Concatenating a string in SQL - value blank

What is wrong with the following?

SELECT        ID, Forename + ' ' + Surname + '( ' + WName + ')' AS FullName
FROM            Customers
WHERE        (Business_ID = 137)
ORDER BY Forename

It works fine if Forename and Surname are not null but if they are null but WName has a string 'Lorna', FullName is just blank when it should be 'Lorna'??
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AshokSr. Software EngineerCommented:
Try this

SELECT        ID, IsNull(Forename,'') + ' ' + IsNull(Surname,'') + '( ' + WName + ')' AS FullName
FROM            Customers
WHERE        (Business_ID = 137)
ORDER BY Forename

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Lee SavidgeCommented:
Either the above or look at

set concat_null_yields_null off

Understant concatenation and null values.
Jim HornMicrosoft SQL Server Developer, Architect, and AuthorCommented:
When NULL is involved with any expression, the result will always be NULL.

The only way around this to either trap it and use a different expression, or convert it to an empty string using either IsNull (ashok111's answer above) or COALESCE(column_name, '')
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Brian CroweDatabase AdministratorCommented:
It helps to think of NULL as 'Unknown' and not 'Empty'.

unknown plus some value is still unknown
Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
SELECT        ID, ISNULL(Forename + ' ', '') + ISNULL(Surname, '') +
                     ISNULL('( ' + WName + ')', '') AS FullName
FROM            Customers
WHERE        (Business_ID = 137)
ORDER BY Forename
Lorna70Author Commented:
Thanks everyone - really helpful :-)
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Microsoft SQL Server

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