M. Seyon asked: >>I would like to add a field to an existing table, with the following caveats: >>- For all existing records, the field needs to be given a value - fixed value, >>same for every record >>- But I don't want this value to become the default value for subsequent records >>(added after the new field) >>For reference, the field is a year. All existing records need to be set to 2006. >>Future records will of course be set to the relevant year, which will not be 2006. >>I also know I can do this with two statements - first ALTER then UPDATE but >>wondering if it can be done in one go. Hi Marc, Actually, I think I would probably use three statements: (1) ALTER - to add the new field. (2) UPDATE - to populate the new field with the "2006" values. (3) Another ALTER - to make this new field 'Not Null'. For highly repetitious activities cleverly condensing code to a single command can be faster and more efficient and well worth the effort. For one time database update activities I really don't see any need for it. Nothing wrong with making changes through a number of small simple steps - it may well save you the time it takes to debug all that fancy cleverness! ;-) HTH, RonL.