Understanding CROSS APPLY

Andy Levy has a T-SQL programming breakthrough:

Finally, this week I had a breakthrough. I was working on updating a bunch of data but it was breaking on a small subset of that data. In this case, I was attempting to JOIN two tables on fields that should have been INTs, but in a very small number of cases one side was using a comma-delimited string. The user told me that someone else had done these updates in the past and didn’t encounter the problem I was having (so I knew that it was something i was doing “wrong”), but given that it was only a handful of broken updates she was OK with manually doing the updates (we were scripting it because we were updating potentially tens of thousands of records).

I am not OK with manually fixing this in the future. I wanted to know how the other DBA had done it before. I dug into some history and found CROSS APPLY. My nemesis. I was determined to figure out how to use it this time.

The APPLY operator is extremely powerful in the right set of circumstances.  Andy shows the “classic” use case, but there are a number of other uses for the operator.

Related Posts

Shuffling Data And Zipping Results In T-SQL

Phil Factor continues his series on pseudonymization: The problems come with uncommon values. If you are pseudonymizing a medical database that is required for research purposes on people with potentially embarrassing diseases, and it appears on the dark web, anyone with a rare or unusual surname or first-name comes up on the list, so the […]

Read More

Last Observation Carried Forward In T-SQL

Pawan Khowal shows one example of implementing Last Observation Carried Forward in T-SQL: A very close friend given this to me. In this puzzle you have to fill the price of SKU & Color Id for missing months. Note that SKU & Color Id should be considered as a business unit. So you have to […]

Read More