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Deleting from Multiple Tables by Key

Guy Glantser needs to delete some data:

Sometimes you need to delete data from multiple tables in a database. For example, you might have a multi-tenant database, and you need to delete all the data that belong to some tenant.

The problem is that there are many tables in the database that contain data, which you need to delete. If you have a column like “TenantId” in all tables, then your life is easier, because you have a simple predicate to apply to your DELETE statements against all tables. But even then, if there are foreign keys between tables to enforce referential integrity, then things get more complicated.

Read through for Guy’s answer, which definitely works and can be the quickest solution. If you can’t drop foreign key constraints (even temporarily), I have a post from a while back on tracing foreign keys to “levels.” The post only covers finding the ordering but could be extended to delete data one level at a time.

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