Posted on 2008-06-12
Last Modified: 2013-11-23
Hi Geniuses, Gurus, Experts, et al.,
I want to make sure I understand. There was a question answered before about setting default values when creating a table. It was closed and the expert said there was a M$ bug. Are you saying there is no way to create a column that contains a default value when programming in Delphi and working with an Access 2000 database? I tried the following and it didn't work:

with MyQuery do
    SQL.Add('ALTER TABLE ' + TableName + ' ');
    SQL.Add('ADD COLUMN Deleted CHAR(1) DEFAULT ''N''');

Help please.
Question by:reforest
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 21776092
One problem as I see it is you should be using an ADOCommand. Works with Access fine.

Here is an example...

 ADOCommand1.CommandText := 'Alter Table CDLib ADD CDKey Text(50)';
 ADOCommand1.CommandText := 'Alter Table CDLib ADD Comments Memo';

You can then add your default text as you did above.

I also would use quoted string. I feel it makes quoted strings in strings easier and more fool proff.:

SQL.Add('ADD COLUMN Deleted CHAR(1) DEFAULT ' + QuotedStr('N'));

Hope this helped.

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 21777331
"I tried it and it didn't work"
-please provide details as to in what way it did not work, such as any error messages or the results.

Just a minor note about the field "Deleted" - I don't think it's a reserve word but just in case it is you may want to put it in quotes or show it as a descendant of a table
SELECT MyTable.Deleted  FROM MyTable

Expert Comment

ID: 21777353

Try this way :
SQL.Add('ADD COLUMN Deleted CHAR(1) DEFAULT ''N'' with values');
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Author Comment

ID: 21780335
The following code created the column, but did not put any values into rows that already contained data, and the last row (when viewed in Access) had #Error in the Deleted column:

DataMod.CommandQuery.CommandText := 'ALTER TABLE Chemicals ADD COLUMN Deleted CHAR(1) DEFAULT ' + QuotedStr('N');

The following code caused an error that said 'Syntax error in ALTER TABLE statement':
with MyQuery do
    SQL.Add('ALTER TABLE Chemicals ADD COLUMN Deleted CHAR(1) DEFAULT ''N'' with values');

So, still nothing that adds 'N' to my new column. Thanks for the help, but more ideas needed.
LVL 54

Accepted Solution

nico5038 earned 250 total points
ID: 21786997
I'm afraid that the CREATE TABLE statement of the Jet-engine (the access database engine) doesn't support default values.
When you're able to open the Access Tables collection from Delphi with code, then a default value can be added. I used VBA code in the past to manipulate table field properties, but that's "within" Access and not in the database engine....


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31466820
Thanks for the help. It always stinks when the answer is, 'You can't do it the easy way'. Oh well. I've figured out a workaround now.
LVL 54

Expert Comment

ID: 21807159
Glad I could help, but now I'm curious how your work around is implemented....
I guess you use an UPDATE query or add the Default value to the form field before the INSERT.


Author Comment

ID: 21809846
Actually, it's not anything interesting. I found a way to do what I wanted to do without entering a default value at all. I'm such a beginner that I was having trouble trying to select rows where MyTextField = ''. I thought if I added a default, then I could SELECT * from MyTable WHERE MyTextFIeld = 'Default'. I now know that I need to SELECT * from MyTable WHERE MyTextFIeld Is Null.

BTW, I still have no idea how to rename columns or copy data from one column to another within the same table...want me to submit a new question?
LVL 54

Expert Comment

ID: 21817963
No need for a new question, as I'm not "in for the points" :-)

To copy data from column to column use:

        UPDATE tblA SET fieldA = FieldB

Without a WHERE clause all rows will be effected. (Always try first on a backup copy of the table when manipulating data in tables!)

Renaming is done with the "AS" predicate like:

        SELECT fieldA AS Column1 from tblA

This will give one column named "Column1" in the output of the query.

Success with your application !


Author Comment

ID: 21819115
Thanks for the help, but I'm still having trouble.

Before you sent this reply I opened a question titled 'UPDATE table SET col1 = col2 not working', because I found something on the internet about copying columns in SQL. The question is still open, though, because it's not working in Delphi. It works if I open my Access database and run the UPDATE query, but not when I try to do it in code from Delphi.

I have successfully run other types of queries (SELECT INTO, ALTER TABLE, ALTER COLUMN, etc.), so I know how it works most of the time. It's just not working for my UPDATE query.

Do you program in Delphi?

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