MERGE is a new feature that provides an efficient way to perform multiple DML operations. In previous versions of SQL Server, we had to write separate statements to INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE data based on certain conditions, but now, using MERGE statement we can include the logic of such data modifications in one statement that even checks when the data is matched then just update it and when unmatched then insert it.
One of the most important advantage of MERGE statement is all the data is read and processed only once. In previous versions three different statement has to be written to process three different activity (INSERT, UPDATE or DELETE), however using MERGE statement all update activity can be done in one pass of database table. This is quite an improvement in performance of database query.
Syntax of MERGE statement is as following:
[ TOP ( expression ) [ PERCENT ] ] [ INTO ] target_table [ WITH ( <merge_hint> ) ] [ [ AS ] table_alias] USING <table_source>
[ WHEN MATCHED [ AND <clause_search_condition> ] THEN <merge_matched> ] [ WHEN NOT MATCHED [ BY TARGET ] [ AND <clause_search_condition> ] THEN <merge_not_matched> ] [ WHEN NOT MATCHED BY SOURCE [ AND <clause_search_condition> ] THEN <merge_matched> ] [ <output_clause> ] [ OPTION ( <query_hint> [ ,…n ] ) ] ;
Let’s create Student Details and StudentTotalMarks and inserted some records.
USE AdventureWorks GO CREATE TABLE StudentDetails ( StudentID INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, StudentName VARCHAR(15) ) GO INSERT INTO StudentDetails VALUES(1,'SMITH') INSERT INTO StudentDetails VALUES(2,'ALLEN') INSERT INTO StudentDetails VALUES(3,'JONES') INSERT INTO StudentDetails VALUES(4,'MARTIN') INSERT INTO StudentDetails VALUES(5,'JAMES') GO
CREATE TABLE StudentTotalMarks ( StudentID INTEGER REFERENCES StudentDetails, StudentMarks INTEGER ) GO INSERT INTO StudentTotalMarks VALUES(1,230) INSERT INTO StudentTotalMarks VALUES(2,255) INSERT INTO StudentTotalMarks VALUES(3,200) GO
In our example we will consider three main conditions while we merge this two tables.
- Delete the records whose marks are more than 250.
- Update marks and add 25 to each as internals if records exist.
- Insert the records if record does not exists.
Now we will write MERGE process for tables created earlier. We will make sure that we will have our three conditions discussed above are satisfied.
MERGE StudentTotalMarks AS stm USING (SELECT StudentID,StudentName FROM StudentDetails) AS sd ON stm.StudentID = sd.StudentID WHEN MATCHED AND stm.StudentMarks > 250 THEN DELETE WHEN MATCHED THEN UPDATE SET stm.StudentMarks = stm.StudentMarks + 25 WHEN NOT MATCHED THEN INSERT(StudentID,StudentMarks) VALUES(sd.StudentID,25); GO
There are two very important points to remember while using MERGE statement.
- Semicolon is mandatory after the merge statement.
- When there is a MATCH clause used along with some condition, it has to be specified first amongst all other WHEN MATCH clause.
After the MERGE statement has been executed, we should compare previous resultset and new resultset to verify if our three conditions are carried out.
AS we can see there are 5 rows updated. StudentID 2 is deleted as it is more than 250, 25 marks have been added to all records that exists i.e StudentID 1,3 and the records that did not exists i.e. 4 and 5 are now inserted in StudentTotalMarks .
MERGE statement is very handy improvement for T-SQL developers who have to update database tables with complicated logic. MERGE statement also improves the performance of database as it passes through data only once.
Reference : Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)