Temporary tables can be used to verify the accuracy of SQL Server triggers in certain circumstances. However, there are some limitations to this approach that should be considered.
- Benefits of Using Temporary Tables:
There are several benefits to using temporary tables for trigger testing:
- Isolation: Temporary tables are private to the session that created them, so they will not interfere with data in other sessions. This makes them ideal for testing triggers that modify data.
- Ease of Setup: Temporary tables can be created and dropped easily, making them convenient for quick testing.
- Data Capture: Temporary tables can be used to capture the data that is modified by a trigger, which can be helpful for debugging and troubleshooting
- Limitations of Using Temporary Tables
Despite these benefits, there are some limitations to using temporary tables for trigger testing:
- Scope: Temporary tables are only visible to the session that created them, so they cannot be used to test triggers that fire in other sessions.
- Performance: Temporary tables can impact performance, especially if they are large or if they are used in triggers that fire frequently.
- Reliability: Temporary tables can be dropped if the session that created them terminates abnormally. This can make it difficult to reproduce test results.
In general, it is recommended to use temporary tables for initial testing of triggers, and then to use more reliable methods, such as dedicated test tables, for final validation.Here are some alternative approaches
to using temporary tables for trigger testing:
- Use a dedicated test database: This is the most reliable and secure way to test triggers, as it isolates the test data from the production data.
- Use transaction rollback: This approach can be used to test triggers that modify data, but it is important to ensure that the rollback does not affect other sessions.
- Use a logging mechanism: This approach can be used to capture the data that is modified by a trigger, but it is important to ensure that the log is not overwritten or corrupted.
Temporary tables can be a useful tool for testing SQL Server triggers, but they should be used with caution and in conjunction with other testing methods.
The first ingredient in properly employing triggers is to understand the differences between AFTER and INSTEAD OF triggers. AFTER triggers are the same type of trigger that is available in previous versions of SQL Server. They are also known as "FOR triggers" or even simply as "triggers" since they were the only type of trigger available prior to SQL Server 2000. Let's first look at FOR triggers. You'll notice that the following trigger is created using the FOR keyword:
CREATE TRIGGER tr_Employees_U on Employees FOR UPDATE AS
RAISERROR ('cannot change lastname', 16, 1)
It is important to know that your code cannot perform any inserts, updates, or deletes to or from the Inserted or Deleted tables. These tables can only be selected. If you want to get an idea of the data that is contained within the Inserted and Deleted special tables, you can select the data from each of these tables within the definition of the trigger itself. You must do it within the trigger because these tables are available only to the trigger, and not outside it. Also, make sure to remove these
statements before you make your trigger live. You do not want your customers to see this.
It is only for testing.
Why are temporary tables important? The rest of this lesson shows how these special tables are used to validate changes to your tables before they are made permanent by SQL Server.
In the next lesson, the enforcement of business rules with triggers will be discussed.