Table Variables vs Temp Tables in SQL Server

When you code and you need to use a temporary object what do you use in SQL Server–temp tables or a table variable?  There is plenty of conventional wisdom out there and my guest Wayne Sheffield and I talk about the differences between these two objects in episode 49 of the SQL Data Partners Podcast. In this episode we cover not only these objects, but also global temp tables and the changes these objects have in the newer versions of SQL Server.  This episode includes a discussion on

  • Are table variables stored in memory?
  • Do table variables write to disk?
  • What can temp tables have that table variables can’t?

What has your experience with temp tables and table variables been?  Have you seen something different than what Wayne and I discussed?  I am interested to know if you have other examples of using global temp tables.  Leave us a comment below and join the conversation!

Our Guest


Wayne Sheffield

Wayne is a consultant with the SQL Solutions Group and is a certified master of SQL Server.  He is an Eagle scout and a leader of the Richmond SQL Server Users Group.  Wayne is a former SQL Cruiser and is the main reason I decided to go.  He and his wife built their dream home in Cumberland, Virginia.

Meet the Hosts

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Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at and provides training through SQL Trail events.

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Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

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Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

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