The error message “The IDENTITY function can only be used when the SELECT statement has an INTO clause” occurs when an IDENTITY function is used in a SELECT statement without an INTO clause. This error occurs because the IDENTITY function is used to insert a new identity value into a table, and an INTO clause is required to specify the target table.
Here are the steps to troubleshoot this error:
Check the SELECT statement: Review the SELECT statement that is causing the error and ensure that it includes an INTO clause. The INTO clause is used to specify the target table for the inserted data.
Identify the target table: Make sure that the target table specified in the INTO clause exists and that the user has the necessary permissions to insert data into the table.
Check the columns in the target table: Ensure that the target table has the same number of columns as the SELECT statement and that the data types of the columns match the data types of the columns in the SELECT statement.
Validate the SELECT statement: Make sure that the SELECT statement is valid and that all columns, tables, and other objects referenced in the statement exist and are accessible by the user.
Check for other issues: If the SELECT statement is correct, check for other issues that may be causing the error. For example, check for problems with the SQL Server service, network connectivity, or disk space.
Check for other syntax errors: Ensure that the statement is syntactically correct, check for any missing or extra commas, parentheses, or quotes.
Test the statement: Try running the statement in a separate query window or using a different client tool to test if the error is specific to the client or the query.
By following these steps, you should be able to identify and troubleshoot the issue causing the error “The IDENTITY function can only be used when the SELECT statement has an INTO clause” in SQL Server.
here is an example of a SELECT statement that causes the “The IDENTITY function can only be used when the SELECT statement has an INTO clause” error:
-- Incorrect use of the IDENTITY function SELECT IDENTITY(INT, 1, 1) AS 'NewID', * FROM orders
In this example, the IDENTITY function is being used to generate a new identity value, but there is no INTO clause to specify the target table for the inserted data. To correct this error, you would need to add an INTO clause to the SELECT statement to specify the target table. Here’s an
-- Correct use of the IDENTITY function SELECT IDENTITY(INT, 1, 1) AS 'NewID', * INTO dbo.new_orders FROM orders
In this example, the INTO clause is used to specify the target table “dbo.new_orders” and the identity function can insert the new identity value into the target table.
It’s worth noting that when you insert data into a table with an identity column, the identity column will be automatically filled with new values and you don’t need to use the IDENTITY function.