SQL Server 2008 Essential Training
Illustration by Mark Todd

Writing INSERT statements


SQL Server 2008 Essential Training

with Simon Allardice

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Video: Writing INSERT statements

Selecting information is all very well, but after a while we are going to need to start inserting some information into those databases. Now of course if you have SQL Server Management Studio you can do the kind of cheap and nasty way of doing it, which is right-click one of these tables, select the Edit Top 200 Rows, and either start clicking and selecting in here to change things, or you can scroll right down to the bottom and where the asterisk row is just start typing. But this is not really a very scalable way of doing some inserts.
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
      1m 19s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 2s
  2. 17m 58s
    1. SQL Server core concepts
      9m 4s
    2. SQL Server editions
      3m 8s
    3. Applications included with SQL Server
      5m 46s
  3. 26m 1s
    1. Preparing for installation
      3m 44s
    2. Creating service accounts
      2m 33s
    3. Installing SQL Server
      11m 42s
    4. Post-installation checks
      3m 9s
    5. Installing sample databases
      4m 53s
  4. 13m 35s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Management Studio
      8m 7s
    2. Introduction to SQL Server Books Online
      3m 6s
    3. SQL Server system databases
      2m 22s
  5. 1h 26m
    1. Planning your database
      9m 39s
    2. Creating a SQL Server database
      4m 7s
    3. Creating tables
      7m 51s
    4. Data types in SQL Server
      12m 25s
    5. Defining keys
      8m 9s
    6. Creating default values
      4m 39s
    7. Creating check constraints
      2m 25s
    8. Creating unique constraints
      4m 34s
    9. Introduction to relationships and foreign keys
      9m 51s
    10. Creating relationships in SQL Server Management Studio
      8m 14s
    11. Database normalization
      11m 47s
    12. Creating computed columns
      3m 10s
  6. 23m 11s
    1. Using the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard
      3m 58s
    2. Importing Excel files into SQL Server
      6m 11s
    3. Importing CSV files into SQL Server
      5m 27s
    4. Importing Access databases into SQL Server
      7m 35s
  7. 55m 29s
    1. Introduction to Transact-SQL
      3m 43s
    2. Using SELECT statements
      7m 16s
    3. Changing the default database
      2m 21s
    4. Creating conditions in SQL
      8m 10s
    5. Sorting your output
      3m 23s
    6. Using aggregate functions
      7m 12s
    7. Finding unique values
      2m 14s
    8. Using subqueries
      9m 33s
    9. Joining multiple tables together
      8m 0s
    10. Viewing execution plans
      3m 37s
  8. 19m 36s
    1. Writing INSERT statements
      5m 47s
    2. Writing UPDATE statements
      4m 38s
    3. Writing DELETE statements
      2m 54s
    4. Using the OUTPUT clause to return inserted keys and GUIDs
      6m 17s
  9. 32m 52s
    1. Introduction to SQL functions
      6m 26s
    2. Using SQL configuration functions
      2m 14s
    3. Using string functions
      7m 26s
    4. Using date functions
      6m 27s
    5. Creating user-defined functions
      10m 19s
  10. 28m 46s
    1. Introduction to stored procedures
      4m 23s
    2. Creating stored procedures
      11m 23s
    3. Introducing transactions
      4m 23s
    4. Creating transactions
      8m 37s
  11. 16m 39s
    1. Understanding and creating indexes
      6m 32s
    2. Monitoring and rebuilding indexes
      6m 0s
    3. Monitoring database size and integrity
      4m 7s
  12. 11m 41s
    1. Creating backups
      4m 21s
    2. Creating differential backups and using backup compression
      3m 40s
    3. Restoring databases
      3m 40s
  13. 17m 40s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server security and permissions
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a Windows user to the database
      5m 7s
    3. Creating SQL Server logins and switching authentication modes
      6m 39s
  14. 36m 41s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services
      2m 52s
    2. Connecting to the Report Manager
      4m 29s
    3. Using Report Builder
      12m 4s
    4. Formatting values in reports
      4m 17s
    5. Adding indicators to reports
      5m 11s
    6. Adding charts to reports
      3m 54s
    7. Working with report security
      3m 54s
  15. 24m 41s
    1. Introduction to SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
      1m 57s
    2. Using Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS)
      6m 59s
    3. Creating and executing a simple SSIS package
      7m 35s
    4. Importing packages into SQL Server Management Studio
      3m 21s
    5. Scheduling jobs with SQL Server Agent
      4m 49s
  16. 31s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course SQL Server 2008 Essential Training
6h 54m Beginner Dec 15, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In SQL Server 2008 Essential Training, Simon Allardice explores all the major features of SQL Server 2008 R2, beginning with core concepts: installing, planning, and building a first database. Explore how Transact-SQL is used to retrieve, update, and insert information, and gain insight into how to effectively administer databases. The course also covers features outside SQL Server's database engine, including technologies that have grown up around it: SQL Server Reporting Services and Integration Services. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Using T-SQL (Transact-SQL)
  • Managing databases with SQL Server Management Studio
  • Understanding database normalization
  • Using SELECT statements
  • Building indexes
  • Monitoring database size and integrity
  • Backing up and restoring databases
  • Creating functions and stored procedures
  • Managing database permissions
  • Creating and formatting reports
  • Adding charts to reports
  • Creating and executing a simple SSIS package
Business Developer IT
SQL Server
Simon Allardice

