SQL Server 2008 Row Insert and Update timestamps

[Originally posted by] : http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17116334/sql-server-2008-row-insert-and-update-timestamps

I need to add two columns to a database table in SQL Server 2008 R2:

  • createTS – date and time when row is inserted
  • updateTS – date and time when row is updated

I have a few questions:

  1. What column data type should I employ for each of these?
  2. createTS needs to be set only once, when the row is inserted. When I tried the datetime type for this column and added a Default Value or Binding of getdate(), the column value was appropriately set. Is this the best way to fulfill the purpose of this column? I considered timestamp data type, but that is, in my opinion, nearly a misnomer!
  3. updateTS needs to be set to the date and time of the moment when the row is updated. In SQL Server, there is no ON UPDATE CURRENT_TIMESTAMP (as in MySQL), so it looks like I have to resort to using a trigger. Is this right and how would I go about doing that?

So there is a starting point for anyone who would like to answer this question, here is the create table script:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[names]
(
    [name] [nvarchar](64) NOT NULL,
    [createTS] [datetime] NOT NULL CONSTRAINT [DF_names_createTS]  DEFAULT (getdate()),
    [updateTS] [datetime] NOT NULL,
    CONSTRAINT [PK_names] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
    (
        [name] ASC
    )
    WITH (PAD_INDEX  = OFF, STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE  = OFF, IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS  = ON, ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS  = ON) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]
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Answers

try

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Names]
(
    [Name] [nvarchar](64) NOT NULL,
    [CreateTS] [smalldatetime] NOT NULL CONSTRAINT CreateTS_DF DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP,
    [UpdateTS] [smalldatetime] NOT NULL

)

PS I think a smalldatetime is good enough. You may decide differently.

Can you not do this at the “moment of impact” ?

In Sql Server, this is common:

Update dbo.MyTable 
Set 

ColA = @SomeValue , 
UpdateDS = CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
Where...........

Sql Server has a “timestamp” datatype.

But it may not be what you think.

Here is a reference:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms182776(v=sql.90).aspx

Here is a little RowVersion (timestamp) example:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Names]
(
    [Name] [nvarchar](64) NOT NULL,
    RowVers rowversion ,
    [CreateTS] [datetime] NOT NULL CONSTRAINT CreateTS_DF DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP,
    [UpdateTS] [datetime] NOT NULL

)

INSERT INTO dbo.Names (Name,UpdateTS)
select 'John' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
UNION ALL select 'Mary' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
UNION ALL select 'Paul' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP

select *  ,  ConvertedRowVers = CONVERT(bigint,RowVers) from [dbo].[Names]

Update dbo.Names Set Name = Name

select *  ,  ConvertedRowVers = CONVERT(bigint,RowVers) from [dbo].[Names]
Maybe a complete working example:

DROP TABLE [dbo].[Names]
GO

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Names]
(
    [Name] [nvarchar](64) NOT NULL,
    RowVers rowversion ,
    [CreateTS] [datetime] NOT NULL CONSTRAINT CreateTS_DF DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP,
    [UpdateTS] [datetime] NOT NULL

)

GO

CREATE TRIGGER dbo.trgKeepUpdateDateInSync_ByeByeBye ON dbo.Names
AFTER INSERT, UPDATE
AS

BEGIN

Update dbo.Names Set UpdateTS = CURRENT_TIMESTAMP from dbo.Names myAlias , inserted triggerInsertedTable where 
triggerInsertedTable.Name = myAlias.Name

END

GO

INSERT INTO dbo.Names (Name,UpdateTS)
select 'John' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
UNION ALL select 'Mary' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
UNION ALL select 'Paul' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP

select *  ,  ConvertedRowVers = CONVERT(bigint,RowVers) from [dbo].[Names]

Update dbo.Names Set Name = Name , UpdateTS = '03/03/2003' /* notice that even though I set it to 2003, the trigger takes over */

select *  ,  ConvertedRowVers = CONVERT(bigint,RowVers) from [dbo].[Names]
Matching on the "Name" value is probably not wise.

Try this more mainstream example with a SurrogateKey

DROP TABLE [dbo].[Names]
GO

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Names]
(
    SurrogateKey int not null Primary Key Identity (1001,1),
    [Name] [nvarchar](64) NOT NULL,
    RowVers rowversion ,
    [CreateTS] [datetime] NOT NULL CONSTRAINT CreateTS_DF DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP,
    [UpdateTS] [datetime] NOT NULL

)

GO

CREATE TRIGGER dbo.trgKeepUpdateDateInSync_ByeByeBye ON dbo.Names
AFTER UPDATE
AS

BEGIN

   UPDATE dbo.Names
    SET UpdateTS = CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
    From  dbo.Names myAlias
    WHERE exists ( select null from inserted triggerInsertedTable where myAlias.SurrogateKey = triggerInsertedTable.SurrogateKey)

END

GO

INSERT INTO dbo.Names (Name,UpdateTS)
select 'John' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
UNION ALL select 'Mary' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP
UNION ALL select 'Paul' , CURRENT_TIMESTAMP

select *  ,  ConvertedRowVers = CONVERT(bigint,RowVers) from [dbo].[Names]

Update dbo.Names Set Name = Name , UpdateTS = '03/03/2003' /* notice that even though I set it to 2003, the trigger takes over */

select *  ,  ConvertedRowVers = CONVERT(bigint,RowVers) from [dbo].[Names]
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