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How do I Create a Comma-Separated List using a SQL Query?

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I have 3 tables called:

  • Applications (id, name)
  • Resources (id, name)
  • ApplicationsResources (id, app_id, resource_id)

I want to show on a GUI a table of all resource names. In one cell in each row I would like to list out all of the applications (comma separated) of that resource.

So the question is, what is the best way to do this in SQL as I need to get all resources and I also need to get all applications for each resource?

Do I run a select * from resources first and then loop through each resource and do a separate query per resource to get the list of applications for that resource?

Is there a way I can do this in one query?

Answers:

There is no way to do it in a DB-agnostic way.
So you need to get the whole data-set like this:

select 
  r.name as ResName, 
  a.name as AppName
from 
  Resouces as r, 
  Applications as a, 
  ApplicationsResources as ar
where
  ar.app_id = a.id 
  and ar.resource_id = r.id

And then concat the AppName programmatically while grouping by ResName.

Questions:
Answers:

MySQL

  SELECT r.name,
         GROUP_CONCAT(a.name SEPARATOR ',')
    FROM RESOURCES r
    JOIN APPLICATIONSRESOURCES ar ON ar.resource_id = r.id
    JOIN APPLICATIONS a ON a.id = ar.app_id
GROUP BY r.name

SQL Server (2005+)

SELECT r.name,
       STUFF((SELECT ','+ a.name
               FROM APPLICATIONS a
               JOIN APPLICATIONRESOURCES ar ON ar.app_id = a.id
              WHERE ar.resource_id = r.id
           GROUP BY a.name
            FOR XML PATH(''), TYPE).value('.','VARCHAR(max)'), 1, 1, '')
 FROM RESOURCES r

SQL Server (2017+)

  SELECT r.name,
         STRING_AGG(a.name, ',')
    FROM RESOURCES r
    JOIN APPLICATIONSRESOURCES ar ON ar.resource_id = r.id
    JOIN APPLICATIONS a ON a.id = ar.app_id
GROUP BY r.name

Oracle

I recommend reading about string aggregation/concatentation in Oracle.

Questions:
Answers:

Using COALESCE to Build Comma-Delimited String in SQL Server
http://www.sqlteam.com/article/using-coalesce-to-build-comma-delimited-string

Example:

DECLARE @EmployeeList varchar(100)

SELECT @EmployeeList = COALESCE(@EmployeeList + ', ', '') + 
   CAST(Emp_UniqueID AS varchar(5))
FROM SalesCallsEmployees
WHERE SalCal_UniqueID = 1

SELECT @EmployeeList

Questions:
Answers:

I don’t know if there’s any solution to do this in a database-agnostic way, since you most likely will need some form of string manipulation, and those are typically different between vendors.

For SQL Server 2005 and up, you could use:

SELECT
     r.ID, r.Name,
     Resources = STUFF(
       (SELECT ','+a.Name
        FROM dbo.Applications a
        INNER JOIN dbo.ApplicationsResources ar ON ar.app_id = a.id
        WHERE ar.resource_id = r.id
        FOR XML PATH('')), 1, 1, '')
FROM
     dbo.Resources r

It uses the SQL Server 2005 FOR XML PATH construct to list the subitems (the applications for a given resource) as a comma-separated list.

Marc

Questions:
Answers:

I believe what you want is:

SELECT ItemName, GROUP_CONCAT(DepartmentId) FROM table_name GROUP BY ItemName

If you’re using MySQL

Reference

Questions:
Answers:

Assuming SQL Server:

Table structure:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[item_dept](
    [ItemName] char(20) NULL,
    [DepartmentID] int NULL   
)

Query:

SELECT ItemName,
       STUFF((SELECT ',' + rtrim(convert(char(10),DepartmentID))
        FROM   item_dept b
        WHERE  a.ItemName = b.ItemName
        FOR XML PATH('')),1,1,'') DepartmentID
FROM   item_dept a
GROUP BY ItemName

Results:

ItemName    DepartmentID
item1       21,13,9,36
item2       4,9,44

Questions:
Answers:

I think we could write in the following way to retrieve(below code is just an example, please modify as needed):

Create FUNCTION dbo.ufnGetEmployeeMultiple(@DepartmentID int)
RETURNS VARCHAR(1000) AS

BEGIN

DECLARE @Employeelist varchar(1000)

SELECT @Employeelist = COALESCE(@Employeelist + ', ', '') + E.LoginID
FROM humanresources.Employee E

Left JOIN humanresources.EmployeeDepartmentHistory H ON
E.BusinessEntityID = H.BusinessEntityID

INNER JOIN HumanResources.Department D ON
H.DepartmentID = D.DepartmentID

Where H.DepartmentID = @DepartmentID

Return @Employeelist

END

SELECT D.name as Department, dbo.ufnGetEmployeeMultiple (D.DepartmentID)as Employees
FROM HumanResources.Department D

SELECT Distinct (D.name) as Department, dbo.ufnGetEmployeeMultiple (D.DepartmentID) as 
Employees
FROM HumanResources.Department D

Questions:
Answers:

From next version of SQL Server you will be able to do

SELECT r.name,
       STRING_AGG(a.name, ',')
FROM   RESOURCES r
       JOIN APPLICATIONSRESOURCES ar
         ON ar.resource_id = r.id
       JOIN APPLICATIONS a
         ON a.id = ar.app_id
GROUP  BY r.name 

For previous versions of the product there are quite a wide variety of different approaches to this problem. An excellent review of them is in the article: Concatenating Row Values in Transact-SQL.

  • Concatenating values when the number of items are not known

    • Recursive CTE method
    • The blackbox XML methods
    • Using Common Language Runtime
    • Scalar UDF with recursion
    • Table valued UDF with a WHILE loop
    • Dynamic SQL
    • The Cursor approach
      .
  • Non-reliable approaches

    • Scalar UDF with t-SQL update extension
    • Scalar UDF with variable concatenation in SELECT
Questions:
Answers:

MySQL

  SELECT r.name,
         GROUP_CONCAT(a.name SEPARATOR ',')
    FROM RESOURCES r
    JOIN APPLICATIONSRESOURCES ar ON ar.resource_id = r.id
    JOIN APPLICATIONS a ON a.id = ar.app_id
GROUP BY r.name

**


MS SQL Server

SELECT r.name,
       STUFF((SELECT ','+ a.name
               FROM APPLICATIONS a
               JOIN APPLICATIONRESOURCES ar ON ar.app_id = a.id
              WHERE ar.resource_id = r.id
           GROUP BY a.name
            FOR XML PATH(''), TYPE).value('.','VARCHAR(max)'), 1, 1, '')
 FROM RESOURCES r
 GROUP BY deptno;

Oracle

  SELECT r.name,
         LISTAGG(a.name SEPARATOR ',') WITHIN GROUP (ORDER BY a.name)
  FROM RESOURCES r
        JOIN APPLICATIONSRESOURCES ar ON ar.resource_id = r.id
        JOIN APPLICATIONS a ON a.id = ar.app_id
  GROUP BY r.name;

Questions:
Answers:

To be agnostic, drop back and punt.

Select a.name as a_name, r.name as r_name
  from ApplicationsResource ar, Applications a, Resources r
 where a.id = ar.app_id
   and r.id = ar.resource_id
 order by r.name, a.name;

Now user your server programming language to concatenate a_names while r_name is the same as the last time.

Questions:
Answers:

This will do it in SQL Server:

DECLARE @listStr VARCHAR(MAX)
SELECT @listStr = COALESCE(@listStr+',' ,'') + Convert(nvarchar(8),DepartmentId)
FROM Table
SELECT @listStr