Dynamic Unpivoting For Change Detection

Kevin Feasel

2017-07-07

T-SQL

Shane O’Neill has a script that dynamically unpivots a pair of rows and compares values column by column, storing the changes in XML:

Overall, the script is longer at nearly double the lines but where it shines is when adding new columns.
To include new columns, just add them to the table; to exclude them, just add in a filter clause.

So, potentially, if every column in this table is to be tracked and we add columns all the way up to 1,024 columns, this code will not increase.
Old way: at least 6,144.
New way: at least 2,048.
Dynamic: no change

Read on for that script.  Even though his developer ended up not using his solution, Shane has made it available for the rest of the world so that some day, someone else can have the maintenance nightmare of trying to root out a bug in the process.

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