Good Uses for SQL Server 2005 Common Table Expressions (Part 0)

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A significant portion of my time as a developer is taken up looking into different approaches solving problems with newer technologies. Often it feels like I’m trying to understand the solution to a problem I haven’t yet defined, but I accept this because I look upon it as adding tools to my arsenal that I can draw upon when an appropriate situation arises.

One such solution I’ve been aware of for a while now is the new Common Table Expressions (CTEs) feature and related Ranking and Windowing functions in SQL Server 2005, and I’ve recently found myself stuck with problems that are these features solve nicely. Although there are traditional tricks that work as well, usually involving cursors, Ranking and Windowing provide a very neat solution.

I’m going to break the different scenarios out into separate blog entries, though it could be a very short series as I only have 2 planned so far. Naturally, I’ll add more as and when I encounter them.

CTEs? Ranking and Windowing? What’s that all about?

Good question! I don’t intend on covering the basics here, as there are already a plethora of good articles out there that will do that for you - I want to give you some real world examples instead. If you want to find out more about CTEs, Ranking and Windowing, here are some links for you: