I needed to return an identity value recently from an insert for use in another piece of code. For a client front end, you can easily encapsulate your insert in a stored procedure and then SELECT scope_identity() to get the last identity. However there’s an easier way: the output clause.
The OUTPUT clause is a clause that goes in your INSERT statement and allows you access to the INSERTED table, just like a trigger (also the DELETED table.
A short example below, where data is being added by the server in the state of an identity and a default. I am returning them with the OUTPUT clause.
CREATE TABLE mytesttable ( MyID INT IDENTITY , mychar VARCHAR(20) , mydate DATE DEFAULT GETDATE() ) GO DECLARE @mytable TABLE ( i INT, d DATE); INSERT dbo.mytesttable (mychar) OUTPUT INSERTED.myid, INSERTED.mydate INTO @mytable VALUES ( 'First Row') SELECT i, d FROM @mytable
There are any number of ways to use this data, especially in terms of logging or inserts into another table. It should be cleaner code, but it doesn’t mean that you should be running inserts from the client without stored procedures, or at least without explicit parameters. Make sure you still use those.