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Tip of the Day
Language: SQL Server
Expertise: Beginner
Oct 8, 1999

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Losing Decimal Places While Updating a Column

Question:
I have two columns in a table called "bak": distance, and trig. The distance value is equal to 1/trig. When I perform the following query:
 
update bak
set distance = 1/trig
where trig <> NULL
it executes and gives the correct number, only without the decimal places. For example, one value of trig is 0.229. The value I want is 4.3668... (etc.), but the query only returns "4".

Is there something I'm missing here? I'm using Access and the datatypes for both are number, double length. The trig values are correct, but they've never had any arithmetic operation performed on them before.

Answer:
Although I'm not familiar with Access, it sounds like an integer data type has crept into the mix somewhere, causing the rounding you are seeing.

The only suggestion I can make is to check the datatypes carefully and make sure that if they are numeric, that you have left enough precision in the declaration to hold all the decimal places you will want in your results.

Remember that an operation on your data could produce a number with more decimal places than you may be able to show.

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