Wednesday, May 19, 2010


SCOPE_IDENTITY, IDENT_CURRENT, and @@IDENTITY are similar functions in that they return values inserted into IDENTITY columns.

IDENT_CURRENT is not limited by scope and session; it is limited to a specified table. IDENT_CURRENT returns the value generated for a specific table in any session and any scope.

SCOPE_IDENTITY and @@IDENTITY will return last identity values generated in any table in the current session. However, SCOPE_IDENTITY returns values inserted only within the current scope; @@IDENTITY is not limited to a specific scope.

For example, you have two tables, T1 and T2, and an INSERT trigger defined on T1. When a row is inserted to T1, the trigger fires and inserts a row in T2. This scenario illustrates two scopes: the insert on T1, and the insert on T2 as a result of the trigger.

Assuming that both T1 and T2 have IDENTITY columns, @@IDENTITY and SCOPE_IDENTITY will return different values at the end of an INSERT statement on T1.
@@IDENTITY will return the last IDENTITY column value inserted across any scope in the current session, which is the value inserted in T2.
SCOPE_IDENTITY() will return the IDENTITY value inserted in T1, which was the last INSERT that occurred in the same scope. The SCOPE_IDENTITY() function will return the NULL value if the function is invoked before any insert statements into an identity column occur in the scope.

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