Building a Text Scalar Function in Visual Studio .NET

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Building a Text Scalar Function
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Another type of query that you can build in the text editor is a text scalar function. Scalar functions are very similar in concept to the system functions that SQL Server provides. They are usually defined to serve a singular purpose and return a single value. For example, you can build a scalar function if you repeatedly need to compute a single aggregate value when 681
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Part 4: Designing an Access Project
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The procedure uses a local bit variable, @retSuccess, to track the success or failure of the INSERT statements. When any statement fails, the procedure does not attempt to execute subsequent INSERT statements. At the end of the procedure, the code checks the value of @retSuccess and commits all updates if the value is true (1) or rolls back all updates if the value is false (0).
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Part 00: Part Title
Microsoft Office Access 2003 Inside Out working with recordsets in your database. You can build the scalar function and then execute it whenever you need to compute the value. For example, if you often need to know the average price of products sold in a given time range, you can build a scalar function to compute that value for you. Then you only have to execute the scalar function instead of computing the value in the query every time you need to use it. Like stored procedures, scalar functions can make use of the many features of Transact-SQL. They can accept parameters, execute multiple SQL statements, and use variables. The key point to keep in mind with scalar functions is that they always return a single value.
00 00 00
Part 4: Designing an Access Project
00 00 18
Because scalar functions always return a single value, they can be used just about anywhere you can use a single value, variable, or parameter in other views, functions, and stored procedures. The flexibility of scalar functions makes them very useful as you design and implement the other queries in your database. Note When you refer to scalar functions or any other type of functions that you have built, you must always include the parentheses () after the name of the function in your EXECUTE statement. This is the standard syntax for calling a function and must be used even if the function does not accept any parameters. Take a look at the syntax for creating a scalar function in the text editor. First, create a new scalar function by selecting Create Text Scalar Function from the New Query dialog box (Figure 18-25). Access creates a new scalar function as shown in Figure 18-30.
Figure 18-30. A new scalar function in the text editor.
The first half of the function should look familiar to you. The section in parentheses is where you declare any parameters that you will use in the scalar function. Remember to separate the parameters you declare with commas, and remember to remove the comment symbols (/* and */). Also note that you cannot declare OUTPUT parameters because scalar functions have only one output: the return value.
Part 1: Part Title
Building Queries in an Access Project The RETURNS statement allows you to identify the data type of the value the scalar function is returning. The body of the scalar function must be entirely contained within one BEGIN/ END statement block that follows the AS keyword. If you need to declare any local variables, define them within the BEGIN/END statement block. The last statement you use before the END keyword is the RETURN statement followed by the parameter or variable that contains the information the scalar function will return.
Building a Text Table-Valued Function
The last type of query that you can build using the text editor is a text table-valued function. In execution, the table-valued function is similar to a select query. It returns an entire recordset (or table) when it executes. The major difference is that table-valued functions can contain multiple SQL statements that are used to produce the final recordset that they return. As a result, table-valued functions can return tables that are the result set of several complex queries. The recordsets that table-valued functions return are read-only. In a table-valued function, you can use the same Transact-SQL syntax as with scalar functions. The difference is a table-valued function returns a logical table instead of a single value, and it uses one or more INSERT statements to create the logical table that it returns. If you need to build a recordset that is based on multiple queries on other tables that might require parameters to determine the outcome, a table-valued function is very handy because it can perform this entire process in one function. Because table-valued functions return recordsets, you can use them anywhere you can use a single SQL statement in other views, functions, and stored procedures. Just remember that you can t alter the result set of a tablevalued function. Take a look at the syntax for creating a table-valued function in the text editor. First, create a new table-valued function by selecting Create Text Table-Valued Function from the New Query dialog box (Figure 18-25). Access creates a new table-valued function as shown in Figure 18-31 on the next page.
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