DML Commands - General


Updates specified rows in the target table with new values.

In this Topic:


UPDATE <target_table>
       SET <col_name> = <value> [ , <col_name> = <value> , ... ]
        [ FROM <additional_tables> ]
        [ WHERE <condition> ]

Required Parameters


Specifies the table to update.


Specifies the name of a column in target_table. Do not include the table name. For example, UPDATE t1 SET t1.col = 1 is invalid.


Specifies the new value to set in col_name.

Optional Parameters

FROM additional_tables

Specifies one or more tables to use for selecting rows to update or for setting new values. Note that repeating the target table results in a self-join.

WHERE condition

Expression that specifies the rows in the target table to update.

Default: No value (all rows of the target table are updated)

Usage Notes

  • When updating rows based on a JOIN with another table (in a FROM clause), a target row may join against many rows in the FROM relation. When this occurs, the ERROR_ON_NONDETERMINISTIC_UPDATE session parameter controls the outcome of the update:

    • If FALSE (default value), no error is returned and one of the joined rows is used to update the target row; however, the selected joined row is nondeterministic.

    • IF TRUE, an error is returned, including an example of the values of a target row that joins multiple rows.

    To set the parameter:



Perform a standard update using two tables:

  SET number_column = t1.number_column + t2.number_column, t1.text_column = 'ASDF'
  FROM t2
  WHERE t1.key_column = t2.t1_key and t1.number_column < 10;

Update with join that produces nondeterministic results:

select * from target;

| K |  V |
| 0 | 10 |

Select * from src;

| K |  V |
| 0 | 11 |
| 0 | 12 |
| 0 | 13 |

-- Following statement joins all three rows in src against the single row in target
UPDATE target
  SET v = src.v
  FROM src
  WHERE target.k = src.k;

| number of rows updated | number of multi-joined rows updated |
|                      1 |                                   1 |

To avoid this nondeterministic behavior and error, use a 1-to-1 join:

UPDATE target SET v = b.v
  FROM (SELECT k, MIN(v) v FROM src GROUP BY k) b
  WHERE target.k = b.k;

This statement results in the single row in target updated to (0, 11) (values from the row with the minimum value for v in src) and will never result in an error.