include only attributes of a record which are not null

sqlbulkcopy sql-server tsql

Question

Dear people from stackoverflow

I'm currently working on a mechanism to export data out of a database. Every record has roughly 30 attributes and I only want to export those attributes which do have an actual value.

If the explanation is not precise enough, here's an example:

+----+-----------+------------+---------+--------+
| ID | Name      | Profession | Country | Salary |
+----+-----------+------------+---------+--------+
| 1  | John Doe  | NULL       | USA     | 5000   |
+----+-----------+------------+---------+--------+
| 2  | Jane Doe  | Painter    | NULL    | NULL   |
+----+-----------+------------+---------+--------+
| 3  | Jonas Doe | Butcher    | England | 8000   |
+----+-----------+------------+---------+--------+

Expected outputs:
John Doe: John Doe, USA, 5000
Jane Doe: Jane Doe, Painter
Jonas Doe: Jonas Doe, Butcher, England, 8000

These outputs should be generated in an XML file.

This should be possible with every record in the database if possible. I was looking for a function that would check if an attribute has a value and depending on that, adds it to the export file or not. Sadly I couldn't find anything like that.

Edit: What i did until now is just writing the query to get all the possible attributes:

CREATE PROCEDURE export @id int AS
BEGIN
SELECT Name,Profession,Country,Salary FROM Employee
WHERE ID = @id;
END
GO

Accepted Answer

You can just select everything from the table you want, using FOR XML PATH.

WITH Employee (ID, [Name], Profession, Country, Salary) AS (
SELECT 1, 'John Doe', NULL, 'USA', 5000 UNION ALL
SELECT 2, 'Jane Doe', 'Painter', NULL, NULL UNION ALL
SELECT 3, 'Jonas Doe', 'Butcher', 'England', 8000
)

SELECT *
FROM Employee
FOR XML PATH

would return

<row>
  <ID>1</ID>
  <Name>John Doe</Name>
  <Country>USA</Country>
  <Salary>5000</Salary>
</row>
<row>
  <ID>2</ID>
  <Name>Jane Doe</Name>
  <Profession>Painter</Profession>
</row>
<row>
  <ID>3</ID>
  <Name>Jonas Doe</Name>
  <Profession>Butcher</Profession>
  <Country>England</Country>
  <Salary>8000</Salary>
</row>

EDIT

WITH Employee (ID, [Name], Profession, Country, Salary) AS (
SELECT 1, 'John Doe', NULL, 'USA', 5000 UNION ALL
SELECT 2, 'Jane Doe', 'Painter', NULL, NULL UNION ALL
SELECT 3, 'Jonas Doe', 'Butcher', 'England', 8000
)

SELECT ID, (SELECT * FROM Employee S WHERE S.ID = M.ID FOR XML PATH) [XML]
FROM Employee M

Would return a row per ID with it's XML data.




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