Writing INSERT statements

Selecting information is all very well, but after a while we are going to need to start inserting some information into those databases. Now of course if you have SQL Server Management Studio you can do the kind of cheap and nasty way of doing it, which is right-click one of these tables, select the Edit Top 200 Rows, and either start clicking and selecting in here to change things, or you can scroll right down to the bottom and where the asterisk row is just start typing. But this is not really a very scalable way of doing some inserts.

It's really just there for emergencies. We need to understand how to construct SQL statements to do this. Having said that, it is very useful to often look at this this way to familiarize yourself with what data you are about to enter. So I'm going to create a new query and I'll be using AdventureWorksLT, as we have been all along. I'm going to insert into the ProductCategory table here, simply because it's quite a small one. Again before I start writing the insert statement let me take a quick look at what I have here, just selecting from it.

We have ProductCategoryID, ParentCategoryID, Name, then a rowguid and a ModifiedDate. Well even just looking at this I might have the idea that you know some of this is going to be automatically generated. If I want to double check that I could right-click this table and select Design, because if I wasn't a person who had created it I'll certainly want to take a look. So ProductCategoryID is declared as the primary key. It's an integer and if I scan the properties of it I can see that it is set up to be an identity automatically incrementing, so I shouldn't be the person inserting this value.

I should probably be the person inserting the ParentCategoryID. Yeah, looks like the case. It's not an identity. I'll be the person inserting name. And then we get to rowguid. Well, this is a globally unique identifier and it's set up with a default value of the newid function, which means I shouldn't insert this either and nor should I do the modified date which is getdate. So it looks like I'm only inserting two things, the ParentProductCategoryID and the Name. All right, well back to our insert statement. Well I haven't started it yet.

In fact it's not the word INSERT. It's actually the phrase INSERT INTO and now we're going to use the name of the table. We are inserting into SalesLT. ProductCategory. Well then what? Well I have to have a way of saying I only want to insert those two particular columns, which was ParentProductCategoryID and Name. The way I do it is open parenthesis and I type the names of the columns that I'm wanting to insert. Then I use the word VALUES, then I have another parenthesis where I enter in, in the order that I declared them, the values that I want to insert.

In my case I'm going to insert the value of 1 for the ParentProductCategoryID and I'm going to insert the phrase Hybrid Bikes. And if you don't supply the column names for the columns that you're going to enter, the SQL Server will expect that you're going to give it the values of everything of every column, but we don't need every column. So I'm going to go ahead and execute that and see what happens. We hit it and we see one row affected.

