A Case When CASE Isn’t The Right Case

Adrian Buckman notes differences in the two ways of using CASE statements:

It looks so clean compared to the first example! but it wasn’t until I tested the second method out that I realised that the behaviour of the two CASE expressions are different as outlined on books online

The CASE expression has two formats:
The simple CASE expression compares an expression to a set of simple expressions to determine the result.
The searched CASE expression evaluates a set of Boolean expressions to determine the result.
Both formats support an optional ELSE argument.

I put together some examples to illustrate the difference when evaluating Null using the two Case expressions, the query returns the column ‘Databasename’ from the derived list values clause, example 1 has a Null value and example 2 has a value of ‘SQLUndercover’ which you will see below:

Adrian looks into a scenario in which the two CASE expressions return different results, and digs into execution plans to find out why.

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