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looking for a subtle way to increment variable in SQL 2005

Posted on 2013-06-26
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Last Modified: 2013-08-20
hello experts,

    i am trying to increment counter within SQL 2005

 for example, instead of doing

SELECT  1 UNION
SELECT  2 UNION
SELECT 3

I want to do

DECLARE @i smallint; SET @i = 1; -- instant initialization in SQL 2005 does not fly, i gather

INSERT INTO temp
SELECT @i UNION
SELECT @i++ UNION   --  this is just an improvisation
SELECT @i++  -- ????

i think, in 2008 and 2012 they have cool shortcuts to do this, but what about SQL 2005
i would prefer not to do SET @i = @i + 1 in between every time

thanks in advance
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Question by:AlexF777
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6 Comments
 
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:EvilPostIt
EvilPostIt earned 500 total points
ID: 39278315
Are you talking about an auto increment or inserting a set a data and generating an ascending ID against that?
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LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:Jim Horn
ID: 39278438
You're going to have to paint us a bigger picture of what you're trying to pull off here.
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Author Comment

by:AlexF777
ID: 39278496
autoincrement: i want each consequitive SELECT statement to use the next value: i.e.
1, 2, 3, ...
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LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:Jim Horn
ID: 39278531
>i would prefer not to do SET @i = @i + 1 in between every time
Unless you can paint us a bigger picture of what your trying to pull off, this is the only solution that is guaranteed to work.

You could have an identity column in your table, but it will incriment on rows, not on INSERT statements that created those rows, so that works only if your INSERTS insert one row at a time.
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Author Comment

by:AlexF777
ID: 39278678
no, i want to increment my variable in memory
with SQL 2008 i could say

SELECT @i UNION
SELECT @i+= 1 UNION

actually, i probably could use an identity column: i could insert all my rows into the temp
table, then do an INSERT into a live table FROM SELECT and that will probably do it ...
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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

by:
EvilPostIt earned 500 total points
ID: 39279272
Identity column was what I was leaning towards. That makes the most sense.
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