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When an Update Doesn’t Update

Aaron Bertrand offers some troubleshooting advice:

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before:

I changed data from my application, but when I checked the database, I couldn’t see the change!

I’ve seen this. Loads. It can be quite perplexing for folks because they expect to see an error message if the insert, update, or delete failed. I put this post together to provide some things you can investigate if this happens to you – you are sure that you updated the data, but when you check using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), your change isn’t there. For the remainder of the post, I’m going to use the word “update” to mean any change to the data, even MERGE {shudder}.

Read on for three major classes of reason. One bonus reason: you left the transaction open. Most application frameworks will close transactions after a statement, but if you’re hand-writing transaction logic in your app, forgetting a COMMIT can happen.