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Identity Specification has Changed by it self?

Posted on 2014-02-18
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Last Modified: 2014-02-19
Hi all!

I have some SQL Server tables on a server and one of the tables uses identity specification as unique ID. When I insert a new record in the table, I use INSERT INTO table (fields) VALUES (some values) and then the system inserts the next ID in the table. It has worked very well for a long time.

'Suddenly' one of the uses get an error that says: column does not allow nulls. INSERT fails. After investigation of the table in question, I discover that identity specification is set to 'no'. I am very sure that I have not changed the value to 'no' and no other has access to the table.

My question is: is it possible that this value can change 'by itself' or could there be circumstaces where the value is changed so ti appear that it has chenged 'by itself'?

After I changed to 'yes', no problems exist.


Best regards
Kim Neesgaard
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Question by:Kim Neesgaard
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Jim Horn earned 250 total points
ID: 39867491
The only logical explanations..
This table was imported from a source to its current location in a manner where the Identity was not in the newly-created table.
Somebody executed a script that did this.
Somebody manually did this, likely to force an insert with a specific value, and forgot to set it back.
Gremlins
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Author Comment

by:Kim Neesgaard
ID: 39867543
Hi Jim!

Thank you for your answer! Actually I can see (and recall) that there has been some copy activities for exactly this table so your first guess seems likely. I certainly not hope for you last suggestion...!


Best regards
Kim Neesgaard
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Assisted Solution

by:Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins earned 250 total points
ID: 39869322
The only way that can happen is if you allow someone to rebuild the table.  There is no other way.  You cannot change the IDENTITY attribute without re-creating the table.

So if you want to prevent this from happening in future, tighten your security and do not allow users to use sa (hint hint) and this problem will go away.
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Author Comment

by:Kim Neesgaard
ID: 39869559
Hi Anthony!

I was allowed to change identity specification from no to yes but perhaps a rebuild was made behind the scenes. In the options 'prevent saving changes that require table re-creation' is not ticked.
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Expert Comment

by:Anthony Perkins
ID: 39871977
I was allowed to change identity specification from no to yes but perhaps a rebuild was made behind the scenes.
You are right, behind the scene SSMS is rebuilding the table.  You can see exactly what I mean by "removing" the attribute in the Table Designer but instead of clicking Save, select the icon that reads "Generate Change Script" (it is also under the Table Designer menu.
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Author Comment

by:Kim Neesgaard
ID: 39872627
I have just checked it and it is very visible under Generate Change Script - I didn't know this function. Thank you for elaborate the question!
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