[dba-SQLServer] Append only records where some fields not in the table already

Gustav Brock Gustav at cactus.dk
Thu Sep 3 09:43:41 CDT 2009

Hi John (I have posted this in 2000, 2001, and 2006 - even as a reply to a posting of yours)

This tip from Smart Access is one of my favourites:


Update and Append Records with One Query

By Alan Biggs

Did you know that you can use an update query in Access to both update and add records at the same time? This is useful if you have two versions of a table, tblOld and tblNew, and you want to integrate the changes from tblNew into tblOld. 

Follow these steps:

1. Create an update query and add the two tables. Join the two tables by dragging the key field of tblNew onto the matching field of tblOld.

2. Double-click on the relationship and choose the join option that includes all records from tblNew and only those that match from tblOld. 

3. Select all the fields from tblOld and drag them onto the QBE grid.

4. For each field, in the Update To cell type in tblNew.FieldName, where FieldName matches the field name of tblOld.

5. Select Query Properties from the View menu and change Unique Records to False. (This switches off the DISTINCTROW option in the SQL view. If you leave this on you'll get only one blank record in your results, but you want one blank record for each new record to be added to tblOld.) 

6. Run the query and you'll see the changes to tblNew are now in tblOld. 

This will only add records to tblOld that have been added to tblNew.
Records in tblOld that aren't present in tblNew will still remain in tblOld. 


I guess it works in SQL Server as well.


>>> jwcolby at colbyconsulting.com 03-09-2009 16:32 >>>
I have a set of 5 tables.  These tables contain names and number of children in age ranges.  As a 
first pass at processing, I need to merge the 5 tables into one table such that the name / address 
only gets into the table one time, IOW every record in the first table, but only the records in 
table 2 where the name / address data is not already in the destination table.

SQL Server 2005.  Clustered index on the name / address / zip5 / zip4 of the source tables.

I have not been able to find an append syntax that will append the records not in the table but 
prevent appending those already in, without aborting the entire append operation.

What is the magic key here?

John W. Colby

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