, it throws the above mentioned error. I have used following approach in app.config file,

    as mentioned in:

    but still no help, same problem coming again and again. I am desperate now and thinking of some other alternative.
    If anyone knows how to get it solved, then please guide me. Thanks

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  43. Krzysztof Morcinek Says:

    Your splitter can be an array like:
    string[] splitter = new string[] { “\r\nGO\r\n”, “\nGO\n” };

    These “\nGO\n” helps a lot when git checkouts file this way or when you run command on linux machine.

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