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Preventing the insert of duplicate records

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  • Preventing the insert of duplicate records

    I am using SQL server and Alpha version 11.

    I have a grid that allows the insertion of records into a table that is used for requests for payment of invoices. I need to be able to determine if a combination of values already exists in the table before I insert the record. If an exact match of the combination of the invoice number, amount, vendor, and account code already exists, I want to be able to display an error message and not allow the insertion of the record. I know how to do that for a single value via Validation Rules on a single field by using the Cross-file Validation. I'm not sure how to do this when I need to check for a combination of field values as described above.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Tim Barker

  • #2
    Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

    If you don't care about an SQL Error showing up (or you capture the error with Alpha) you can Just use SQL Server Managment Studio to set a unique constraint on those fields.

    On the other hand, curious minds want to know, why you would ever have two invoice numbers that are the same? Sometimes questions like yours come up when people are less familar with database design and are doing it in a way that causes these problems to arise when there is a different way to do things on the DB side that will keep this from happening in the first place.

    So, a better idea of how your tables are setup and how and when data is inserted might help someone here give you another alternative that's way easier to implement and has "best practices" in mind.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

      These reason I need to do this is because people are inadvertently entering in the same invoice twice. They enter it once, don't pay attention, and then enter it again. This is what I'm trying to prevent. I need to stop them from entering in the same invoice a second time. Plus, it is possible to have two vendors that used the same invoice number so that's why I need to do the validation (and prevention of inserting the record) on the combination of these fields.

      So my question is how to do this in Alpha. With all due respect Jinx, if you don't have that solution, please do not respond to my posts. I have a need to do it this way and for valid reasons based on my environment.

      Thanks,

      Tim Barker

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

        Originally posted by tcbarker4 View Post
        These reason I need to do this is because people are inadvertently entering in the same invoice twice. They enter it once, don't pay attention, and then enter it again. This is what I'm trying to prevent. I need to stop them from entering in the same invoice a second time. Plus, it is possible to have two vendors that used the same invoice number so that's why I need to do the validation (and prevention of inserting the record) on the combination of these fields.

        So my question is how to do this in Alpha. With all due respect Jinx, if you don't have that solution, please do not respond to my posts. I have a need to do it this way and for valid reasons based on my environment.

        Thanks,

        Tim Barker
        That was rude. And I did give you a valid solution in the first sentence of my post.

        I asked what I did because people come on here and ask questions all the time about how to avoid duplicate records or how to create their own unique id (as opposed to the DB doing it automatically) and the answer, 95% of the time, is poor DB design.

        The "valid reason" you gave me above pretty much proves the point.

        Don't worry, I won't respond any more.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

          My response was not rude. I prefaced it with and sincerely meant "with all due respect". I simply have a question based on validation rules specific to Alpha 5. The application is well designed and so is the database schema. I have two seasoned DBAs on staff so design is not an issue. You are the one making the implied insinuation there is a database design issue and are obviously expressing your opinion based on things you are not familiar with.

          But I do appreciate your commitment not to respond to any more of my posts. At least in that respect, you've been helpful.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

            Hi Tim,
            If an exact match of the combination of the invoice number, amount, vendor, and account code already exists
            OTH, it is a bit curious that all 4 fields are required for a uniqueness test. Wouldn't a vendor's account code be unique to that vendor already? That might elimiate one test. I add a calculated KEYLINK field to my table when I have a situation like that which concentates the fields together. Then you can test for uniqueness on that field before the record is saved (and avoid a validation rule) and warn the user of a possible duplication.
            Robin

            Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

              Robin,

              Normally you would be correct. The issue I have is the CSRs do not pay attention and can try and enter in invoices multiple times. An example is a CSR would enter in invoice 12345 from vendor 99999 for $135.00. Then they would set that invoice aside and it would inadvertently get mixed in with invoices yet to enter. A week later, the CSRs is entering invoices to be paid again and comes across the invoice in the example above. SO the CSR would enter in invoice 12345 from vendor 99999 for $135.00 again and the system would accept the entry and now a duplicate payment request exists. Currently, our A/P system will catch the duplicate entry but I want to prevent the invoice from being inserted into the database because it would recognized as a duplicate invoice. The vendor's code alone can not be used as the unique value as we have many invoices from the same vendor. The invoice alone cannot be used as the unique value because it is possible to have the same invoice number but from different vendors. That's why I need to use the combination.

              I like the idea of the Keylink field. I could do a concatenation operation and update the record in the AfterInsertRecord and AfterUpdateRecord server-side events. Would you use the CanInsertRecord Server-side Event to do the "uniqueness check"? I've used this server-side event for other things but never for something like this. Would you happen to have some code examples?

              Thanks for your help.

              Tim

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

                Hi Tim,
                I'm afraid I can't be much help on server side events - strictly desktop here. But the database principle should still be the same. Unless there is a scenario where the same vendor might have a legitimate reason to present the same invoice # with different amounts! I think your uniqueness test only needs to be on vendor-invoice. That should be sufficient info to prompt the user this is a duplicate billing. Using a calculated key link field would then give the opportunity to warn the user of the possible duplication and perhaps then he could add an 'a' to the end of the invoice number if he wants to continue.
                Robin

                Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

                  Tim,
                  What amazes me is that Jinx gave you the solution in his very first paragraph and you dissed him because you took a legitimate question of his a bit too personally.
                  Your problem is simple and easily coded for, and if your DBA's haven't figured out how to deal with this common issue then something is very wrong. Alpha provides all the tools to trap the returning SQL error.
                  You owe an apology to him, good sir! And there is no need to respond to my post.
                  Andy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

                    Tim,
                    may be not clean solution, but how about calling a sql query with three parameters vendor code, value and invoice no. and checking if the record count is more than 1 on onvalidation event and throwing error message ??

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

                      Andy,

                      You fall into that category as well. Please do not respond to any more of my posts. Your comments are unhelpful and do not provide a solution so you're wasting my time.

                      Tim

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

                        Wajeed,

                        Great suggestion. Thank you for providing a simply, concise, and useful solution. Your post was very helpful.

                        Thanks again,

                        Tim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

                          Acid guy this Tim. Too bad I'm not a moderator.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Preventing the insert of duplicate records

                            Another helpful, useful, and constructive post. Bravo Andy

                            Comment

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