Generic GetValue function

I have a table called tblOptions with lots of columns in. There is only one row.

If at all possible, I am looking to write a generic scalar-valued function that returns the value of one column in the above mentioned table. The column name will be passed into the function as a parameter.

I would like to avoid having to have a CASE statement in the function as this will require maintenance.

I am looking to use this function for column defaults when creating tables as I'd rather that approach than triggers.

Is this possible?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
You could use the CHOOSE function instead.
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Would be far more sensible to have a table with just 2 columns, first column holding the old column name as the Primary key and the second as the value. A very simple select statement then works AND you are future proof.

What you have is a very poor design.
JedNebulaAuthor Commented:
Thank you both.

Neilsr, what you have said makes perfect sense. I'm not sure why I didn't do things that way. It was a long time ago. The next project I start I definitely will change to that method - thank you.

I'm afraid that the (albeit nasty) setup I have in place currently, is too aged and too frequently used to be changed. I have not used the ChOOSE function before. I have had a quick look, but I'm not seeing how I might use that to provide a solution. Could you throw an example together for me?
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
CHOOSE(calculation that results in a value from 1 to 4 for example, Column-Result1, Column-Result2, Column-Result3, Column-Result4)
JedNebulaAuthor Commented:
Thinking about this further, I'm not sure either of your suggestions could be used as column defaults.

For example, I might have another table called tblSalesLine containing a column called VAT_Rate. On row insert, if I want the value to be the DefaultVATRate value from the tblOptions table, the column default has to be either a function OR a column/expression made up from tblSalesLine members.

I don't think you can simply use SELECT DefaultVATRate  FROM tblOptions as the default value. Neither could you use the CHOOSE function.

Unless I'm missing something?
Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
This would be easy to do using dynamic SQL ... but you can't use dynamic SQL in a function.

Therefore, I don't see any way to do this except to use a CASE statement with the associated maintenance when a column is added (are columns really added that often)?

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
JedNebulaAuthor Commented:
Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
It'd be easy enough to write code to generate the function using all columns currently in the table.  And you could create the function with SCHEMABINDING, forcing you to adjust it when the table changed.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft SQL Server

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.