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Tip of the Day
Language: SQL Server
Expertise: Beginner
Apr 21, 1997

Updating Many Columns

Question:
I'm looking for a syntax that can be used to update several columns in an SQL table. Although I've found a number of topics related to 'update', they all seem to use the 'set' statement for one or two fields only.

Answer:
The standard UPDATE syntax for updating many columns is the same, regardless of the number of columns being updated. This can make for a lengthy statement if you are updating many columns, so if your database supports PROCEDUREs (or other specialized extensions), creating and calling a PROCEDURE that handles the UDPATE is often a good solution.

As an alternative, many application development languages include their own "shortcuts" around this problem, allowing you to store the data from the user's input screen into variables that can be substituted into the SQL UPDATE statement.

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