SQL Server : Merge and update multiple rows across columns

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Question :

I am trying to consolidate data in one table and merge it into another.

The data in the source destination table is as follows :

name                |dob                        |city   |occupation
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
galileo-galilei     |1900-01-01 00:00:00.000    |rome   |polymath
issac-newton        |1900-01-01 00:00:00.000    |london |mathematician-scientist
leonardo-da-cinci   |1900-01-03 00:00:00.000    |rome   |polymath

The data in the destination source table is :

sl_no   |name               |dob                        |city   |occupation
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1       |galileo-galilei    |1900-01-01 00:00:00.000    |       |
2       |galileo-galilei    |1900-01-02 00:00:00.000    |venice |
3       |galileo-galilei    |1900-01-05 00:00:00.000    |       |astronomer

The expected result in the destination table is :

name                |dob                        |city   |occupation
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
galileo-galilei     |1900-01-05 00:00:00.000    |venice |astronomer
issac-newton        |1900-01-01 00:00:00.000    |london |mathematician-scientist
leonardo-da-cinci   |1900-01-03 00:00:00.000    |rome   |polymath

My attempts using update-with-join and merge have not been successful.

Update-With-Join :

-- updates data from the first match only
update p
set p.city = s.city,
p.occupation = s.occupation
from person_update_with_join_test_primary p, person_update_with_join_test_secondary s
where p.name = s.name ;

Merge :

-- https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb522522(v=sql.105).aspx
/*
The MERGE statement attempted to UPDATE or DELETE the same row more than once. 
This happens when a target row matches more than one source row. 
A MERGE statement cannot UPDATE/DELETE the same row of the target table multiple times. 
Refine the ON clause to ensure a target row matches at most one source row, or use the GROUP BY clause to group the source rows.
*/
begin
merge person_update_with_join_test_primary as p
using person_update_with_join_test_secondary as s
on (p.name = s.name)
when not matched by target 
then insert (name, dob, city, occupation) 
values (s.name, s.dob, s.city, s.occupation)
when matched 
then update set p.dob = s.dob 
, p.city=(case when (len(s.city)>0) then  s.city else p.city end)
, p.occupation=(case when (len(s.occupation)>0) then  s.occupation else p.occupation end)
output $action, inserted.*, deleted.*;
end

I believe what I am looking for is similar to what has been posted here and here. However its not quite what I am looking for.

Are there any other ways to accomplish this other than using a cursor and an upsert (assuming that works)?

Update #1 :

Basically as long as the values in the source are not empty the most recent values (having highest id value) in the source are expected to be merged into the destination.

Eg : For #3 row in the source, the city column would not be considered to be merged into destination. Similarly for #2 , the occupation column would not be considered for being merged into destination.
The the column name is a primary-key in the destination table.

I am trying to achieve the same state in the destination table as would have been expected if I were to iterate over the source data and update only the non-empty values in the destination – by using a query instead of doing it through application.

Answer :

If you only ever have one row were the city and occupation columns are populated you can achieve it with a windowing function:

E.g:

DECLARE @Source TABLE(
    sl_no       INT
    ,name       NVARCHAR(30)
    ,dob        DATETIME2(3)
    ,city       NVARCHAR(30)
    ,occupation NVARCHAR(30)
);

INSERT INTO @Source
VALUES
    (1, 'galileo-galilei', '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000', NULL, NULL),
    (2, 'galileo-galilei', '1900-01-02 00:00:00.000', 'venice', NULL),
    (3, 'galileo-galilei', '1900-01-05 00:00:00.000', NULL, 'astronomer'),
    (4, 'issac-newton',    '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000', 'london', 'mathematician-scientist')

SELECT DISTINCT
    name
    ,MAX(dob)           OVER(PARTITION BY name) AS dob
    ,MAX(city)          OVER(PARTITION BY name) AS city
    ,MAX(occupation)    OVER(PARTITION BY name) AS occupation
FROM 
    @Source

However, I suspect the reality is you could have multiple records and you always want to return the value from the most recent record that has data in those columns. E.g. if your source was:

DECLARE @Source TABLE(
    sl_no       INT
    ,name       NVARCHAR(30)
    ,dob        DATETIME2(3)
    ,city       NVARCHAR(30)
    ,occupation NVARCHAR(30)
);

INSERT INTO @Source
VALUES
    (1, 'galileo-galilei', '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000', 'rome', NULL),
    (2, 'galileo-galilei', '1900-01-02 00:00:00.000', 'venice', NULL),
    (3, 'galileo-galilei', '1900-01-05 00:00:00.000', NULL, 'astronomer'),
    (4, 'issac-newton',    '1900-01-01 00:00:00.000', 'london', 'mathematician-scientist')

You could achieve what you want with:

SELECT
    s.name
    ,s.dob
    ,sc.city
    ,so.occupation
FROM
    @Source AS s
    CROSS APPLY(
        SELECT TOP 1 city
        FROM @Source AS s2
        WHERE s2.name = s.name
        AND city IS NOT NULL
        ORDER BY sl_no DESC
        ) AS sc
    CROSS APPLY(
        SELECT TOP 1 occupation
        FROM @Source AS s3
        WHERE s3.name = s.name
        AND occupation IS NOT NULL
        ORDER BY sl_no DESC
    ) AS so
WHERE
    s.sl_no = (SELECT MAX(sl_no) FROM @Source AS s4 WHERE s4.name = s.name)

Wrap that up into a merge or update (I’ll do a merge for you) and you will get:

WITH src AS (
    SELECT
        s.name
        ,s.dob
        ,sc.city
        ,so.occupation
    FROM
        @Source AS s
        CROSS APPLY(
            SELECT TOP 1 city
            FROM @Source AS s2
            WHERE s2.name = s.name
            AND city IS NOT NULL
            ORDER BY sl_no DESC
            ) AS sc
        CROSS APPLY(
            SELECT TOP 1 occupation
            FROM @Source AS s3
            WHERE s3.name = s.name
            AND occupation IS NOT NULL
            ORDER BY sl_no DESC
        ) AS so
    WHERE
        s.sl_no = (SELECT MAX(sl_no) FROM @Source AS s4 WHERE s4.name = s.name)
)
MERGE INTO Destination AS tgt
USING tgt.name = src.name

WHEN MATCHED THEN UPDATE
SET dob = src.dob
    ,city = src.city
    ,occupation = src.occupation

WHEN NOT MATCHED THEN INSERT(name, dob, city, occupation)
VALUES(src.name, src.dob, src.city, src.occuptaion);

You are going to want to index the column you join on all the time (name in the above examples) for performance. Otherwise you will get many scans.

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