Difference Between Triggers and Stored Procedures in SQL with Examples

Written By Andrew Jackson
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On January 3rd, 2024
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

Triggers and Stored Procedures

Both Triggers and Stored Procedures are an integral part of modern-day RDBMS & especially SQL Server. Therefore, this guide is going to explain the meaning, differences, commands, etc. By the end of this article, users will be proficient in SQL objects like triggers as well as Stored procedures.

Putting it simply, a stored procedure is a command defined by the user in SQL that returns a value expected by the user. It is specially run by users on demand. However, Triggers on the other side are nothing but stored procedures of a different kind. Unlike stored procedures, they run automatically. Whenever some events happen & a certain situation arises for which users set a trigger, they get activated & run a command.

Let’s begin with the proper definitions, advantages, & commands of these SQL objects to learn in the best way possible.

Also Read: SQL Server move stored procedure to another database or Server

What are Stored Procedures in SQL Database?

Starting with the triggers and stored procedures examples in SQL, let’s understand procedures first. We can say that these are very much like the procedures in various programming languages. In a nutshell, it is a combined statement having multiple SQL commands to execute a particular task. It’s used for repetitive tasks in SQL that ultimately saves time.

Also Read: Easily Fix Index Corruption in SQL Server without Errors

It Does:

  • Take values from users & then in return, provide multiple values as output parameters.
  • Include the programming commands that execute various operations. Even calling for other stored procedures is included here. 
  • It also shows a status representing the success or failure of the procedure after running the command along with the reason.
    [name_of_schema.] name_of_procedure [ ; number ]
    [ { @parameter_name [ type_schema_name. ] data_type }
        [ VARYING ] [ NULL ] [ = default ] [ OUT | OUTPUT | [READONLY]
    ] [ ,...n ]
[ WITH <procedure_option> [ ,...n ] ]
AS { [ BEGIN ] sql_statement [;] [ ...n ] [ END ] }
<procedure_option> ::=
    [ EXECUTE AS Clause ]


  • It executes complex commands much faster than other ways.
  • Enhances the data security as well to keep data protected.
  • Makes the testing easier irrespective of the application.
  • Because of a common location, it’s easier to maintain.
  • Also reduces the network traffic to a great extent.

In case users lose their SP, they must restore stored procedures in SQL Server safely. Otherwise, they have to face the subsequent consequences.

What are the Triggers in SQL Server?

A trigger is a unique kind of stored procedure that automatically starts or executes a command when an event occurs in the database. DML triggers run when a database operator updates the information stored in the database using a data manipulation language (DML). INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE are DML events. After understanding this, we can proceed further to know the difference between trigger and stored procedure in SQL database.

— SQL Server Syntax  

— Trigger for the – INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE command to a table or view. 

CREATE [ OR ALTER ] TRIGGER [ name_of_schema. ]name_of_trigger   
ON { table | view }   
[ WITH <dml_trigger_option> [ ,...n ] ]  
{ [ INSERT ] [ , ] [ UPDATE ] [ , ] [ DELETE ] }   
AS { sql_statement  [ ; ] [ ,...n ] | EXTERNAL NAME <method specifier [ ; ] > }  
<dml_trigger_option> ::=  

    [ ENCRYPTION ]  
    [ EXECUTE AS Clause ]  

<method_specifier> ::=  


  • Using the triggers with referential integrity makes it safe.
  • The protection of users’ data is also considered here.
  • Syncing the various tables together becomes easier.
  • It obstructs invalid transactions in SQL with ease.
  • Proven aid in auditing as well as event logging.

Also Read: How to Decrypt Triggers in SQL Server Easily

Triggers and Stored Procedures – Major Differences 

Now, that we have understood these two objects of SQL server database in depth, it’s time to know the difference. Therefore the below comparison table can help users in detail to find out the difference between trigger and stored procedure in SQL Server.

Feature Triggers Stored Procedures
Basis Used for INSERT, DELETE & UPDATE events of an SQL Server. Used for the EXECUTE/exec event of SQL Server by the user when needed.
Working Works automatically against any event occurring in the SQL database. Performs to execute a particular task when required by the SQL user.
Assigning Not possible to call a trigger in another trigger. Only nesting is allowed. Users can invoke stored procedures in another stored procedure.
T-Statements COMMIT, ROLLBACK, & SAVEPOINT transactional statements are not at all valid in the triggers. Transactional statements like COMMIT, ROLLBACK, SAVEPOINT, etc are allowed in stored procedures.
Utilization Triggers maintain referential integrity by keeping records of all activity & this is why are used. Stored Procedures are used to perform any task defined by the users as per their particular requirements.
Result Passing values as parameters is not allowed. Returning values is not possible. 0 to N values are returnable. Passing values as parameters are allowed here.

Recovery of Triggers & Stored Procedures If SQL Crashes

Users must understand that there are several scenarios when SQL database crashes due to corruption, viruses, technical issues, etc. Therefore, they must be aware of the SQL Database Recovery Tool that can help them recover these SQL Database functions triggers and stored procedures easily. Moreover, there are plenty of other data objects that automated software can easily recover. Download the software to get a quick solution.

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The Final Say

Finally, we are aware of the triggers and stored procedures examples in SQL Server database along with their differences. The example commands were also mentioned above & users could get complete knowledge regarding this topic.


By Andrew Jackson

I am SQL DBA and SQL Server blogger too. I like to share about SQL Server and the problems related to it as well as their solution and also I do handle database related user queries, server or database maintenance, database management, etc. I love to share my knowledge with SQL Geeks.