It doesn't actually tell us what, but we can get to that a little later on. This is an INSERT statement. It just says yes it worked. If I want to prove that I could just very quickly right-click, say Select Top 1000 Rows, and come down right to the bottom and there I can see Hybrid Bikes. It has a guid that has been generated. It has a modified date that's been generated. I have a product category ID. I've been playing around a little bit with inserting stuff, so I can see that I'm missing a few numbers here. But that's okay.

It's looking good. Going back to this, you can also, if you want to insert multiple rows at the same time, all I could do here is put a comma and then another open parenthesis and say perhaps here I'm putting in something for Girls Bikes. Now here is a question. What do I do if I want to put in an spostrophe, because if I just type it what's going to happen is it's going to close my string here, my little text thing. Well the answer is this. If you want to have the single apostrophe and you have to use the single quote, you just use 2. So this should allow me to insert another entry here.

Now here interestingly we're going to have a problem because there is a constraint on this field that means it should only have one product category name of the same name. We've already inserted Hybrid Bikes, so let's see what happens if we try and insert this again. I had Execute and unfortunately gives me a violation of a UNIQUE KEY constraint. Cannot insert a duplicate key in object ProductCategory. Okay, that's fine. Let's say that was an accident. Anyway what I wanted was in this case this should have been Boys Bikes. I'm going to use the two single quotes as well.

That's not double quotes. It's two single quotes and I'm going to try and insert that. There we go, two rows affected, and if I right-click and do another select it looks pretty good. We have 52, 54 and 55 going on here. Although it does look like I accidentally put some wrong data in the ParentProductCategoryID, all bikes should have a ParentProductCategory of one. Oh well. So I'll have to see how to update that in just a few minutes.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about SQL Server 2008 Essential Training .

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Q: I'm having problems installing the free Express R2 version of SQL Server on Windows XP. I tried 64-bit and 32-bit versions. In the videos, the author installs from a DVD. Do I need to do the same?
A: While the author installs from a DVD, it's not strictly necessary. There certainly shouldn't be a problem installing the Express edition from a regular download. That's the way it's intended to be installed.

If you're using Windows XP, the only officially supported version is the 32-bit version. However, you do need to make sure that your Windows XP install is completely up-to-date and patched, with XP Service Pack 3 installed. (See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506.aspx#Express32 for formal requirements.)

It's not unusual for the install process to take a while, and with older operating systems like XP, you'll often have to back it out and try again, as usually there's a bunch of prerequisites that need to be installed. (Like the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, the correct version of Windows Installer, etc.)
Q: The link to the installer for the AdventureWorks sample database, as shown in the Chapter 2 movie "Installing sample databases," no longer works. Where can I find the installer?
A: Microsoft has reorganized its site. The sample files are still there, but they're a bit harder to find. To install them:

1) Visit http://msftdbprodsamples.codeplex.com/.
2) Click the link to "SQL Server 2008 R2 OLTP."
3) Click the AdventureWOkrs2008R2 Data File link and agree to the conditions to download the MDF file.
4) Move the MDF file to your SQL Server Directory, usually located at C:\Program Files\Microsfot SQL Server\MSSQL 10_50.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA.
5) Open the SQL Sever Management Studio and connect to your instance using an account with administrative privileges.
6) Attach the sample database by right-clicking the Databases folder in the Object Explorer and choosing Attach from the pop-up menu.
7) Click the Add button in the next menu and navigate to the MDF file in the Locate Database Files window that appears. Select it and click OK.
8) Remove the reference to the log file in the "AdventureWorks2008R2" database details: pane by selecting the Log entry and clicking removing.*
9) Click OK to return to SQL Server Management Studio and complete the attachment process.

*MDF files are the "data" files for SQL Server databases. They often come along with LOG files (ldf files). This one didn't so we need to REMOVE the reference to the non-existent log file. Select the second row in the lower section (it should say File Type: Log and Message: Not Found) and click the REMOVE button.

For an illustrated version of these instructions (with screenshots), click here for a PDF version.
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