How To Insert NULL Data with ODBC API Functions

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Article ID: 248799 - View products that this article applies to.
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Using ODBC API functions such as SQLBindParameter and SQLExecDirect you can execute an INSERT statement and you can insert data into any backend database. Using ODBC API functions you can also insert null data into a particular column of a table, if the column allows nulls.

This article demonstrates how you can programmatically insert NULL data into a database using ODBC API functions.


The StrLen_or_IndPtr argument of the SQLBindParameter function (the last argument of that function) points to a buffer that contains one of the following when you call SQLExecute or SQLExecDirect:
  • SQL_NTS. The parameter value is a null-terminated string.
  • SQL_NULL_DATA. The parameter value is NULL.
  • SQL_DEFAULT_PARAM. A procedure that uses the default value of a parameter, rather than a value retrieved from the application.
  • The result of the SQL_LEN_DATA_AT_EXEC(length) macro. The data for the parameter is sent with SQLPutData.
  • SQL_DATA_AT_EXEC. The data for the parameter is sent with SQLPutData.
When the STRLen_or_IndPtr argument contains SQL_NULL_DATA, you can insert null data in the corresponding column by calling SQLExecDirect or SQLExecute.

Following is a code example that has been tested with SQL Server 7.0. This code works with any other database, but you may have to change the data type in the SQLBindParameter accordingly.
#include <windows.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <sql.h>
#include <sqlext.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
	SQLCHAR*			theDiagState = new SQLCHAR[50];

	SQLINTEGER			theNativeState;
	SQLCHAR*			theMessageText  = new SQLCHAR[255];


	SQLHENV		m_SQLEnvironment;
	SQLHDBC		m_SQLConnection;
	SQLHSTMT	m_SQLStatement;

	SQLRETURN			iReturn;
	DWORD				returnValue = 0;
	DWORD				returnValue1 = 0;
	long				lBufLength = sizeof(returnValue);
	long				lBufLength1 = sizeof(returnValue1);

	SQLCHAR  theNumeric2[50];
	SQLINTEGER cbNumeric, cbNumeric2;
	strcpy((char*)theNumeric2, "5.9");

	//Allocate Environment Handle
	iReturn = SQLAllocHandle(SQL_HANDLE_ENV,SQL_NULL_HANDLE,&m_SQLEnvironment);

	//Set environment to ODBC_3

	//Allocate connection handle
	iReturn = SQLAllocHandle(SQL_HANDLE_DBC,m_SQLEnvironment,&m_SQLConnection);

	//Connect to the database.
	//In this example we have used the following
	//Pubs as the DSN name
	//sa is the login name without a password
	//CHANGE THE DSN NAME HERE along with the length of the DSN.
	iReturn = SQLConnect(m_SQLConnection,(SQLCHAR*) "Pubs",4,(SQLCHAR*)"sa",2,(SQLCHAR*)"",0);
	if (iReturn != SQL_ERROR)
		//Run Query
		//Allocate the statement handle
		iReturn = SQLAllocHandle(SQL_HANDLE_STMT,m_SQLConnection,&m_SQLStatement);

		//If you want to insert NULL data, the last parameter of SQLBindParameter should contain SQL_NULL_DATA
		cbNumeric = SQL_NULL_DATA;
		cbNumeric2 = SQL_NTS;

		//Sending Null Data
		iReturn = SQLBindParameter(m_SQLStatement,1,SQL_PARAM_INPUT,SQL_C_NUMERIC,SQL_NUMERIC,13,6,NULL,0,&cbNumeric);  	
		if (iReturn != SQL_SUCCESS)
		//Sending nonNull Data
		iReturn = SQLBindParameter(m_SQLStatement,2,SQL_PARAM_INPUT,SQL_C_CHAR,SQL_NUMERIC,13,6,theNumeric2,0,&cbNumeric2);  
		if (iReturn != SQL_SUCCESS)

		//Execute the statement to insert a null and a non-null value to the table.
		//In this case we have used a table called TestNULL in SQL Server 7.0 with two fields
		//theNumber1 : Numeric Field that allows NULL data (Length =13, Precision = 28, Scale=6)
		//theNumber2 : Numeric that does not allow NULL data (Length =13, Precision = 28, Scale=6)
		iReturn = SQLExecDirect(m_SQLStatement,(SQLCHAR*) "Insert Into TestNull (theNumber1,theNumber2) Values (?,?)",SQL_NTS);
		if (iReturn != SQL_SUCCESS)


		iReturn = SQLFreeHandle(SQL_HANDLE_STMT,m_SQLStatement);
		iReturn = SQLDisconnect(m_SQLConnection);
		iReturn = SQLFreeHandle(SQL_HANDLE_DBC,m_SQLConnection);
		iReturn = SQLFreeHandle(SQL_HANDLE_ENV,m_SQLEnvironment);

		m_SQLStatement = NULL;
		m_SQLConnection = NULL;
		m_SQLEnvironment = NULL;
		//If it fails to connect theMessageText contains the reason for failure


	delete theMessageText; 
	delete theDiagState;
	return 1;
When you execute the preceding program, it inserts a NULL value in the first column and 5.9 in the second column.


For additional information on inserting NULL data, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260310 How To Insert Null Data with OLE DB SDK Interfaces
260900 How To Insert NULL Data with OLE DB Consumer Templates


Article ID: 248799 - Last Review: July 2, 2004 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Open Database Connectivity 3.5
  • Microsoft Open Database Connectivity 3.51
  • Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft ODBC Driver for Microsoft SQL Server 3.7
  • Microsoft Data Access Components 2.1
  • Microsoft Data Access Components 2.5
  • Microsoft Data Access Components 2.6
  • Microsoft Data Access Components 2.7
kbhowto KB248799

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