This article talks about the practical use of the SQL COALESCE function regarding some professional life scenarios. It highlights the importance of correct and in-time use of this function to address the database-related problems.
Additionally, we will implement the particular steps required to solve the problems with the help of this function.
Before you prepare to review and implement the upcoming examples in this article, it is highly recommended to get familiar with the following issues:
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SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is a scripting language expected to store, control, and inquiry information put away in social databases. The main manifestation of SQL showed up in 1974, when a gathering in IBM built up the principal model of a social database. The primary business social database was discharged by Relational Software later turning out to be Oracle.
Models for SQL exist. In any case, the SQL that can be utilized on every last one of the major RDBMS today is in various flavors. This is because of two reasons:
1. The SQL order standard is genuinely intricate, and it isn’t handy to actualize the whole standard.
2. Every database seller needs an approach to separate its item from others.
Right now, contrasts are noted where fitting.
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How cool is SQL COALESCE?
It’s cool enough to be so important to me. And I’ll be more than happy to hire a new guy who doesn’t have a bad habit of ignoring the goal of COALESCE. That includes other expressions and functions for handling similar situations.
Today, you will find the answers to the five most-asked questions about SQL COALESCE expression. One of these is being debated over and over again.
Shall we begin?
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When installing Machine Learning Services in SQL Server by default few Python Packages are installed. In this article, we will have a look on how to get those installed python package information.
When we choose Python as Machine Learning Service during installation, the following packages are installed in SQL Server,
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Let’s say the chief credit and collections officer asks you to list down the names of people, their unpaid balances per month, and the current running balance and wants you to import this data array into Excel. The purpose is to analyze the data and come up with an offer making payments lighter to mitigate the effects of the COVID19 pandemic.
Do you opt to use a query and a nested subquery or a join? What decision will you make?
Before we do a deep dive into syntax, performance impact, and caveats, why not define a subquery first?
In the simplest terms, a subquery is a query within a query. While a query that embodies a subquery is the outer query, we refer to a subquery as the inner query or inner select. And parentheses enclose a subquery similar to the structure below:
SELECT col1 ,col2 ,(subquery) as col3 FROM table1 [JOIN table2 ON table1.col1 = table2.col2] WHERE col1 <operator> (subquery)
We are going to look upon the following points in this post:
As is customary, we provide examples and illustrations to enhance understanding. But bear in mind that the main focus of this post is on subqueries in SQL Server.
Now, let’s get started.
For one thing, subqueries are categorized based on their dependency on the outer query.
Let me describe what a self-contained subquery is.
Self-contained subqueries (or sometimes referred to as non-correlated or simple subqueries) are independent of the tables in the outer query. Let me illustrate this:
-- Get sales orders of customers from Southwest United States -- (TerritoryID = 4) USE [AdventureWorks] GO SELECT CustomerID, SalesOrderID FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader WHERE CustomerID IN (SELECT [CustomerID] FROM [AdventureWorks].[Sales].[Customer] WHERE TerritoryID = 4)
As demonstrated in the above code, the subquery (enclosed in parentheses below) has no references to any column in the outer query. Additionally, you can highlight the subquery in SQL Server Management Studio and execute it without getting any runtime errors.
Which, in turn, leads to easier debugging of self-contained subqueries.
The next thing to consider is correlated subqueries. Compared to its self-contained counterpart, this one has at least one column being referenced from the outer query. To clarify, I will provide an example:
USE [AdventureWorks] GO SELECT DISTINCT a.LastName, a.FirstName, b.BusinessEntityID FROM Person.Person AS p JOIN HumanResources.Employee AS e ON p.BusinessEntityID = e.BusinessEntityID WHERE 1262000.00 IN (SELECT [SalesQuota] FROM Sales.SalesPersonQuotaHistory spq WHERE p.BusinessEntityID = spq.BusinessEntityID)
Were you attentive enough to notice the reference to BusinessEntityID from the Person table? Well done!
Once a column from the outer query is referenced in the subquery, it becomes a correlated subquery. One more point to consider: if you highlight a subquery and execute it, an error will occur.
And yes, you are absolutely right: this makes correlated subqueries pretty harder to debug.
