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add an auto-increment field and populate to an existing table with data

Posted on 2004-10-18
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
How do I add an auto-increment field, or identity seed to an existing table?  Does it have to be a primary key?
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Question by:amhinkel
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Expert Comment

by:Bob Learned
ID: 12342046
Not really an "expert", but :

http://manuals.sybase.com/onlinebooks/group-as/asg1200e/whatsup/@Generic__BookTextView/859;pt=460

Identity columns are by there very nature primary keys.  Each value must be unique, but the value is unimportant.

Bob
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Accepted Solution

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grant300 earned 125 total points
ID: 12342488
The ALTER TABLE command will do it for you.  It not only adds the column, but when defined with the IDENTITY qualifier also populates it.

Below is a complete example.  The line you want to pay attention to is "ALTER TABLE ADD <column_name> <datatype> IDENTITY"
Remember that you must use a numeric or decimal data type with for identity columns with no decimal points.  These are the only "exact" datatypes in Sybase.

==============

create table fubar (col1 int, col2 varchar(32))
go

insert into fubar values (1,'one')
insert into fubar values (2,'two')
insert into fubar values (3,'three')
insert into fubar values (4,'four')
insert into fubar values (5,'five')
insert into fubar values (6,'six')
commit
go

select * from fubar
go

alter table fubar add col0 numeric(12) identity
go

select * from fubar
go
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Bob Learned
ID: 12346273
Yeah, that's a better explanation than posting a help reference for the ALTER TABLE command  :)

Bob
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Author Comment

by:amhinkel
ID: 12347109
Thank you both.  I meant to accept the one from grant300 as the Accepted Answer.  How do I fix this?
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Author Comment

by:amhinkel
ID: 12347202
I requested to have the points transferred to grant300 through Customer Support.  Thanks again!
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:grant300
ID: 12348124
amhinkel,

You are very welcome, and thank you for going out of your way to fix the points.  I appreciate it.

Regards,
Bill
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