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I need assistance using UNION in my SQL Query

Posted on 2013-11-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-11
Hi Experts,
I am writing a query using UNION to join two tables in SQL Server 2012.  One table has 37,550 records, and the other table has 940,400 records, for a combined total of 977,950.  When I run my query using UNION, the result set only returns 885,067.  Why am I getting less records?

my query syntax:
SELECT [Column 0] AS SSN, [Column 1] AS fee,
[Column 2] AS DATE, 
[Column 4] AS OrderNo
FROM TABLE1
UNION
SELECT [Column 3] AS SSN, [Column 4] AS fee,
[Column 0] AS DATE, 
[Column 2] AS OrderNo
FROM TABLE2
ORDER BY OrderNo

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Thanks in advance for your help,
mrotor..
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Question by:mainrotor
4 Comments
 
LVL 25

Accepted Solution

by:
chaau earned 2000 total points
ID: 39658324
You need to use UNION ALL. UNION on its own omit the duplicate entries. So, the correct query will be:
SELECT [Column 0] AS SSN, [Column 1] AS fee,
[Column 2] AS DATE, 
[Column 4] AS OrderNo
FROM TABLE1
UNION ALL
SELECT [Column 3] AS SSN, [Column 4] AS fee,
[Column 0] AS DATE, 
[Column 2] AS OrderNo
FROM TABLE2
ORDER BY OrderNo

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LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:Jim Horn
ID: 39658337
UNION ALL should be used when you're absolutely certain there will be no duplicates, and is just a set A + set B as a single return set.
SELECT name FROM whorehouses UNION ALL SELECT name FROM burgerjoints

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UNION eliminates duplicates (as chaau stated above), and there is an extra cost to that as the query processor has to match up and remove rows from the final set, therefore should be avoided if possible.
SELECT name from customers UNION SELECT name FROM vendors

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0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Scott Pletcher
ID: 39660050
>> UNION ALL should be used when you're absolutely certain there will be no duplicates <<

Not true.  There's no problem at all with returning duplicate rows using UNION ALL.  If you don't care about and/or want duplicates in the result set, use UNION ALL:

SELECT 'A' AS col1 UNION ALL SELECT 'A' UNION ALL SELECT 'A' UNION ALL SELECT 'A' UNION ALL SELECT 'A' --...


Otoh, UNION should be used only when you explicitly want/need to prevent duplicate rows from being returned by the query, because of the extra overhead to SQL of removing any potential duplicate rows.
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:awking00
ID: 39660109
Since the difference between the total rows and the result set is less than all of the rows in the other table, there are obviously duplicate values for columns 0, 1, 2, and 4 in the first table by itself as well.
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