Monday 16 October 2023

How can I tell if a SQL table is temporal?

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There are two methods for determining whether a SQL table is temporal:

Examine the table definition. There are two system-versioned period entries in temporal tables: sys_start_time and sys_end_time. These columns include the beginning and end dates of the time period for which the row is valid. A table with these two columns is a temporal table.

The OBJECTPROPERTY() function should be used. The OBJECTPROPERTY() function returns information about a database object, such as whether it is a temporal table. To determine whether a table is temporal, use the SQL statement:

SELECT OBJECTPROPERTY(object_id('table_name'), 'IsTemporalTable');

If the result of the query is 1, then the table is temporal. Otherwise, the table is not temporal.

For example, the following SQL statement will check if the Products table is temporal:

SELECT OBJECTPROPERTY(object_id('Products'), 'IsTemporalTable');

If the query result is 1, the Products table is temporal. Otherwise, the Products table is not time-sensitive.

Please keep in mind that temporal tables are only supported in Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and later editions.

Here are some more considerations for temporal tables:

  1. System-versioned or history-table versioned temporal tables are both possible. The database engine manages system-versioned temporal tables, whereas the user manages history-table versioned temporal tables.
  2. Temporal tables can hold both current and historical data. The table stores current data, while the history table stores past data.
  3. Both current and historical data can be queried using temporal tables. The FOR SYSTEM_TIME clause specifies the time period for which data should be returned.

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