SEQUENCE Limitations and restrictions – Sql Server 2012

This article basically focuses on the Sequence Limitations and Restrictions with extensive list of example. To know Sequence basics and Sequence Cache Management and internals you may like to visit the articles: Sequence Introduction with Extensive List of examples and Sequence Cache Management and Internals with examples.

In this article let us understand on the limitations and restrictions on the usage of Sequences when using it in queries. Let us understand some of these major limitations with below extensive list of examples.

To demonstrate the limitations let us create a Sequence and a table as below:

--Create A DataBase for Demo 
CREATE DATABASE SqlHintsDemoDB
GO
USE SqlHintsDemoDB
GO
--Create a Sequence with Initial value 1 and Increment by 1
CREATE SEQUENCE [DBO].[SequenceExample] AS INT
 START WITH 1
 INCREMENT BY 1
GO
--Create Employee Table
CREATE TABLE dbo.Employee(ID INT,Name VARCHAR(100))
GO
-- INSERT RECORDS to the Employee table with Sequence object
INSERT INTO dbo.Employee VALUES
 (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample,'BASAV'),
 (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample,'SHREE'),
 (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample,'PRATHAM')
GO

The NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used in the following situations:
1) In a statement using the DISTINCT, UNION, UNION ALL, EXCEPT or INTERSECT operator.

SELECT (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample)
UNION
SELECT (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample)
GO

RESULT:

Msg 11721, Level 15, State 1, Line 1
NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used directly in a statement that uses a DISTINCT, UNION, UNION ALL, EXCEPT or INTERSECT operator.

2) In a statement using the ORDER BY clause unless NEXT VALUE FOR … OVER (ORDER BY …) is used.

SELECT NAME, (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample) SeqValue
FROM dbo.Employee
ORDER BY NAME
GO

RESULT:

Msg 11723, Level 15, State 1, Line 1
NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used directly in a statement that contains an ORDER BY clause unless the OVER clause is specified.

3) In a statement using TOP, OFFSET, or when the ROWCOUNT option is set.

SELECT TOP 10  (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample)
GO

RESULT:

Msg 11739, Level 15, State 1, Line 1
NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used if ROWCOUNT option has been set, or the query contains TOP or OFFSET.

4) In conditional expressions using CASE, CHOOSE, COALESCE, IIF, ISNULL, or NULLIF.

DECLARE @v INT
SELECT ISNULL(@v,(NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample))
GO

RESULT:

Msg 11741, Level 15, State 1, Line 2
NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used within CASE, CHOOSE, COALESCE, IIF, ISNULL and NULLIF.

5) In the WHERE clause of a statement.

SELECT *
FROM dbo.Employee
WHERE ID = (NEXT VALUE FOR DBO.SequenceExample)
GO

RESULT:

Msg 11720, Level 15, State 1, Line 3
NEXT VALUE FOR function is not allowed in the TOP, OVER, OUTPUT, ON, WHERE, GROUP BY, HAVING, or ORDER BY clauses.

Below table lists few more situations where NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used:

Sl. No. Limitation/Restriction of using NEXT VALUE FOR function
1 In views, in user-defined functions, or in computed columns.
2 As an argument to a table-valued function.
3 As an argument to an aggregate function.
4 In the following clauses: FETCH, OVER, OUTPUT, ON, PIVOT, UNPIVOT, GROUP BY, HAVING, COMPUTE, COMPUTE BY, or FOR XML.
5 When a database is in read-only mode.
6 In subqueries including common table expressions and derived tables.
7 In a MERGE statement. (Except when the NEXT VALUE FOR function is used in a default constraint in the target table and default is used in the CREATE statement of the MERGE statement.)
8 In the definition of a check constraint.
9 In the definition of a rule or default object. (It can be used in a default constraint.)
10 As a default in a user-defined table type.
11 In a VALUES clause that is not part of an INSERT statement.

