Using sql update statement instead of cursor

I've seen too many instances where a cursor can be simply rewritten as an update statement.

I was working at a client site where one of their process calls a stored procedure that uses a cursor do some updates.  That stored procedure would run over the weekend to update about 2000 records and bog down the production SQL (You'd think I was joking).  We re-write the stored procedure.  Granted, the update itself is about 50 lines with 5 tables, subqueries, and left outer joins, but we got the stored procedure to perform the exact updates in 35 seconds.

A performance improvement of how many percent?  I don't even know how to compare.

This link only shows you how to update 1 table: 

You can find more detailed (and better) tutorial here:

The following is a quick reference for myself. 

UPDATE table1

SET table1.field1 = table2.field2

FROM table1, table2, table3


Print | posted on Friday, September 11, 2009 10:36 AM


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