System Objects And Helper Functions

Kenneth Fisher compares and contrasts querying system tables versus using built-in helper functions which query the system tables:

So which should you use? Well, like most things in the database world, it depends. Do you need to cross databases? Do you need to use NOLOCK for a diagnostic query? Do you need additional information available in one of the views that isn’t available in one of the helper functions?

Click through for the comparison.  I agree with his end result, that you should at least know both methods, even if you lean toward one.

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