Queries inspired by MVA Database Fundamentals course

I’m currently working through Microsoft Virtual Academy’s Database Fundamentals course. I really appreciate how likable these guys are. In fact, I am noticing this as a trend in many of the SQL resources I have been looking into – there are a lot of really relatable, helpful people out their teaching about SQL.  I hope this trend continues!

Anyway, they showed how to make a UNION statement, and in their example they used two select queries pulling results from the same table. I might be wrong, but I think that same query could be done by just making a more complex WHERE clause. However, they said in the video that you could union data from two separate tables if the columns were the same. To test that theory, I first made a duplicate of the

20160612 select into new table and union

The results appeared to come back correct. I was having difficulty yesterday with SQL Server telling me the objectID HumanResources.Employee2 wasn’t valid (I didn’t save the exact error, but it showed up if I hovered over my query), but that has cleared up today. (Because of reboot?) I had planned to continue trying to figure this out, and wondered if it had to do with a lack of primary key or some other strangeness.

Anyway, it was slightly exciting to create my first table using a SELECT / INTO statement, and also to use the UNION clause for the first time. The UNION query is almost identical to the one from the Database Fundamentals class, except for the second “FROM” being the Employee2 table instead of the Employee table.

I think it’s important to know you can create a table using the SELECT/INTO in this way, because when I very first read about this type of query, I understood it to be more like Microsoft Access’ Append query. I think it is like that, except it will create the table if the table doesn’t already exist. That’s pretty cool! That leaves the “CREATE TABLE” query for creating a blank table structure, which is definitely different from Microsoft Access.

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