GO is not a valid TSQL statement
SQL Server support 2 commands that are not Transact SQL Statements, but are recognized by SQL Server utilities such as: SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), sqlcmd and osql.
1. GO (Batch separator)
2. \ (Backslash)
The above 2 keywords can be used to facilitate the readability and execution of batches and scripts.
–> “GO” (batch separator):
- “GO” is not a valid Transact-SQL statement.
- SQL Server utilities interpret “GO” as a signal that they should send the current batch of Transact-SQL statements to an instance of SQL Server.
- The “GO” command is never send to the server.
- Scope of Variables is limited to its batch, once defined in a batch they cannot be used after the “GO” command in another batch.
- You can also use the “GO” command to execute same batch multiple times. Just add a number after it, like: “GO 100″ will execute the batch 100 times.
- Command “GO” can even be changed with some other name. In SSMS goto menu, select Tools -> Options -> Query Execution: Here you change the batch separator by-default “GO” to something else. But the SQL Scripts you’ve created earlier will fail if they contain “GO” keyword now.
–> \ (Backslash): You can break a long string into multiple lines for good readability.
sqlcmd & osql are command line utilities so the parameters passed to them and options they take should not be split into multiple lines. Otherwise it may raise an error or you may get unexpected results.
To maintain formatting and readability of your SQL statements you can use “\” (backslash) in your SQL statements when putting them as parameters in sqlcmd or osql utilities.