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  1. #1
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Boston, MA
    Member #
    205 times
    I was recently asked a question by a friend using Borland Interbase on how to do a COALESCE().

    COALESCE is an ANSI SQL function that returns the first non-null value in a sequence. For instance, COALESCE(null, null, null, 1, null, 2) would return 1
    Well, we went through every function I could muster, and none of them worked:
    1. COALESCE() - the ANSI standard
    2. ISNULL() - the Microsoft T-SQL standard (only takes two values)
    3. IFNULL() - the MySQL standard (only takes two values)
    4. NVL() - Oracle / Informix PL/SQL standard (only takes two values)

    It seems there are databases without inate COALESCE() support. for those databases, it's best to use the following type of query:
        (CASE WHEN column IS NULL THEN 'Alternate Value' ELSE column END) AS column
    We tried this out, and it worked well. Hope it helps someone !!


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