Below table lists out the list of error message that Sql Server may return while working with sequences:

We can use query like below to get this list:

SELECT message_id 'ERROR No.',text 'ERROR Description'
FROM SYS.messages
WHERE language_id = 1033 
  AND message_id between 11700 and 11742
ERROR No. ERROR Description
11700 The increment for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ cannot be zero.
11701 The absolute value of the increment for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ must be less than or equal to the difference between the minimum and maximum value of the sequence object.
11702 The sequence object ‘%.*ls’ must be of data type int, bigint, smallint, tinyint, or decimal or numeric with a scale of 0, or any user-defined data type that is based on one of the above integer data types.
11703 The start value for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ must be between the minimum and maximum value of the sequence object.
11704 The current value ‘%.*ls’ for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ must be between the minimum and maximum value of the sequence object.
11705 The minimum value for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ must be less than its maximum value.
11706 The cache size for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ must be greater than 0.
11707 The cache size for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ has been set to NO CACHE.
11708 An invalid value was specified for argument ‘%.*ls’ for the given data type.
11709 The ‘RESTART WITH’ argument cannot be used in a CREATE SEQUENCE statement.
11710 Argument ‘START WITH’ cannot be used in an ALTER SEQUENCE statement.
11711 Argument ‘AS’ cannot be used in an ALTER SEQUENCE statement.
11712 Argument ‘%.*ls’ can not be specified more than once.
11714 Invalid sequence name ‘%.*ls’.
11715 No properties specified for ALTER SEQUENCE.
11716 NEXT VALUE FOR function does not support the PARTITION BY clause.
11717 NEXT VALUE FOR function does not support the OVER clause in default constraints, UPDATE statements, or MERGE statements.
11718 NEXT VALUE FOR function does not support an empty OVER clause.
11719 NEXT VALUE FOR function is not allowed in check constraints, default objects, computed columns, views, user-defined functions, user-defined aggregates, user-defined table types, sub-queries, common table expressions, or derived tables.
11720 NEXT VALUE FOR function is not allowed in the TOP, OVER, OUTPUT, ON, WHERE, GROUP BY, HAVING, or ORDER BY clauses.
11721 NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used directly in a statement that uses a DISTINCT, UNION, UNION ALL, EXCEPT or INTERSECT operator.
11722 NEXT VALUE FOR function is not allowed in the WHEN MATCHED clause, the WHEN NOT MATCHED clause, or the WHEN NOT MATCHED BY SOURCE clause of a merge statement.
11723 NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used directly in a statement that contains an ORDER BY clause unless the OVER clause is specified.
11724 An expression that contains a NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be passed as an argument to a table-valued function.
11725 An expression that contains a NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be passed as an argument to an aggregate.
11726 Object ‘%.*ls’ is not a sequence object.
11727 NEXT VALUE FOR functions for a given sequence object must have exactly the same OVER clause definition.
11728 The sequence object ‘%.*ls’ has reached its minimum or maximum value. Restart the sequence object to allow new values to be generated.
11729 The sequence object ‘%.*ls’ cache size is greater than the number of available values; the cache size has been automatically set to accommodate the remaining sequence values.
11730 Database name cannot be specified for the sequence object in default constraints.
11731 A column that uses a sequence object in the default constraint must be present in the target columns list, if the same sequence object appears in a row constructor.
11732 The requested range for sequence object ‘%.*ls’ exceeds the maximum or minimum limit. Retry with a smaller range.
11733 Parameter ‘%.*ls’ must be a positive integer.
11734 NEXT VALUE FOR function is not allowed in the SELECT clause when the FROM clause contains a nested INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, or MERGE statement.
11735 The target table of the INSERT statement cannot have DEFAULT constraints using the NEXT VALUE FOR function when the FROM clause contains a nested INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, or MERGE statement.
11736 Only one instance of NEXT VALUE FOR function per sequence object is allowed in SET or SELECT with variable assignment.
11737 NEXT VALUE FOR function does not support the ROWS and RANGE clauses.
11738 The use of NEXT VALUE FOR function is not allowed in this context.
11739 NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used if ROWCOUNT option has been set, or the query contains TOP or OFFSET.
11740 NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used in a default constraint if ROWCOUNT option has been set, or the query contains TOP or OFFSET.
11741 NEXT VALUE FOR function cannot be used within CASE, CHOOSE, COALESCE, IIF, ISNULL and NULLIF.
11742 NEXT VALUE FOR function can only be used with MERGE if it is defined within a default constraint on the target table for insert actions.

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