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Reference Recordset Fields by Any Name

When writing ASP scripts that deal with databases, you often aren't fortunate enough to have a database whose naming conventions make sense given the context of your script. While it might be obvious that something named first comes before something named last, do the hypothetical fields store someone's first and last name or the date of their first and last transaction?

There's no need to carry this ambiguity through into the recordsets you use in your ASP code. You can easily reference the fields by more accurate names to make your code more readable. The secret is simply in the SQL command you use.

SELECT first, last, date FROM tblEmployee

might get the job done, but

SELECT first As FirstName, last As LastName, date As DateOfBirth FROM tblEmployee

leaves no question what those fields actually contain and will make the rest of your code that deals with them that much easier to understand. Especially since you can use the new aliases when requesting the fields from your recordset.

Another time when this technique can be extremely valuable is when you don't know what a field would otherwise be called. This is often the case when you're doing a calculation of some sort. For example...

SELECT Count(*) FROM tblEmployee

might return a count of all the employees, but you'll be forced to reference it like this:


If you instead use...

SELECT Count(*) As EmployeeCount FROM tblEmployee

you can more acurately indicate what you're trying to retreive from the recordset:


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