SQL TIP -> Recursive CTEs

This morning I  had to do some recursive common table experessions. It is acctually relativly simple to do.

A common scenario:

We have a parent child relation in a selfreferencing table. That is common when we have an employee manager relationship or organisation relationship.

Let’s just look at  the  employee manager relationship.

Let’s create an example tmp table like so

CREATE TABLE #Employee (
EmployeeID  INT,
EmployeeName NVARCHAR(50),
ManagerID INT

And let’s insert some test data into the table

INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (1,'Mr. Manager',NULL)
INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (2,'Jensen',1)
INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (3,'Hansen',1)
INSERT INTO #Employee(EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID) VALUES (4,'Clausen',2)

Where, as you can see,  Mr. Manager is at the top, and Clausen is at the bottom.

We now want to use as recursive common table expression(CTE) to show what level a person is on, in the employee hierarchy.

To do that, we start with the highest level(Where managerID is Null). Then we do a union all with a select which is referencing it self, like so:

WITH EmployeeCTE (EmployeeID,EmployeeName, ManagerID , Level) AS
SELECT EmployeeID, EmployeeName,ManagerID, 0 AS Level
FROM #Employee WHERE
SELECT e.EmployeeID, e.EmployeeName,e.ManagerID, Level+1
FROM #Employee   e
INNER JOIN EmployeeCTE  cte ON cte.EmployeeID=e.ManagerID

And the result can be seen below. This SQL shows what level an employee is on.

EmployeeID  EmployeeName ManagerID   Level
1           Mr. Manager NULL        0
2           Jensen      1           1
3           Hansen      1           1
4           Clausen     2           2

If we want to see an employees way to the top, we can select from the same CTE like so:

SELECT  lvl0.EmployeeName as lvl0Name,  lvl1.EmployeeName AS lvl1Name,      lvl2.EmployeeName AS lvl2Name FROM EmployeeCTE lvl2
INNER JOIN EmployeeCTE lvl1 ON lvl1.EmployeeID=lvl2.ManagerID
INNER JOIN EmployeeCTE lvl0 ON lvl0.EmployeeID=lvl1.ManagerID
WHERE lvl2.Level=2

And the result:

lvl0Name     lvl1Name     lvl2Name
Mr. Manager Jensen        Clausen

Now you know how to do recursive CTE 🙂

Have fun

Prepopulate a table with data in SSDT

The new database project in SSDT, is truly a great tool. It is not perfect thou, and one of its shortcomings, is that there is no out of the box way, to define some static/initial data in in a project, when you deploy it.

In all the projects I do, I always want to have some static data in the database. That could be meta data about the solution, customer type, product type etc.

Of course there is a workaround to this. One is to define the data in a post deployment script. To do that, right click your project and click “Add script”. Select the post deployment script.

To maintain data in a table, each time we deploy, we use a merge statement. I’ll use my stock table, that I created in a previous post. Then the SQL will look like this:

MERGE INTO [Stock] AS Target
('VWS','Vestas Wind System'),
('DANSKE', 'Danske Bank')
AS Source (StockSymbol, StockName)
ON Target.StockSymbol= Source.StockSymbol
-- update matched rows
--(If we don't want the application to update the rows)
UPDATE SET StockName = Source.StockName
-- insert new rows
INSERT (StockSymbol, StockName)
VALUES (StockSymbol, StockName)
-- delete rows that are in the target but not the source
--(If we don't want the application to insert data in our table)


Now, just right click your project, and click publish. And badabing, now you have data in your table.

A more pretty way, could be to put the merge statements into SP, and the call the SP’s from the post deployment script. Then the application could also reset the data with a call to a SP.

The conclusion: To prepopulate your solution with data, put the data into a merge statement, and put it into the post deployment script. This is a fine solution as long as you don’t have to many or to big datasets. Hopefully MS will come up with a better solution in the next version of SSDT.

Analysis services -> Clear Cache

Just a short note about analysis services and its cache 🙂

One of the reasons for analysis services fast respond time is its cahce. But what if you want to test a query without using the cache? Well, just use this XMLA Script:

<Batch xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/analysisservices/2003/engine">
 <DatabaseID>Your Database Goes here </DatabaseID>
 <CubeID>And or cube id goes here</CubeID>

Also, if you do partial processing, the cache, can in some cases also be invalid. Therefore, after a partial processing, you also want to run the above XMLA script.