SQL Server: UNION ALL Operator
This SQL Server tutorial explains how to use the UNION ALL operator in SQL Server (Transact-SQL) with syntax and examples.
The SQL Server UNION ALL operator is used to combine the result sets of 2 or more SELECT statements. It returns all rows from the query and it does not remove duplicate rows between the various SELECT statements.
Each SELECT statement within the SQL Server UNION ALL operator must have the same number of fields in the result sets with similar data types.
The syntax for the UNION ALL operator in SQL Server (Transact-SQL) is:
SELECT expression1, expression2, ... expression_n FROM tables [WHERE conditions] UNION ALL SELECT expression1, expression2, ... expression_n FROM tables [WHERE conditions];
Parameters or Arguments
- expression1, expression2, … expression_n
- The columns or calculations that you wish to retrieve.
- The tables that you wish to retrieve records from. There must be at least one table listed in the FROM clause.
- WHERE conditions
- Optional. The conditions that must be met for the records to be selected.
- There must be same number of expressions in both SELECT statements.
- The corresponding columns in each of the SELECT statements must have similar data types.
- The UNION operator does not remove duplicate rows between the various SELECT statements.
- See also the UNION operator.
Example – Return single field
Let’s look at an example of the UNION ALL operator in SQL Server (Transact-SQL) that returns one field from multiple SELECT statements (and both fields have the same data type).
SELECT product_id FROM products UNION ALL SELECT product_id FROM inventory;
This UNION ALL example would return a product_id multiple times in your result set if the product_id appeared in both the products and inventory tables. The SQL Server UNION ALL operator does not remove duplicates. If you wish to remove duplicates, try using the SQL Server UNION operator.
Example – Using ORDER BY
The UNION ALL operator can use the ORDER BY clause to order the results of the query in SQL Server (Transact-SQL).
SELECT contact_id, contact_name FROM contacts WHERE site_name = 'TechOnTheNet.com' UNION ALL SELECT company_id, company_name FROM companies WHERE site_name = 'CheckYourMath.com' ORDER BY 2;
In this UNION ALL operator example, since the column names are different between the two SELECT statements, it is more advantageous to reference the columns in the ORDER BY clause by their position in the result set. In this example, we’ve sorted the results by contact_name / company_name in ascending order, as denoted by the
ORDER BY 2.
The contact_name / company_name fields are in position #2 in the result set.