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Creating Dynamic Pivot Tables

Ben Richardson shows how to use dynamic SQL to create pivot tables with arbitrary numbers of pivot elements:

The headings of the columns are the individual values inside the city column. We specified these values inside the pivot operator in our query.

The most tedious part of creating pivot tables is specifying the values for the column headings manually. This is the part that is prone to most errors, particularly if the data in your online data source changes. We can not be sure that the values we specified in the pivot operator will remain in the database until we create this pivot table next time.

For instance, in our script, we specified London, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester as values for headings of our pivot table. These values existed in the –°ity column of the student table. What if somehow one or more of these values are deleted or updated? In such cases, null will be returned.

A better approach would be to create a dynamic query that will return a full set of values from the column from which you are trying to generate your pivot table.

Click through to see how to build this.