FIX: Error message when you rebuild a table that has sparse columns in SQL Server 2008: "Cannot alter table '<TableName>' because the table either contains sparse columns or a column set column which are incompatible with compression"

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Article ID: 968742 - View products that this article applies to.
Microsoft distributes Microsoft SQL Server 2008 fixes as one downloadable file. Because the fixes are cumulative, each new release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2008 fix release.
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SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft SQL Server 2008, the following problems may occur when you run a data definition language (DDL) statement on a table that has at least one sparse column.

Problem 1

When you run the ALTER TABLE … REBUILD statement or the ALTER INDEX … REBUILD statement for the table, you receive the following error message:
Msg 11418, Level 16, State 4, Line 1
Cannot alter table 'TableName' because the table either contains sparse columns or a column set column which are incompatible with compression.
For the ALTER TABLE … REBUILD statement, this issue occurs regardless of whether you specify the DATA_COMPRESSION=NONE option in the statement. For the ALTER INDEX … REBUILD statement, this issue only occurs when you specify the DATA_COMPRESSION=NONE option in the statement.

Problem 2

When you run the CREATE INDEX statement to create an index for the table, you receive the following error message even if you specify the DATA_COMPRESSION=NONE option in the statement:
Msg 10622, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
Index 'IndexName' could not be created or rebuilt. A compressed index is not supported on table that contains sparse columns or a column set column.

RESOLUTION

Cumulative update information

The release version of SQL Server 2008

Important You must install this cumulative update package if your computer is running the release version of SQL Server 2008.

The fix for this issue was first released in Cumulative Update 5. For more information about how to obtain this cumulative update package for SQL Server 2008, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
969531 Cumulative update package 5 for SQL Server 2008
Note Because the builds are cumulative, each new fix release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2008 fix release. We recommend that you consider applying the most recent fix release that contains this hotfix. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
956909 The SQL Server 2008 builds that were released after SQL Server 2008 was released

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1

Important You must install this cumulative update package if your computer is running SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1.

The fix for this issue was also later released in Cumulative Update 3 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. For more information about this cumulative update package, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
971491 Cumulative update package 3 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1
Note Because the builds are cumulative, each new fix release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2008 fix release. Microsoft recommends that you consider applying the most recent fix release that contains this hotfix. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
970365 The SQL Server 2008 builds that were released after SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 was released
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 hotfixes are created for specific SQL Server service packs. You must apply a SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 hotfix to an installation of SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. By default, any hotfix that is provided in a SQL Server service pack is included in the next SQL Server service pack.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

After you apply this hotfix, you receive the error messages that are mentioned in the "Symptoms" section only when data compression is explicitly used in the scenarios that the "Symptoms" section describes. In SQL Server 2008 environments, you cannot use both sparse columns and data compression techniques on the same table. This behavior is by design. If you try to enable both features on the same table or on an index of the table, you receive an error message.

REFERENCES

For more information about the Incremental Servicing Model for SQL Server, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
935897 An Incremental Servicing Model is available from the SQL Server team to deliver hotfixes for reported problems
For more information about the naming schema for SQL Server updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
822499 New naming schema for Microsoft SQL Server software update packages
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Properties

Article ID: 968742 - Last Review: May 17, 2010 - Revision: 4.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Workgroup
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard
Keywords: 
kbsurveynew kbexpertiseadvanced kbqfe kbfix KB968742

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