Use of ISNULL in a sql stored procedure

I am looking at a stored procedure that uses the "ISNULL" sql command. I am confused exactly what it is doing on lines 11, 12 and 13 below. Is it just assigning the input values to the column in the database table?

For example on line 11 --> One = ISNULL(inOne, One)
Is it just assigning the column One to the value inOne if the value inOne is null? I am confused about this. Can an expert please explain?

1  Create procedure inProcess
2  @inTwo VARCHAR(16)
3  @inOne VARCHAR(16)
4  @inThree VARCHAR(16)

5  AS
7  One,
8  Two,
9  Three
11 One = ISNULL(inOne, One) AND
12 Two = ISNULL(inTwo,Two) AND
13 Three=ISNULL(inThree, Three)
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Nakul VachhrajaniTechnical Architect, Capgemini IndiaCommented:
Yes, in this particular case, the ISNULL on line #11 is assigning the value in column "One" if the value in "inOne" is NULL.

The ISNULL function evaluates if the first parameter is NULL. If not null, then that is returned and used for the evaluation of rest of the expression. If NULL, then the value in the second parameter is returned (even if it is NULL).

Here's an example:
USE tempdb;
DECLARE @unInitializedDefaultValue INT;
DECLARE @initializedDefaultValue INT;

DECLARE @someTable TABLE (someColumn INT);

SET @initializedDefaultValue = 99;

INSERT INTO @someTable (someColumn)

SELECT st.someColumn,
       ISNULL(st.someColumn, @unInitializedDefaultValue) AS IsNullCheckWithUninitializedValue,
       ISNULL(st.someColumn, @initializedDefaultValue) AS IsNullCheckWithInitializedValue
FROM @someTable AS st;

someColumn  IsNullCheckWithUninitializedValue IsNullCheckWithInitializedValue
----------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------
1           1                                 1
2           2                                 2
NULL        NULL                              99
4           4                                 4
5           5                                 5

Open in new window

Hope it helps.
ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
Please use the CODE button.. and post valid, concise and complete T-SQL:

    @inTwo VARCHAR(16) ,
    @inOne VARCHAR(16) ,
    @inThree VARCHAR(16)
    SELECT One ,
           Two ,
    FROM   ProjectFacts.Customers
    WHERE  One = ISNULL(@inOne, One)
           AND Two = ISNULL(@inTwo, Two)
           AND Three = ISNULL(@inThree, Three);

Open in new window

What it does is simply tested:

        @inOne VARCHAR(16) ,
        @inThree VARCHAR(16);

       Two ,
       Three ,
       ISNULL(@inOne, One) ,
       ISNULL(@inTwo, Two) ,
       ISNULL(@inThree, Three)
FROM   ProjectFacts.Customers;

Open in new window

ISNULL(value1, value2) returns value1 only when it is NOT NULL. Otherwise it returns value2. It also ensures data type compatibility. Thus each ISNULL() tests for a value in the parameter:

One = ISNULL(@inOne, One) => One = @inOne (tests each row for the value)


One = ISNULL(@inOne, One) => One = One => always true (tautology)

It is also known as "catch all".
Mark WillsTopic AdvisorCommented:
Just tidying up @ste5an's post a little bit

ISNULL(@inOne, One) returns @inOne only when @inOne  is NOT NULL. Otherwise it returns One.
It also ensures data type compatibility. Thus each ISNULL() tests for a value in the parameter:
So, the code allows for @inOne being a NULL or a value. When @inOne has a value, the test
One = ISNULL(@inOne, One)  is basically testing for One = @inOne (tests each row for the value)

otherwise, if @inOne is a NULL, then the test
One = ISNULL(@inOne, One)  is basically testing for One = One => always true (tautology)

And the same again for @inTwo and @inThree. It is also known as "catch all".

No points, just helping a mate explain his post :)

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