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Bitwise OR aggregate

, 28 Mar 2012 CPOL
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Performing a bitwise OR aggregate in SQL Server

In a few of the tables I'm working with, I have some bit-mapped values. In other words, there is a numeric (integer) column and the values are all powers of two (1, 2, 4, 8, etc.) and each power of two has a different meaning. When I want to summarize this data, I want to perform a bitwise OR on the values for a particular entity, for example if a particular entity has records with values of 1, 2, and 8, then I want to show the value 11. SQL Server has a bitwise OR operator (|), but it doesn't have a bitwise OR aggregate function. In the simple example above, you may notice that 1 | 2 | 8 == 1 + 2 + 8 so it would be good if we could use the SUM aggregate function SUM ( sourcecolumn ), but that won't work if any of the values are duplicated: 1 | 1 | 2 | 8 != 1 + 1 + 2 + 8 . Fortunately, you can use the SUM function to add up only the DISTINCT values: SUM ( DISTINCT sourcecolumn ). This, then, can be used as a bitwise OR aggregate function, provided the values in the column are powers of two.


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Comments and Discussions

QuestionThis is not right for all cases Pin
tsr851-Apr-12 1:00
membertsr851-Apr-12 1:00 
This is not going to work in case your bitwise value holds more than 1 value ( for example 5 hold 1|4 )..

You could write your own bitwise_sum aggrigation function using CLR.. For example:

    Format.UserDefined, //use clr serialization to serialize the intermediate result
    IsInvariantToNulls = true, //optimizer property
    IsInvariantToDuplicates = false, //optimizer property
    IsInvariantToOrder = false, //optimizer property
    MaxByteSize = 8000) //maximum size in bytes of persisted value
public class BitWise_Sum : IBinarySerialize
    /// <summary>
    /// The variable that holds the intermediate result of the concatenation
    /// </summary>
    private long intermediateResult;
    /// <summary>
    /// Initialize the internal data structures
    /// </summary>
    public void Init()
        this.intermediateResult = 0;
    /// <summary>
    /// Accumulate the next value, not if the value is null
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="value"></param>
    public void Accumulate(SqlInt64 value)
        if (value.IsNull)
        this.intermediateResult |= value.Value;
    /// <summary>
    /// Merge the partially computed aggregate with this aggregate.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="other"></param>
    public void Merge(BitWise_Sum other)
        this.intermediateResult |= other.intermediateResult;
    /// <summary>
    /// Called at the end of aggregation, to return the results of the aggregation.
    /// </summary>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public SqlInt64 Terminate()
        return this.intermediateResult;
    public void Read(BinaryReader r)
        intermediateResult = Convert.ToInt64(r.ReadString());
    public void Write(BinaryWriter w)
Success comes to those who have the courage to try.

AnswerRe: This is not right for all cases Pin
PIEBALDconsult1-Apr-12 18:00
memberPIEBALDconsult1-Apr-12 18:00 
AnswerRe: This is not right for all cases Pin
Igor Voynovskyy4-Apr-15 1:43
memberIgor Voynovskyy4-Apr-15 1:43 

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