Merge row values into a CSV (a.k.a GROUP_CONCAT for SQL Server) without Violating DRY Principle

I have a table like:

 EntityID   AttributeID    OptionText
 5016       20            Paintings
 5044       18            Female
 5060       48            M
 5060       48           F
 5060       49            Apple
 5060       49            Banana
 5060       49           Cat

I want to create a view that will show:

 5016    20   Paintings
 5044    18   Female
 5060    48   M,F
 5060    49   Apple, Banana, Cat

Means The attributes values on every entity should be displayed separated by a comma.

The number of options can be varied.

But the most important issue is the query should not violate DRY Priciple The query should be very fast because the table are going to have millions of records.

Any help is appreciated!

This is the actual query that i created using the answers it takes about 20 seconds to get few million records but if i just wan to get few records like 20-30 it takes 2-3 secinds. I want to reduce the time by less than a half second

I need to inject where conditions into it. Please specify what i am missing

 select joined.* , eset.PageNo from (select * from

  select a.EntityTypeID ,  a.EntityID , a.AttributeValue ,  ea.AttributeName from 
 M.EntityTypeID , M.EntityID,  M.AttributeID, 
 SUBSTRING(CAST(foo.bar AS varchar(8000)), 2, 7999) AS AttributeValue
  SELECT DISTINCT EntityID, AttributeID , EntityTYPEID
  FROM [testview1]
   where ENtityID between 5060 and 56598
   and EntitytypeID = 9
   ) M
     ',' + OptionText
     [testview1] M2
     M.EntityID = M2.EntityID AND M.AttributeID= M2.AttributeID and M.EntityTypeID = M2.ENtityTYpeID
     and  ENtityID between 5060 and 56598
      and EntitytypeID = 9
 ) foo(bar)) a
 inner join EntityAttributes ea on ea.ID = a.AttributeID 

 ) options

  union all
      EntityAttributeValues.EntityID as 'EntityID' , EntityAttributeValues.AttributeValue                 ,EntityAttributes.attributeName from EntityAttributeValues
      inner join EntityAttributes on EntityAttributes.ID = EntityAttributeValues.AttributeID

     where EntityAttributeValues.EntityID between 5060 and 56598
      and EntityAttributes.EntityTypeID = 9**93

        ) joined

           inner join Entity_Paged_View_With_Set eset on eset.ID = joined.EntityID 

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asked Oct 19, 2011 at 01:19 AM in Default

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Kamal Deep Singh Saini
25 3 3 6

How often will the code to create have to run, is it a one off?

Oct 19, 2011 at 02:21 AM Mrs_Fatherjack
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1 answer: sort voted first

Try this, it is ONE way of doing it

 declare @YourTable table (EntityID int, AttributeID int, OptionText varchar(50))
 insert into @YourTable values(5016,20,'Paintings')
 insert into @YourTable values(5044,18,'Female')
 insert into @YourTable values(5060,48,'M')
 insert into @YourTable values(5060,48,'F')
 insert into @YourTable values(5060,49,'Apple')
 insert into @YourTable values(5060,49,'Banana')
 insert into @YourTable values(5060,49,'Cat')
 select  distinct
     EntityID, AttributeID,
     stuff ( ( SELECT
                   ',' + OptionText 
                   @YourTable TABLE1
               WHERE TABLE1.EntityID = TABLE2.EntityID 
               AND TABLE1.AttributeID = TABLE2.AttributeID
     FOR XML PATH ( '' ) ) , 1 , 1 , '' )
     @YourTable TABLE2


 EntityID    AttributeID 
 ----------- ----------- -------------------------
 5016        20          Paintings
 5044        18          Female
 5060        48          M,F
 5060        49          Apple,Banana,Cat

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answered Oct 19, 2011 at 02:48 AM

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Kev Riley ♦♦
64.1k 48 61 81

I post the same question on stackoverflow too. and get the same reply. This query is too slow and does not solve my purpose. Isnt there is some other way. I want fully optimized query

Oct 19, 2011 at 02:54 AM Kamal Deep Singh Saini

How slow is slow, Jeff Moden talks about using this method in this post <http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Test+Data/61572/>, and measures a 17 sec duration for a million row table.

If you need to keep doing this over and over in a view, then you need to rethink your design.

How about materializing this 'view' in a table?

How about changing the base table design to store the data as a CSV?

How about handling the string manipulation in the application layer/presentation layer?

Oct 19, 2011 at 03:02 AM Kev Riley ♦♦

This is the best way I know of. If it's slow, look at the query plan and see how you can optimise it.

Oct 19, 2011 at 03:32 AM David Wimbush

@Kamal Deep Singh Saini You can reduce the number of reads from the table a little bit by first grouping the records by 2 columns and then calling cross apply rather than calling it once for each row and then using distinct which does the grouping by 3 columns. This will not help a lot, but will be a bit cheaper to do because the grouping is easier and the number of calls to the inner query is smaller:

    t.EntityID, t.AttributeID, 
    stuff(x.Options, 1 , 1 , '') Options
            EntityID, AttributeID
            from @YourTable
            group by EntityID, AttributeID
    ) t cross apply
        select ',' + OptionText
            from @YourTable
                EntityID = t.EntityID 
                and AttributeID = t.AttributeID
            for xml path('')
    ) x(Options);

If this does not help much then you can try using the dynamic pivot first and then the normal concat to derive your delimited lists (one for each combination). This will make the query much more complex, but considerably cheaper and probably faster. Please let me know if you want it and I can post a sample.

Oct 19, 2011 at 08:03 AM Oleg

@Oleg you can please post a sample related to dynamic pivot. What finally i need to do is to get the data in the required format as specified by the question and then pivot it. Actually i am trying to create a Model that resembles EAV. I will post the actual query that i created using the sample given above

Oct 21, 2011 at 04:30 AM Kamal Deep Singh Saini
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asked: Oct 19, 2011 at 01:19 AM

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Last Updated: Oct 21, 2011 at 04:37 AM

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