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Could someone please show or describe to me how to implement soft deletes?

I have table of vouchers with these fields: id, username, password, serial.

I want to display a given number of rows depending on the customer's request and once displayed they should be deleted so that the are not displayed again. (They are already invalid.)

I presume soft delete will ensure that no voucher is displayed twice. If you have any other idea on how I would do it I would appreciate.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I have always implemented a Soft Delete by including two additional columns in my tables, one for status and one for delete date.

My table structure would be similar to the following:

create table myTable
  id int,
  name varchar(50),
  IsDeleted bit,
  DeletedDate datetime

The IsDeleted column has a default value of no and the DeletedDate is not populated until the row is actually marked as deleted. I include a date column in the event I ever want to know when a row was soft deleted.

Then when you query your data, you will include this column in the WHERE clause:

select id, name
from myTable
where IsDeleted = 0

Note: You will want to include an index on the IsDeleted column.

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the idea is very fine and seems what i really want, except that am not sure about one thing, how to execute two queries at once, and how do i determine which row to mark as deleted – Ruyonga Dan Mar 13 '13 at 17:46
@RuyongaDan Unfortunately, I don't see an easy way to do it with a SELECT. You will have to use a stored procedure that can perform multiple operations. If it was my process, I would look at using a temp table to place the data in that can be used to update the main table and then return the rows to the user. – bluefeet Mar 13 '13 at 18:36
thankx @bluefeet let me try to figure it out – Ruyonga Dan Mar 14 '13 at 10:43

The answer given by @bluefeet is good enough to help you.

Soft delete's are common practice .Please have a look at some of the urls that will suggest you the pros and cons of soft deletes and some other great info.

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