To make debugging possible, follow these steps:
Isolating the subquery for debugging will make it look like this:
SELECT [SalesQuota] FROM Sales.SalesPersonQuotaHistory spq WHERE spq.BusinessEntityID = <constant value>
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the output of subqueries.
Well, first, let’s think of what returned values can we expect from SQL subqueries.
In fact, there are 3 possible outcomes:
Let’s start with single-valued output. This type of subquery can appear anywhere in the outer query where an expression is expected, like the WHERE clause.
-- Output a single value which is the maximum or last TransactionID USE [AdventureWorks] GO SELECT TransactionID, ProductID, TransactionDate, Quantity FROM Production.TransactionHistory WHERE TransactionID = (SELECT MAX(t.TransactionID) FROM Production.TransactionHistory t)
When you use a MAX() function, you retrieve a single value. That’s exactly what happened to our subquery above. Using the equal (=) operator tells SQL Server that you expect a single value. Another thing: if the subquery returns multiple values using the equals (=) operator, you get an error, similar to the one below:
Msg 512, Level 16, State 1, Line 20 Subquery returned more than 1 value. This is not permitted when the subquery follows =, !=, <, <= , >, >= or when the subquery is used as an expression.
Next, we examine the multi-valued output. This kind of subquery returns a list of values with a single column. Additionally, operators like IN and NOT IN will expect one or more values.
-- Output multiple values which is a list of customers with lastnames that --- start with 'I' USE [AdventureWorks] GO SELECT [SalesOrderID], [OrderDate], [ShipDate], [CustomerID] FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader WHERE [CustomerID] IN (SELECT c.[CustomerID] FROM Sales.Customer c INNER JOIN Person.Person p ON c.PersonID = p.BusinessEntityID WHERE p.lastname LIKE N'I%' AND p.PersonType='SC')
And last but not least, why not delve into whole table outputs.
-- Output a table of values based on sales orders USE [AdventureWorks] GO SELECT [ShipYear], COUNT(DISTINCT [CustomerID]) AS CustomerCount FROM (SELECT YEAR([ShipDate]) AS [ShipYear], [CustomerID] FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader) AS Shipments GROUP BY [ShipYear] ORDER BY [ShipYear]
Have you noticed the FROM clause?
Instead of using a table, it used a subquery. This is called a derived table or a table subquery.
And now, let me present you some ground rules when using this sort of query:
In this case, a derived table has the benefits of a physical table. That’s why in our example, we can use COUNT() in one of the columns of the derived table.
That’s about all regarding subquery outputs. But before we get any further, you may have noticed that the logic behind the example for multiple values and others as well can also be done using a JOIN.
-- Output multiple values which is a list of customers with lastnames that start with 'I' USE [AdventureWorks] GO SELECT o.[SalesOrderID], o.[OrderDate], o.[ShipDate], o.[CustomerID] FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader o INNER JOIN Sales.Customer c on o.CustomerID = c.CustomerID INNER JOIN Person.Person p ON c.PersonID = p.BusinessEntityID WHERE p.LastName LIKE N'I%' AND p.PersonType = 'SC'
In fact, the output will be the same. But which one performs better?
Before we get into that, let me tell you that I have dedicated a section to this hot topic. We’ll examine it with complete execution plans and have a look at illustrations.
So, bear with me for a moment. Let’s discuss another way to place your subqueries.
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This article is focused on the T-SQL (Transact-SQL) IsNumeric function and its proper use in day-to-day SQL scripting tasks.
We will also see why it is important to understand how and why IsNumeric can be used – both incorrectly and correctly.
There may be some better alternatives to IsNumeric depending on the context. However, in the cases we’re going to cover in this article, I see this function as the best possible choice.
First of all, let’s get familiar with IsNumeric. Here’s what we can say about it after reading the related information in the Microsoft documentation:
The IsNumeric function determines whether an expression can be evaluated as a number. Here, the expression can consist of symbols and operators which are evaluated as a single data value by SQL Server Database Engine.
Please refer to my article Basic to Complex Uses of Not Equal in T-SQL to get more information about expressions and operators.
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