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Sometimes you got business requirements to create dashboard and you must use SQL Server Pivot function to convert rows to columns. You can transpose them on two ways: using CASE or PIVOT function. In this post I will show you how to Convert Rows To Columns at SQL Server on these two ways.

In other words converting rows to column can be called: transposition. The Cambridge dictionary describes the transpositions as:

to change something from one position to another, or to exchange the positions of two things:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/transpose

SQL Server Pivot Function

To explain you how to use SQL Server Pivot function, first we create PRODUCT table and insert some samples records in it.

CREATE TABLE MASTER.DBO.PRODUCT (
  PRODUCER_NME VARCHAR(100),
  PRODUCT_NME  VARCHAR(100),
  R_YR  INT,
  R_MTH  INT,
  SOLD_NO NUMERIC(7,2)
);

And this is the data preview:

SQL Server How to use Pivot in SQL function - check 1 cool example!
SQL Pivot

SQL PIVOT

SQL Server PIVOT function allows us quickly transpose rows into columns. Let’s look at the example below! (SQL Server How to use Pivot in SQL function)

SELECT *
FROM 
(
  SELECT PRODUCER_NME, PRODUCT_NME, R_YR, R_MTH,SOLD_NO
  FROM MASTER.DBO.PRODUCT
) T
PIVOT
(
  SUM(SOLD_NO)
  FOR R_MTH IN ([1], [2], [3])
) PIV;

R_MTH in my table is the attribute which I want to see as columns, but as value for this attributes I want to see sum of the SOLD_NO values. I can write SELECT *, because my table not contain any additional attributes – in case when your table have a lot of columns, probably you will must limit them.

Convert Rows To Columns

The screenshot below presents like my data look after using the PIVOT function in Microsoft SQL Server:

SQL Server How to use Pivot in SQL function - check 1 cool example!
SQL Pivot Rows to Columns

CASE statement

You can get the same results as using the pivot function using the CASE statement. CASE statement is used more often than PIVOT so you can feel more comfortable using it. But remember what is the better, quicker and shorter depends how many attributes, calculation and conditions you need to use. And in most cases the PIVOT function wins 🙂

SELECT 
	PRODUCER_NME, 
	PRODUCT_NME, 
	R_YR,
	SUM(CASE WHEN R_MTH = 1 THEN SOLD_NO ELSE NULL END) AS MTH_1,
	SUM(CASE WHEN R_MTH = 2 THEN SOLD_NO ELSE NULL END) AS MTH_2,
	SUM(CASE WHEN R_MTH = 3 THEN SOLD_NO ELSE NULL END) AS MTH_3
FROM MASTER.DBO.PRODUCT 
GROUP BY 
	PRODUCER_NME, 
	PRODUCT_NME, 
	R_YR;

The SELECT statement above can give you the same result like the PIVOT function.

Scripts

If you want to download all the scripts using in this post, you can find on our GitLab repository!

I hope this post was helpful for you. If you like this post please share it with your friends!

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