T-SQL: Looping through an array of known values

By | November 28, 2017
Questions:

Here’s my scenario:

Let’s say I have a stored procedure in which I need to call another stored procedure on a set of specific ids; is there a way to do this?

i.e. instead of needing to do this:

exec p_MyInnerProcedure 4
exec p_MyInnerProcedure 7
exec p_MyInnerProcedure 12
exec p_MyInnerProcedure 22
exec p_MyInnerProcedure 19

Doing something like this:

*magic where I specify my list contains 4,7,12,22,19*

DECLARE my_cursor CURSOR FAST_FORWARD FOR
*magic select*

OPEN my_cursor 
FETCH NEXT FROM my_cursor INTO @MyId
WHILE @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
BEGIN

exec p_MyInnerProcedure @MyId

FETCH NEXT FROM my_cursor INTO @MyId
END

My Main goal here is simply maintainability (easy to remove/add id’s as the business changes), being able to list out all Id’s on a single line… Performance shouldn’t be as big of an issue

Answers:
declare @ids table(idx int identity(1,1), id int)

insert into @ids (id)
    select 4 union
    select 7 union
    select 12 union
    select 22 union
    select 19

declare @i int
declare @cnt int

select @i = min(idx) - 1, @cnt = max(idx) from @ids

while @i < @cnt
begin
     select @i = @i + 1

     declare @id = select id from @ids where idx = @i

     exec p_MyInnerProcedure @id
end

Questions:
Answers:

What I do in this scenario is create a table variable to hold the Ids.

  Declare @Ids Table (id integer primary Key not null)
  Insert @Ids(id) values (4),(7),(12),(22),(19)

— (or call another table valued function to generate this table)

Then loop based on the rows in this table

  Declare @Id Integer
  While exists (Select * From @Ids)
    Begin
      Select @Id = Min(id) from @Ids
      exec p_MyInnerProcedure @Id 
      Delete from @Ids Where id = @Id
    End

or…

  Declare @Id Integer = 0 -- assuming all Ids are > 0
  While exists (Select * From @Ids
                where id > @Id)
    Begin
      Select @Id = Min(id) 
      from @Ids Where id > @Id
      exec p_MyInnerProcedure @Id 
    End

Either of above approaches is much faster than a cursor (declared against regular User Table(s)). Table-valued variables have a bad rep because when used improperly, (for very wide tables with large number of rows) they are not performant. But if you are using them only to hold a key value or a 4 byte integer, with a index (as in this case) they are extremely fast.

Questions:
Answers:

use a static cursor variable and a split function:

declare @comma_delimited_list varchar(4000)
set @comma_delimited_list = '4,7,12,22,19'

declare @cursor cursor
set @cursor = cursor static for 
  select convert(int, Value) as Id from dbo.Split(@comma_delimited_list) a

declare @id int
open @cursor
while 1=1 begin
  fetch next from @cursor into @id
  if @@fetch_status <> 0 break
  ....do something....
end
-- not strictly necessary w/ cursor variables since they will go out of scope like a normal var
close @cursor
deallocate @cursor

Cursors have a bad rep since the default options when declared against user tables can generate a lot of overhead.

But in this case the overhead is quite minimal, less than any other methods here. STATIC tells SQL Server to materialize the results in tempdb and then iterate over that. For small lists like this, it’s the optimal solution.

Questions:
Answers:

I usually use the following approach

DECLARE @calls TABLE (
    id INT IDENTITY(1,1)
    ,parameter INT
    )

INSERT INTO @calls
select parameter from some_table where some_condition -- here you populate your parameters

declare @i int
declare @n int
declare @myId int
select @i = min(id), @n = max(id) from @calls
while @i <= @n
begin
    select 
        @myId = parameter
    from 
        @calls
    where id = @i

        EXECUTE p_MyInnerProcedure @myId
    set @i = @i+1
end

Questions:
Answers:
CREATE TABLE #ListOfIDs (IDValue INT)

DECLARE @IDs VARCHAR(50), @ID VARCHAR(5)
SET @IDs = @OriginalListOfIDs + ','

WHILE LEN(@IDs) > 1
BEGIN
SET @ID = SUBSTRING(@IDs, 0, CHARINDEX(',', @IDs));
INSERT INTO #ListOfIDs (IDValue) VALUES(@ID);
SET @IDs = REPLACE(',' + @IDs, ',' + @ID + ',', '')
END

SELECT * 
FROM #ListOfIDs

Questions:
Answers:

You can try as below :

declare @list varchar(MAX), @i int
select @i=0, @list ='4,7,12,22,19,'

while( @i < LEN(@list))
begin
    declare @item varchar(MAX)
    SELECT  @item = SUBSTRING(@list,  @i,CHARINDEX(',',@list,@i)-@i)
    select @item

     --do your stuff here with @item 
     exec p_MyInnerProcedure @item 

    set @i = CHARINDEX(',',@list,@i)+1
    if(@i = 0) set @i = LEN(@list) 
end

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