Microsoft SQL Primary Keys

I’m in the process of learning SQL and in so doing have started learning Microsoft SQL using Microsoft’s SQL Management Studio. It’s a free program that’s used to open, manage, and edit Microsoft SQL databases stored on a server running Microsoft SQL (quick note: SQL is a database language used to store data in tables that can be accessed from programs or websites).

2014-05-16 11_26_21-Connect to ServerWhen you first load the program (I’m running SQL Server 2005, which is not free), if you haven’t already opened a database, it will prompt you to connect to one. If or once connected to a database, it will appear in the left menu.

The places you’ll be working in the most are under the “Database” folder: Tables, Views, and Programmability > Stored Procedures. For this post I will be focusing on Tables and specifically, creating Primary Keys.

Table Best Practices

To create a table, right-click on the Tables folder and select “New Table”. SQL will automatically append a “.dbo” to the front of the table name, but to keep things clear later on, add your own “tbl” or something similar to the beginning of a table name.

Once you have created a table, create a new column to use as a primary key, then change the type to INT for integer. This will create a way to identify rows that are unique to the table, which allows all sorts of other functions to work correctly later on.