The IDENTITY Column Property


Introduction

There are a number of ways to generate key values in SQL Server tables, including the IDENTITY column property, the NEWID() function and more recently, SEQUENCES. The IDENTITY column property is the earliest of these methods. It was introduced very early in the history of SQL Server, and it is arguably the simplest approach. This article is the first in a three-part series that explores methods of generating key values in SQL Server.

IDENTITY (seed, increment)

The IDENTITY column property is specified as part of the CREATE TABLE command or at any time in the life cycle of a