Common Table Expressions

Syntax

  • WITH cte_name [(column_name_1, column_name_2, ...)] AS (cte_expression)

Remarks

It is necessary to separate a CTE from the previous statement with a semi-colon (;) character.

i.e. ;WITH CommonTableName (...) SELECT ... FROM CommonTableName ...

A CTE's scope is a single batch, and only downstream of its definition. A batch may contain multiple CTEs, and a CTE may reference another CTE defined earlier in the batch, but a CTE may not reference another CTE that is defined later in the batch.

CTE with multiple AS statements

;WITH cte_query_1
AS
(
    SELECT *
    FROM database.table1
), 
cte_query_2 
AS
(
    SELECT *
    FROM database.table2
)
SELECT *
FROM cte_query_1
WHERE cte_query_one.fk IN
(
    SELECT PK
    FROM cte_query_2
)

With common table expressions, it is possible to create multiple queries using comma-separated AS statements. A query can then reference any or all of those queries in many different ways, even joining them.

Delete duplicate rows using CTE

Employees table :

|  ID  | FirstName | LastName | Gender | Salary |
+------+-----------+----------+--------+--------+
|  1   | Mark      | Hastings | Male   | 60000  |
|  1   | Mark      | Hastings | Male   | 60000  |
|  2   | Mary      | Lambeth  | Female | 30000  |
|  2   | Mary      | Lambeth  | Female | 30000  |
|  3   | Ben       | Hoskins  | Male   | 70000  |
|  3   | Ben       | Hoskins  | Male   | 70000  |
|  3   | Ben       | Hoskins  | Male   | 70000  |
+------+-----------+----------+--------+--------+

CTE (Common Table Expression) :

WITH EmployeesCTE AS
(
   SELECT *, ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY ID ORDER BY ID) AS RowNumber
   FROM Employees
)
DELETE FROM EmployeesCTE WHERE RowNumber > 1

Execution result :

|  ID  | FirstName | LastName | Gender | Salary |
+------+-----------+----------+--------+--------+
|  1   | Mark      | Hastings | Male   | 60000  |
|  2   | Mary      | Lambeth  | Female | 30000  |
|  3   | Ben       | Hoskins  | Male   | 70000  |
+------+-----------+----------+--------+--------+

Employee Hierarchy

Table Setup

CREATE TABLE dbo.Employees
(
    EmployeeID INT NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,
    FirstName NVARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
    LastName NVARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
    ManagerID INT NULL
)

GO

INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (101, 'Ken', 'Sánchez', NULL)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (102, 'Keith', 'Hall', 101)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (103, 'Fred', 'Bloggs', 101)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (104, 'Joseph', 'Walker', 102)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (105, 'Žydrė', 'Klybė', 101)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (106, 'Sam', 'Jackson', 105)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (107, 'Peter', 'Miller', 103)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (108, 'Chloe', 'Samuels', 105)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (109, 'George', 'Weasley', 105)
INSERT INTO Employees VALUES (110, 'Michael', 'Kensington', 106)

Common Table Expression

;WITH cteReports (EmpID, FirstName, LastName, SupervisorID, EmpLevel) AS
(
    SELECT EmployeeID, FirstName, LastName, ManagerID, 1
    FROM Employees
    WHERE ManagerID IS NULL

    UNION ALL

    SELECT e.EmployeeID, e.FirstName, e.LastName, e.ManagerID, r.EmpLevel + 1
    FROM Employees        AS e
    INNER JOIN cteReports AS r ON e.ManagerID = r.EmpID
)

SELECT
    FirstName + ' ' + LastName AS FullName,
    EmpLevel,
    (SELECT FirstName + ' ' + LastName FROM Employees WHERE EmployeeID = cteReports.SupervisorID) AS ManagerName
FROM cteReports
ORDER BY EmpLevel, SupervisorID

Output:

FullNameEmpLevelManagerName
Ken Sánchez1null
Keith Hall2Ken Sánchez
Fred Bloggs2Ken Sánchez
Žydre Klybe2Ken Sánchez
Joseph Walker3Keith Hall
Peter Miller3Fred Bloggs
Sam Jackson3Žydre Klybe
Chloe Samuels3Žydre Klybe
George Weasley3Žydre Klybe
Michael Kensington4Sam Jackson

Find nth highest salary using CTE

Employees table :

|  ID  | FirstName | LastName | Gender | Salary |
+------+-----------+----------+--------+--------+
| 1    | Jahangir  | Alam     | Male   | 70000  |
| 2    | Arifur    | Rahman   | Male   | 60000  |
| 3    | Oli       | Ahammed  | Male   | 45000  |
| 4    | Sima      | Sultana  | Female | 70000  |
| 5    | Sudeepta  | Roy      | Male   | 80000  |
+------+-----------+----------+--------+--------+

CTE (Common Table Expression) :

 WITH RESULT AS
(
    SELECT SALARY,
           DENSE_RANK() OVER (ORDER BY SALARY DESC) AS DENSERANK
    FROM EMPLOYEES
)
SELECT TOP 1 SALARY
FROM RESULT
WHERE DENSERANK = 1

To find 2nd highest salary simply replace N with 2. Similarly, to find 3rd highest salary, simply replace N with 3.

Generate a table of dates using CTE

DECLARE @startdate CHAR(8), @numberDays TINYINT

SET @startdate = '20160101'
SET @numberDays = 10;

WITH CTE_DatesTable
AS
(
  SELECT CAST(@startdate as date) AS [date]
  UNION ALL
  SELECT DATEADD(dd, 1, [date])
  FROM CTE_DatesTable
  WHERE DATEADD(dd, 1, [date]) <= DateAdd(DAY, @numberDays-1, @startdate)
)

SELECT [date] FROM CTE_DatesTable

OPTION (MAXRECURSION 0)

This example returns a single-column table of dates, starting with the date specified in the @startdate variable, and returning the next @numberDays worth of dates.

Recursive CTE

This example shows how to get every year from this year to 2011 (2012 - 1).

WITH yearsAgo
(
    myYear
)
AS
(
     -- Base Case: This is where the recursion starts
     SELECT DATEPART(year, GETDATE()) AS myYear

     UNION ALL  -- This MUST be UNION ALL (cannot be UNION)

     -- Recursive Section: This is what we're doing with the recursive call
     SELECT yearsAgo.myYear - 1
     FROM yearsAgo
     WHERE yearsAgo.myYear >= 2012
)
     SELECT myYear FROM yearsAgo;  -- A single SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE
myYear
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

You can control the recursion (think stack overflow in code) with MAXRECURSION as a query option that will limit the number of recursive calls.

WITH yearsAgo
(
    myYear
)
AS
(
     -- Base Case
     SELECT DATEPART(year , GETDATE()) AS myYear
     UNION ALL
     -- Recursive Section
     SELECT yearsAgo.myYear - 1
     FROM yearsAgo
     WHERE yearsAgo.myYear >= 2002
)
     SELECT * FROM yearsAgo
     OPTION (MAXRECURSION 10);

Msg 530, Level 16, State 1, Line 2The statement terminated. The maximum recursion 10 has been exhausted before statement completion.



2016-07-21
2017-04-05
Microsoft SQL Server Pedia
Icon