How to create fast database queries

Archive for July 4th, 2009

Searching for NULL columns

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From Stack Overflow:

I want to make sure I'm not inserting a duplicate row into my table (i. e. only PRIMARY KEY different).

All my fields allow NULL's as I've decided NULL to mean all values.

Because of NULL's, the following statement in my stored procedure can't work:

        SELECT  *
        FROM    MY_TABLE
                AND MY_FIELD2 = @IN_MY_FIELD2
                AND MY_FIELD3 = @IN_MY_FIELD3 
                AND MY_FIELD4 = @IN_MY_FIELD4
                AND MY_FIELD5 = @IN_MY_FIELD5
                AND MY_FIELD6 = @IN_MY_FIELD6
        goto on_duplicate

, since NULL = NULL is not true.

How can I check for the duplicates without having an IF ISNULL statement for every column?

First of all, can't help being a smartass and tell that a UNIQUE index should be defined over these columns.

SQL Server does index NULL values and they are first class values as long as uniqueness is concerned, so creating this index will manage the duplicates automatically.

Now, back to business. Of course there are cases when creating such an index is not acceptable.

In these cases a very nice but little known operator INTERSECT comes handy.

This operator takes two resultsets with the same layout and finds rows common to them (eliminatnig duplicates), as SQL Server's understands common: each value in each column should be either equal to one in the other row or they both should be NULL's.

Let's create a sample table:
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Written by Quassnoi

July 4th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Posted in SQL Server