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String Aggregation with T-SQL

Andy Levy talks about one of my favorite functions in SQL Server 2017:

This is another in a group of several posts on modernizing T-SQL code with new features and functionality available in SQL Server.

SQL Server 2016 gave us the STRING_SPLIT() function, but what about the reverse – compiling a set of values into one delimited string? We only had to wait 15 months for the release of SQL Server 2017, and the STRING_AGG() function.

I had the STUFF() / FOR XML PATH trick memorized for quite some time, but that was always a solution which felt like it worked on accident. Even if the new solution weren’t faster than the old, I’d still use it.