In my last Jump Start column, “Creating Database Diagrams” (http://www.sqlmag.com/Article/ArticleID/94166/sql_server_94166.html), I explained how to use the SQL Server 2005 Express Database Diagrams tool to visually design and generate database tables. However, once those tables are created, the next step is getting data into them. The most common way to populate tables is to write a Visual Basic (VB) or C# application that updates the tables. But for light-duty work or initial testing, you might not have the luxury of waiting for the time it takes to code the application. Fortunately, SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) provides a basic table editor that you can use to enter, update, and delete data in a SQL Server Express table.

To use the SSMSE table editor, start SSMSE, then expand the Databases node followed by the node of the database that contains the table you want to edit. Next, right-click the table that you want to edit and select Open Table from the context menu. One word of warning: The context menu also displays an option that's temptingly named Modify. The Modify option opens the Table Designer, which lets you change the table's schema--not the data. The Open Table option lets you view and edit the data. Selecting the Open Table option opens the table, returns the first rows in the table, and displays them in a grid. To add a row, fill in the column values on the row marked with an asterisk. To modify data, simply click the column that you want to update and change the data. Moving off the column saves the changes. To delete a row, right-click the row and select Delete from the context menu.