Chapter six of the free Delphi Database Course for beginners. Learn how to add, insert and delete records from a database table.
The main goal of developing database applications is to provide a means of modifying the data. In the first five chapters this DB Course has shown how to connect to an Access database, how to display the data from a database table and how to navigate through the records in a table.
In this sixth chapter of the free database course we'll see exactly how to add, edit and delete the data -by looking at some of the most interesting properties, events and methods of the db-aware/enabled components and objects.
To follow this article you'll need to create a data form similar to ones we were creating in the previous chapters. Use the standard set (DataSource, ADOTable and ADOConnection) of components to connect to our Access database. This time we will be exploring the Authors table. Recall that the Authors table has three fields (columns): AuthorName, Email and Web. All three are text fields, in the first chapter we added one "dummy" record.
Start a new Delphi project and on the default new form place all the data access components and a DBGrid and a DBNavigator. Use the Object Inspector to set the link between all those components. Set the Table name of the ADOTable1 component to point to the Authors table. You should already be familiar with the steps to achieve the connection. Use the Active property of the ADOTable to activate the connection at design time. Or use the OnCreate/OnClose pair of event handlers for the form to Open and Close the dataset at run-time.
One of the great advantages of database development with Delphi is in the existance of the TField object. As already stated, in the previous chapters, database fields can be persistent or created dynamically. It is recommended to set the persistent list of fields for a (known) dataset. By using the Object Inspector add all three fields to the list. Use dragging and dropping (as explained in the 5th chapter) to link a data-aware DBEdits to fields in a database table.
When linking components in a way that the DBNavigator is used with the data-aware components like the DBGrid operations like editing, deleting and inserting new records to a table are done semi-automatically. For example, suppose you are browsing the recordset with the DBGrid. When you start retyping the text in some cell (editing the value of the underlying field) the data is not modified until the Post method is called. The Post method (of a dataset) plays the central role in a Delphi database application.
When the dataset is in the Edit state, a call to Post modifies the current record. The DBNavigator has the Post button (the one with the check mark on it) that calls the Post method when clicked. You should be aware of the fact that Post is called implicitly (for example) when you move to the next record - just by pressing the down key while editing in a DBGrid.
When an application calls the Post method (implicitly or explicitly) several events happen that can be handeled by Delphi. For example the BeforePost event (of a dataset) is triggered before the "modified" record is actually modified and updated with the new values. Your application might use the OnBeforePost to perform validity checks on data changes before posting them to the database. This is a place where so-called record-based validation should be done. Record-based validation is used when other fields are involved in determining if a value entered for a field is valid. To check for the validity of one field at a time you could use the OnValidate event handler for that specific field. The OnValidate event handler is created from the Object Inspector when the Fields editor is invoked and the appropriate field is selected.
To be able to edit the data returned by a dataset the dataset must be in the Edit state. The default behaviour of the data-aware controls (DBGrid, DBEdit) with their AutoEdit property set to True is that once the user starts editing the values in DBEdit controls the state changes (from Browse) to Edit. No error occurs if we try to put a dataset in the Edit state while the dataset is already in the Edit state.
= 'Delphi Guide';
The first line simply puts the dataset in the Edit state. The last one Posts the data to the database. The second one assigns the string value 'Delphi Guide' to the AuthorName field.
Take a look at (some of the) events that were triggered by the previous (simple) call.
Note: the DBGrid and the appropriate DBEdit component are refreshed to show the new value for the AuthorName field.
The simplest way to add a new record to a table is to click on the DBNavigators Insert button (the one with the plus sign on it). The Insert method called adds/opens a new - empty record in a table. The DBGrid display one empty row with the asterisk sign in the first column. All three DBEdit components are empty and ready for the user to enter values for the new record. The call to Insert results in calling series related events, too.
Programmatically inserting and posting could look like:
with ADOTable1 do begin Insert;
FieldByName('AuthorName').Value := 'Zarko Gajic'; FieldByName('Email').Value := '[email protected]'; FieldByName('Web').Value := 'http://sf.hr'; Post; end;
Note: the ADOTable component has the InsertRecord method that can be used to create a new, empty record at in the dataset, fill fields with values, and post the values to the database - all that with just one line of code. The previous example could look like:
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