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Merge Statement in SQL Server 2008

, 10 Jun 2009 CPOL
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Microsoft SQL Server 2008 new feature, Merge Statement


One of the fantastic new features of SQL Server 2008 is Merge Statement. Using a single statement, we can Add/Update records in our database table, without explicitly checking for the existence of records to perform operations like Insert or Update.

Facts about Merge Statement

Here are a few facts that you must know before starting to use Merge Statement:

  1. Atomic statement combining INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE operations based on conditional logic
  2. Done as a set-based operation; more efficient than multiple separate operations
  3. MERGE is defined by ANSI SQL; you will find it in other database platforms as well
  4. Useful in both OLTP and Data Warehouse environments
    OLTP: merging recent information from external source
    DW: incremental updates of fact, slowly changing dimensions.

A typical merge statement looks like:

MERGE [INTO] <target table>
USING <source table or table expression>
ON <join/merge predicate> (semantics similar to outer join)
WHEN MATCHED <statement to run when match found in target>
WHEN [TARGET] NOT MATCHED <statement to run when no match found in target>


-- Update existing, add missing
MERGE INTO dbo.tbl_Customers AS C
USING dbo.tbl_CustomersTemp AS CT
        ON C.CustID = CT.CustID
      C.CompanyName = CT.CompanyName,
      C.Phone = CT.Phone
      INSERT (CustID, CompanyName, Phone)
      VALUES (CT.CustID, CT.CompanyName, CT.Phone)
CREATE TABLE dbo.tbl_Source (id INT, name NVARCHAR(100), qty INT);
CREATE TABLE dbo.tbl_Target (id INT, name NVARCHAR(100), qty INT);

--Synchronize source data with target
MERGE INTO dbo.tbl_Target AS t
    USING dbo.tbl_Source AS s    
        ON =
    WHEN MATCHED AND ( != OR t.qty!= s.qty) THEN
        --Row exists and data is different
        UPDATE SET =, t.qty = s.qty
        --Row exists in source but not in target
        INSERT VALUES (,, s.qty) 
        --Row exists in target but not in source
        DELETE OUTPUT$action,,


So now with this new feature, we can implement the feature of add/insert/delete using a single statement without checking through the records.

Hope you enjoyed this article. Happy programming!!!


  • 11th June, 2009: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

QuestionDrawbacks of Merge PinmemberMember 1108063013-Sep-14 18:39 
GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmemberMember 782653028-Oct-13 21:41 
QuestionMissing semicolon PinmemberChaitanya.Moguluri9-May-13 5:26 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberSchehaider_Aymen3-Oct-12 7:31 
GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmemberMorteza Azizi23-Jan-12 4:05 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 Pinmemberlosmac8-May-12 11:32 
GeneralSample code invalid Pinmemberryancrawcour1-Feb-10 15:15 
GeneralMy Vote of 5 Pinmemberjohnclark6410-Aug-09 18:05 
GeneralRe: My Vote of 5 PinmemberRobin_Roy17-Aug-09 16:52 

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