When using OPENQUERY in SQL Server with a bracketed identifier (e.g., column or table name) inside the query, you might encounter issues due to how the query is parsed and executed by SQL Server.

The primary problem is that SQL Server's OPENQUERY function sends the entire query, including the bracketed identifiers, to the linked server as a single string. The linked server may not understand the bracketed identifiers or may interpret them differently, leading to errors.

To work around this issue, you can try one of the following solutions:

  1. Use Dynamic SQL: Instead of using OPENQUERY, you can use dynamic SQL to construct the query and execute it directly on the linked server. Dynamic SQL allows you to build the query as a string and execute it with EXEC or sp_executesql.

Here's an example of using dynamic SQL with EXEC:

DECLARE @dynamicSQL NVARCHAR(MAX); SET @dynamicSQL = N'SELECT [Column1], [Column2] FROM [LinkedServer].[Database].[Schema].[TableName]'; EXEC (@dynamicSQL);
  1. Use Four-Part Identifier: If the linked server is another SQL Server instance, you can use a four-part identifier in the FROM clause to directly reference the table on the linked server without using OPENQUERY.

Here's an example:

SELECT [Column1], [Column2] FROM [LinkedServer].[Database].[Schema].[TableName];

Replace [LinkedServer], [Database], [Schema], and [TableName] with the actual names as per your configuration.

  1. Use OPENQUERY with Dynamic SQL: If you still need to use OPENQUERY for any specific reasons, you can combine it with dynamic SQL to handle bracketed identifiers properly.
DECLARE @dynamicSQL NVARCHAR(MAX); SET @dynamicSQL = N'SELECT [Column1], [Column2] FROM ' + QUOTENAME('LinkedServer.Database.Schema.TableName'); EXEC('SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY(LinkedServer, ''' + @dynamicSQL + ''')');

The QUOTENAME function is used to ensure that the identifier is properly quoted to handle any special characters.

Note: When using dynamic SQL, be cautious of SQL injection vulnerabilities. Ensure that you properly validate and sanitize any user input before using it in dynamic SQL queries.

Choose the solution that best fits your specific scenario and configuration. If possible, avoid using bracketed identifiers altogether to minimize complexity and improve compatibility across linked servers.

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