Simple script to backup all SQL Server databases

Problem

Sometimes things that seem complicated are much easier then you think and this is the power of using T-SQL to take care of repetitive tasks.  One of these tasks may be the need to backup all databases on your server.   This is not a big deal if you have a handful of databases, but I have seen several servers where there are 100+ databases on the same instance of SQL Server.  You could use SQL Server Management Studio to backup the databases or even use Maintenance Plans, but using T-SQL is a much simpler and faster approach.

Solution

With the use of T-SQL you can generate your backup commands and with the use of cursors you can cursor through all of your databases to back them up one by one.  This is a very straight forward process and you only need a handful of commands to do this.

Here is the script that will allow you to backup each database within your instance of SQL Server.  You will need to change the @path to the appropriate backup directory.

File Naming Format DBname_YYYYDDMM.BAK

DECLARE @name VARCHAR(50) -- database name  
DECLARE @path VARCHAR(256) -- path for backup files  
DECLARE @fileName VARCHAR(256) -- filename for backup  
DECLARE @fileDate VARCHAR(20) -- used for file name

 
-- specify database backup directory
SET @path = 'C:\Backup\'  

 
-- specify filename format
SELECT @fileDate = CONVERT(VARCHAR(20),GETDATE(),112) 

 
DECLARE db_cursor CURSOR FOR  
SELECT name 
FROM master.dbo.sysdatabases 
WHERE name NOT IN ('master','model','msdb','tempdb')  -- exclude these databases

 
OPEN db_cursor   
FETCH NEXT FROM db_cursor INTO @name   

 
WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0   
BEGIN   
       SET @fileName = @path + @name + '_' + @fileDate + '.BAK'  
       BACKUP DATABASE @name TO DISK = @fileName  

 
       FETCH NEXT FROM db_cursor INTO @name   
END   

 
CLOSE db_cursor   
DEALLOCATE db_cursor

File Naming Format DBname_YYYYDDMM_HHMMSS.BAK

If you want to also include the time in the filename you can replace this line in the above script:

— specify filename format
SELECT @fileDate = CONVERT(VARCHAR(20),GETDATE(),112)

with this line:

— specify filename format
SELECT @fileDate = CONVERT(VARCHAR(20),GETDATE(),112) + REPLACE(CONVERT(VARCHAR(20),GETDATE(),108),’:’,”)

Notes

In this script we are bypassing the system databases, but these could easily be included as well.  You could also change this into a stored procedure and pass in a database name or if left NULL it backups all databases.  Any way you choose to use it, this script gives you the starting point to simply backup all of your databases.

Also, if you wanted to bypass some of your user databases you can include them in the NOT IN section as well.

Next Steps
  • Add this script to your toolbox
  • Modify this script and make it a stored procedure to include one or many parameters
  • Enhance the script to use additional BACKUP options
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