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Exploring table value functions

From: SQL Server: Triggers, Stored Procedures, and Functions

Video: Exploring table value functions

Now I'd like to talk about another type of function, what Microsoft calls a Table-valued Function. As the name implies, the results of this function will be an entire table. I've a little code prepared for you in your exercise files, copy that over. So the top starts off just like any other function. We're going to create a function call it 'authors by status' and it will take one input parameter. Line 2 says what we are going to return, and we are going to return a table.

Exploring table value functions

Now I'd like to talk about another type of function, what Microsoft calls a Table-valued Function. As the name implies, the results of this function will be an entire table. I've a little code prepared for you in your exercise files, copy that over. So the top starts off just like any other function. We're going to create a function call it 'authors by status' and it will take one input parameter. Line 2 says what we are going to return, and we are going to return a table.

And then lines 3 through 11 define that table. So just like if you were creating a new table, you have to define all the columns, give it a name, a data type and whether or not we allow nulls for each particular field. So it can be a lot of typing to get all this in because we have to define, in a fair amount of detail of the entire table we want to define. The meat of this starts on around line 13, and we see an INSERT statement. So we defined a table. Right now that table is empty.

In order for this to be useful, we have to insert something into that table. And what are we going to insert? We are going to insert the results of a query. Line 16, 17 and 18, define that query. It's everything from the authors table depending on the value in the active field. Remember that the only parameter passed to this function is a value that represents is active. So this query will filter our results based on that value. Go ahead and run this, command(s) completed successfully.

You should see it in there now and there we go. So now this function behaves very much like a table. We can do a SELECT, store. Normally you would say SELECT, store FROM table. But, instead we are going to say select store from our function. Remember, it does take one parameter. So there would be all of our authors whose status is equal to zero, or we can pass it a 1, and there would be all of our authors whose status is equal to one.

This is fairly useful. Obviously, there's other ways that could accomplish this. For example, a view would do some similar things. But, remember you can't pass a parameter to a view. So the strength of Tabled-valued Functions is that we can pass one or more parameters to it and get different results based on those parameters. Other than that they function largely like tables or views.

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This video is part of

Image for SQL Server: Triggers, Stored Procedures, and Functions
 
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  1. 2m 15s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. What you should know
      51s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 11m 1s
    1. Comparing triggers, functions, and procedures
      3m 25s
    2. Why use a stored procedure?
      4m 59s
    3. Why use functions?
      1m 27s
    4. Why use triggers?
      1m 10s
  3. 6m 2s
    1. Configuring your environment
      4m 53s
    2. Downloading and installing a sample database
      1m 9s
  4. 26m 25s
    1. Creating a stored procedure
      2m 46s
    2. Modifying a stored procedure
      2m 34s
    3. Returning data using data sets
      3m 45s
    4. Returning data using cursors
      3m 45s
    5. Using input and output parameters
      5m 24s
    6. Using security and permissions
      5m 24s
    7. Using transactions
      2m 47s
  5. 11m 56s
    1. Creating a user-defined function
      4m 59s
    2. Exploring single-value functions
      4m 18s
    3. Exploring table value functions
      2m 39s
  6. 9m 31s
    1. Using "after" triggers
      3m 47s
    2. Using "instead of" triggers
      2m 9s
    3. Using nested triggers
      1m 38s
    4. Using database-level triggers
      1m 57s
  7. 12m 43s
    1. Exploring a real-world INSERT procedure
      5m 32s
    2. Exploring a real-world UPDATE procedure
      3m 13s
    3. Implementing logging on DELETE
      3m 58s
  8. 19m 38s
    1. Understanding the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and the .NET framework
      1m 52s
    2. Using CLR with SQL Server 2012
      4m 11s
    3. Writing stored procedures with C# .NET
      5m 51s
    4. Writing functions with .NET
      5m 7s
    5. Choosing between T-SQL vs. CLR
      2m 37s
  9. 11m 34s
    1. Creating a basic web form and connecting to a database
      2m 56s
    2. Executing a stored procedure
      2m 4s
    3. Passing parameters
      3m 41s
    4. Getting return values
      2m 53s
  10. 1m 43s
    1. Next steps
      1m 43s

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