Debugging stored procedures in VS2010 / SQL Express

May 22, 2012

1 minute read

Debugging stored procs in a local SQL Express install with Visual Studio 2010.

Enable TCP/IP - see

In Visual Studio, Server Explorer, Connect to your server as localhost instead of .\SQLEXPRESS so that you connect through TCP/IP and not shared memory (which doesn’t allow debugging for some reason)

Find the project in your solution which actually executes the stored procedure, right-click > properties > debug > “Enable SQL Server debugging”

Run your project

You may need to hit “stop” and re-attached (debug > attach to process) explicitly selecting “T-SQL code” in the “attach to” box (and optionally managed as well). It should automatically select T-SQL but it seems to be hit and miss.

Set a breakpoint in your stored procedure:

  • Server explorer,
  • the connection you added,
  • stored procs,
  • right-click the proc name > open
  • set a break point in the text of the stored proc
  • if it is not a solid red dot then something went wrong

Run the part of your program / website that will cause the proc to be called.

If the breakpoint isn’t hit check the type’s in the attach to process list include T-SQL (doesn’t seem to always work).

I only got the damn thing to work once. If it doesn’t work you get no reason at all which is just crap. The main problem I have is that the attach just quietly drops T-SQL even if you explicitly request it. Shoddy coding from Microsoft in my opinion.

The next best thing is to right-click the stored proc, click “step into” and input the values manually. (Which also requires a tcp/ip connection to the local sql express and is fussy).

Another message encountered a couple of days later without changing anything at all when attaching to the already running web dev process: “User Could Not Execute Stored Procedure sp_enable_sql_debug



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