SQL Script to alter ALL Foreign Keys to add ON DELETE CASCADE

sqlsql serversql-server-2005

I have a SQL 2005 database with approx 250 tables.

I want to temporarily enable ON DELETE CASCADE to all of the Foreign Keys so that I can do a bulk delete easily.

I then want to turn off ON DELETE CASCADE on all Foreign Keys.

The only way I know of doing this, is to use Management Studio to generate a full database create script, do some kind of search and replace to strip out everything but Foreign Keys, save the script, then do some more search and replacing to add the ON DELETE CASCADE.

Then I run the script, do my delete, and then run the other script.

Is there an easier way to produce this script? This method seems far too prone to error and I will have to keep the script up to date with any other changes we make to the database, or re-generate it manually each time I may need to use it.

Is an alternative option to run a select on the system tables to "generate" the script for me? Could it even be possible to run an update on a system table that enables and disables ON DELETE CASCADE?

Best Answer

Here's a script I used for a similiar purpose. It does not support composite foreign keys (which use more than one field.) And it would probably need some tweaking before it will work for your situation. EDIT: In particular it does not handle multi-column foreign keys correctly.

  DropStmt = 'ALTER TABLE [' + ForeignKeys.ForeignTableSchema + 
      '].[' + ForeignKeys.ForeignTableName + 
      '] DROP CONSTRAINT [' + ForeignKeys.ForeignKeyName + ']; '
,  CreateStmt = 'ALTER TABLE [' + ForeignKeys.ForeignTableSchema + 
      '].[' + ForeignKeys.ForeignTableName + 
      '] WITH CHECK ADD CONSTRAINT [' +  ForeignKeys.ForeignKeyName + 
      '] FOREIGN KEY([' + ForeignKeys.ForeignTableColumn + 
      ']) REFERENCES [' + schema_name(sys.objects.schema_id) + '].[' +
  sys.objects.[name] + ']([' +
  sys.columns.[name] + ']) ON DELETE CASCADE; '
 from sys.objects
  inner join sys.columns
    on (sys.columns.[object_id] = sys.objects.[object_id])
  inner join (
    select sys.foreign_keys.[name] as ForeignKeyName
     ,schema_name(sys.objects.schema_id) as ForeignTableSchema
     ,sys.objects.[name] as ForeignTableName
     ,sys.columns.[name]  as ForeignTableColumn
     ,sys.foreign_keys.referenced_object_id as referenced_object_id
     ,sys.foreign_key_columns.referenced_column_id as referenced_column_id
     from sys.foreign_keys
      inner join sys.foreign_key_columns
        on (sys.foreign_key_columns.constraint_object_id
          = sys.foreign_keys.[object_id])
      inner join sys.objects
        on (sys.objects.[object_id]
          = sys.foreign_keys.parent_object_id)
        inner join sys.columns
          on (sys.columns.[object_id]
            = sys.objects.[object_id])
           and (sys.columns.column_id
            = sys.foreign_key_columns.parent_column_id)
    ) ForeignKeys
    on (ForeignKeys.referenced_object_id = sys.objects.[object_id])
     and (ForeignKeys.referenced_column_id = sys.columns.column_id)
 where (sys.objects.[type] = 'U')
  and (sys.objects.[name] not in ('sysdiagrams'))