Common Table Expressions (CTE)

Gerald Britton

Recursive CTEs and Foreign Key References in SQL Server

May 16, 2018 by

Introduction

Foreign key constraints are a powerful mechanism for preserving referential integrity in a database. They can also represent a challenge when doing bulk table loads, since you need to find a “base” table to start with – that is, a table that has no foreign key constraints defined. Let’s label tables like this as level 0, or ground level if you like. Once that is loaded, you can begin to load other tables that have foreign key references to the base table. We can label those tables level 1, and so on. If you start with table data that already has referentially integrity and load tables by their level numbers — level 0, level 1, level 2 and so on – the load should proceed without problems. Let’s look at a simple example:

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Gerald Britton

Why is my CTE so slow?

December 22, 2016 by

Introduction

Have you ever written up a complex query using Common Table Expressions (CTEs) only to be disappointed by the performance? Have you been blaming the CTE? This article looks at that problem to show that it is a little deeper than a particular syntax choice and offers some tips on how to improve performance.

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Brian Bønk Rueløkke

Ready, SET, go – How does SQL Server handle recursive CTE’s

August 19, 2016 by

First of all, a quick recap on what a recursive query is.

Recursive queries are useful when building hierarchies, traverse datasets and generate arbitrary rowsets etc. The recursive part (simply) means joining a rowset with itself an arbitrary number of times.

A recursive query is defined by an anchor set (the base rowset of the recursion) and a recursive part (the operation that should be done over the previous rowset).

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