CFUPDATE problem with field name beginning with a number

November 30

I have a form (actually several) that is gathering data for a survey. I tried to use cfupdate to update the data elements and got a string index out of range error. I tested again without the form fields that began with numbers and it worked just fine. I then tried to enclose the offending field names in () and []. Both times I got same error. Does anyone have a work around for this? The code and error are below.
Changing the field names is not really an option. This survey has almost 400 data points and most of the fields begin with the question number.
<cfupdate datasource="#application.fdp_datasource#" tablename="arra_survey1" dbtype="ODBC" formfields = "entry_no, 2_a_fy09, '2_a_fy10', '2_a_fy11', '2_a_fy12', '2_b_fy09', '2_b_fy10', '2_b_fy11', '2_b_fy12', '2_c_fy09', '2_c_fy10', '2_c_fy11', '2_c_fy12', '2_d_fy09', '2_d_fy10', '2_d_fy11', '2_d_fy12', '2_e_fy09', '2_e_fy10', '2_e_fy11', '2_e_fy12', '2_f_fy09', '2_f_fy10', '2_f_fy11', '2_f_fy12', '2_g_fy09', '2_g_fy10', '2_g_fy11', '2_g_fy12', '2_h_fy09', '2_h_fy10', '2_h_fy11', '2_h_fy12', '2_i_fy09', '2_i_fy10', '2_i_fy11', '2_i_fy12', '2_j_fy09', '2_j_fy10', '2_j_fy11', '2_j_fy12', '2_k_fy09', '2_k_fy10', '2_k_fy11', '2_k_fy12', '2_l_fy09', '2_l_fy10', '2_l_fy11', '2_l_fy12', central_office, dept_office, incl_other, 3_a_fy09, 3_a_fy10, 3_a_fy11, 3_a_fy12, 3_b_fy09, 3_b_fy10, 3_b_fy11, 3_b_fy12, 3_c_fy09, 3_c_fy10, 3_c_fy11, 3_c_fy12, 3_d_fy09, 3_d_fy10 3_d_fy11, 3_d_fy12, 3_e_fy09, 3_e_fy10, 3_e_fy11, 3_e_fy12, 3_f_fy09, 3_f_fy10, 3_f_fy11, 3_f_fy12, 3_g_fy09, 3_g_fy10, 3_g_fy11, 3_g_fy12, 3_h_fy09, 3_h_fy10, 3_h_fy11, 3_h_fy12, 3_i_fy09, 3_i_fy10, 3_i_fy11, 3_i_fy12, 3_j_fy09, 3_j_fy10, 3_j_fy11, 3_j_fy12, 3_k_fy09, 3_k_fy10, 3_k_fy11, 3_k_fy12, 3_l_fy09, 3_l_fy10, 3_l_fy11, 3_l_fy12">
String index out of range: -2
The error occurred in C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\directory\process_arra_suvey_2.cfm: line 12
12 : <cfupdate datasource="#application.fdp_datasource#" tablename="arra_survey1" dbtype="ODBC" formfields = "entry_no, 2_a_fy09, '2_a_fy10', '2_a_fy11', ...



I think you have run one of CFUPDATE's limitations.  I am not 100% certain, but I do not think cfupdate provides a way to escape invalid column names like yours.  In which case you may need to do a regular UPDATE within a  cfquery instead... or rename your columns.
fields that began with numbers
Most databases discourage creating column names that start with a number (or other restricted characters).  While many databases will allow you to escape invalid names, it is simpler all around to avoid them altogether.  Otherwise, you may have to escape the names in every single query. The recommendations vary, but usually object names that begin with a  letter, and contain only letters, numbers and underscores are considered  safe.
This survey has almost 400 data points and most of the fields begin with the question number.
Four-hundred (400) is a lot of columns for a single table.  The fact that they all them seem to contain the same type of information (ie response to a question) is an indication that data should probably be stored in a separate table, as rows, not columns.  For example questions could be stored in one table, possible answers in another, and the results of an individual test/survey stored in a third table.  A structure like that is much easier to query, can easily accommodate changes (add/remove questions, responses, etcetera) without having modify the table every time.

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