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Programming ColdFusion by Rob Brooks-Bilson

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Updating Existing Records

Updating a database record is a three-step process that involves a bit more work that just inserting a new record. The first step in the process is to identify the record to be updated; there are two ways to handle this task. Next, an HTML form containing the editable fields needs to be created. This form must be prepopulated with the data from the record to be edited. Finally, you need another template to take the updated form-field data and update the appropriate record in the database.

Choosing a Record to Update

Before you can make an update to a record, you need some sort of interface that allows you to choose the record you wish to modify. There are two general approaches to this interface. The first approach involves a URL-based technique for selecting the record to modify. The second approach utilizes a forms-based technique to achieve the same goal. Both approaches begin by querying a data source (in our case, the EmployeeDirectory table of the ProgrammingCF data source) to retrieve a list of all the records from the database. Usually, you need to retrieve only the primary key value and a distinguishing field or two. In our example, we retrieve the ID field (primary key) and the Name field from the EmployeeDirectory table. It is from this point forward that the two approaches differ.

The first approach uses the information returned by the query to generate an HTML table listing each employee from the database. The code for this template,

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