Q

Copying rows between tables with mismatched columns

I am trying to copy data from TableA into a history/archive table, TableB. TableA and TableB are exactly alike, except TableB contains a field "Archive_ID" which does not exist in TableA. How do I get past this? I tried the following statement:

INSERT INTO TABLEB
SELECT *
FROM TABLEA
But because of the extra field in B, it won't work.

In an INSERT INTO... SELECT statement, the columns in the SELECT clause must match the number and the data types (loosely) of the columns in the INSERT INTO clause. To illustrate, here are two sample tables:

create table TableA
( Stuff numeric(5),
  MoreStuff varchar(30)
);

create table TableB
( Stuff numeric(5),
  MoreStuff varchar(30),
  ExtraColumn numeric(5)
);
To populate TableB with data from TableA, either of the following INSERT statements will do the trick:
insert into TableB (Stuff, MoreStuff)
  select * from TableA;
  
insert into TableB
  select Stuff, MoreStuff, null from TableA;

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This was first published in April 2002

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