Designing INSTEAD OF Triggers
The primary advantage of INSTEAD OF triggers is that they allow views that would not be updatable support updates. A view comprising multiple base tables must use an INSTEAD OF trigger to support inserts, updates and deletes that reference data in the tables. Another advantage of INSTEAD OF triggers is that they allow you to code logic that can reject parts of a batch while allowing other parts of a batch succeed.
An INSTEAD OF trigger can take actions such as:
- Ignoring parts of a batch.
- Not processing a part of a batch and logging the problem rows.
- Taking an alternative action if an error condition is encountered.
Note INSTEAD OF DELETE and INSTEAD OF UPDATE triggers cannot be defined on a table that has a foreign key defined with a DELETE or UPDATE action.
Coding this logic as part of an INSTEAD OF trigger prevents all applications accessing the data from having to reimplement the logic.
In the following sequence of Transact-SQL statements, an INSTEAD OF trigger updates two base tables from a view. In addition, two approaches to handling errors are shown:
- Duplicate inserts to the Person table are ignored, and the information from the insert is logged in the PersonDuplicates table.
- Inserts of duplicates to the EmployeeTable are turned into an UPDATE statement that retrieves the current information into the EmployeeTable without generating a duplicate key violation.
The Transact-SQL statements create two base tables, a view, a table to record errors, and the INSTEAD OF trigger on the view. These tables separate personal and business data and are the base tables for the view:
CREATE TABLE Person ( SSN char(11) PRIMARY KEY, Name nvarchar(100), Address nvarchar(100), Birthdate datetime ) CREATE TABLE EmployeeTable ( EmployeeID int PRIMARY KEY, SSN char(11) UNIQUE, Department nvarchar(10), Salary money, CONSTRAINT FKEmpPer FOREIGN KEY (SSN) REFERENCES Person (SSN) )
This view reports all relevant data from the two tables for a person:
CREATE VIEW Employee AS SELECT P.SSN as SSN, Name, Address, Birthdate, EmployeeID, Department, Salary FROM Person P, EmployeeTable E WHERE P.SSN = E.SSN
You can record attempts to insert rows with duplicate social security numbers. The PersonDuplicates table logs the inserted values, the name of the user who attempted the insert, and the time of the insert:
CREATE TABLE PersonDuplicates ( SSN char(11), Name nvarchar(100), Address nvarchar(100), Birthdate datetime, InsertSNAME nchar(100), WhenInserted datetime )
The INSTEAD OF trigger inserts rows into multiple base tables from a single view. Attempts to insert rows with duplicate social security numbers are recorded in the PersonDuplicates table. Duplicate rows in the EmployeeTable are changed to update statements.
CREATE TRIGGER IO_Trig_INS_Employee ON Employee INSTEAD OF INSERT AS BEGIN SET NOCOUNT ON -- Check for duplicate Person. If no duplicate, do an insert. IF (NOT EXISTS (SELECT P.SSN FROM Person P, inserted I WHERE P.SSN = I.SSN)) INSERT INTO Person SELECT SSN,Name,Address,Birthdate FROM inserted ELSE -- Log attempt to insert duplicate Person row in PersonDuplicates table. INSERT INTO PersonDuplicates SELECT SSN,Name,Address,Birthdate,SUSER_SNAME(),GETDATE() FROM inserted -- Check for duplicate Employee. If no duplicate, do an insert. IF (NOT EXISTS (SELECT E.SSN FROM EmployeeTable E, inserted WHERE E.SSN = inserted.SSN)) INSERT INTO EmployeeTable SELECT EmployeeID,SSN, Department, Salary FROM inserted ELSE --If duplicate, change to UPDATE so that there will not --be a duplicate key violation error. UPDATE EmployeeTable SET EmployeeID = I.EmployeeID, Department = I.Department, Salary = I.Salary FROM EmployeeTable E, inserted I WHERE E.SSN = I.SSN END