SQL Formatter Web Service


SQL code is much easier and faster to read and understand when it is formatted, especially when it is a long and complicated SQL statement you are dealing with, or you have to read other people's code. Writing a decent SQL formatter is not an easy task. In this article, I would like to create an online SQL formatter in C#. This consuming application sends unformatted SQL to the server, which will return the formatted SQL to the application.

Using the Code

A Web service at www.gudusoft.com accepts SQL code and returns formatted SQL. Take a look at the WSDL here. The important part is shown below; it describes the beautifySql method.

<wsdl:operation name="beautifySql">
   <documentation xmlns="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/wsdl/">
      Beautify the sql
   <wsdl:input message="tns:beautifySqlSoapIn" />
   <wsdl:output message="tns:beautifySqlSoapOut" />

Step 1: Build the proxy class

Executing the following ...

C:>wsdl.exe http://www.gudusoft.com/SQLFormatterWebService.wsdl

... results in a C# file, SQLFormatterWebService.cs, that contains a class called SQLFormatterWebService. Examine how the methods of this class correspond to those detailed in the WSDL file, especially the following method:

public string beautifySql(string dbvendor, string sql)
dbvendor: SQL dialect of which database supports MSSQL, Oracle,
          MySQL, and Access currently.
sql:      SQL code needs to be formatted.

Step 2: Compile the proxy class

Next, you have to compile the auto-generated file. The file contains no entry point, and thus has to be built as a library.

C:\>csc /t:library c:\SQLFormatterWebService.cs

This results in a new file, SQLFormatterWebService.dll.

Step 3: Create an ASP.NET application

This application, sqlformatter.aspx, consumes the SQL Formatter Web Service.

<%@Assembly Name="SQLFormatterWebService" %>

      <title>Demo of SQL Formatter Web Service </title>

    <form RunAt="server">
          <asp:TextBox ID="inputsql" Text="select f1,f2 from t1"
                       TextMode="MultiLine" Rows="10" Columns="60"
                       Wrap="False" RunAt="server"/>
   <br><asp:Button Text=" Format Code " OnClick="onFormat"
                          RunAt="server" />
          <br><asp:TextBox ID="outputsql" TextMode="MultiLine"
                           Rows="10" Columns="60" Wrap="False"


<script language="c#" RunAt="server">
   void onFormat (Object sender, EventArgs e)
      SQLFormatterWebService sqlformatter =
         new SQLFormatterWebService();
      outputsql.Text =

Step 4: Set up this ASP.NET application on your IIS server

  • 4.1 Put the sqlformatter.aspx under wwwroot, for example.
  • 4.2 Put the SQLFormatterWebService.dll into the bin directory under wwwroot.
  • 4.3 Open your browser and type in http://localhost/sqlformatter.aspx.

Enjoy it!

Points of Interest

This SQL Formatter Web Service can be used widely, especially in the forums of a database-related Web site, where a lot of SQL code will be submitted by users for discussion. It would be nice if this SQL code can be formatted before it's posted to the forum.

For further information, these sites are useful if you are interested in a SQL formatter:



  • Another SQL Formatter online service

    Posted by guidomarcel on 01/31/2007 06:11pm

    Hi, here is another online web servie for an sql formatter: http://www.sqlinform.com Regards GuidoMarcel

Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • As the mobile enterprise marketplace expands and customer needs grow more diverse, Samsung recognizes that solution partners and developers play an essential role by continually innovating to meet their customers' needs. Samsung works to provide these developers and partners with the latest tools and resources needed to create these solutions. Read this program guide to learn how the Samsung Enterprise Alliance Program provides partners and developers with Samsung enterprise software development kits (SDKs) …

  • Moving from an on-premises environment to Office 365 does not remove the need to plan for disruptions or reduce the business risk requirements for protecting email services. If anything, some risks increase with a move to the cloud. Read how to ease the transition every business faces if considering or already migrating to cloud email. This white paper discusses: Setting expectations when migrating to Office 365 Understanding the implications of relying solely on Exchange Online security Necessary archiving …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date