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Below is a stored proc to count the number of widgets made in a month. If no widgets are made, no records will exists.

The execution plan shows an INNER JOIN of the M and A tables, where in the statement I am doing a LEFT OUTER JOIN.

I would like to count the number of widgets made in a time frame, join that to a month table (Jan-Dec), and have the results shown in an SSRS report. The join is because I cannot COUNT data that isn't there. Currently I am getting:

MonthName   Widget Count
February    2
March       3
April       4
May         6
June        5
July        4 
August      6
September   2
October     4
November    1
December    2

I would like to have the months where no widgets were made included in the list.

Here is the code:

DECLARE @OName varchar(50)

SET @OName = 'John'
SET @Start_Date = '01/01/2012'
SET @End_Date   = '12/31/2012'

SELECT   M.[MonthName]
    ,COUNT(A.[Widget_ID]) AS 'Widget Count'
FROM [Connector].dbo.[Months] AS M 
        LEFT OUTER JOIN  [SERVER].[DATABASE].[dbo].[Widget] AS A
        ON MONTH(A.[Widget_Date]) = M.[MonthID]  
WHERE     (A.[Operator_Name] LIKE '%'+ @OName +'%')
          AND A.[PlantID] = '00000001'
          AND (
               (A.Widget_Date >= @Start_Date AND @End_Date IS NULL)
            OR (A.Widget_Datet <= @End_Date AND @Start_Date IS NULL)
            OR (A.Widget_Date >= @Start_Date AND A.Widget_Date <= @End_Date)
            OR (@Start_Date IS NULL AND @End_Date IS NULL)

GROUP BY  M.[MonthName], M.MonthID 

Below is the execution plan for this query.Execution Plan

::UPDATE1:: I just inserted the names of the months into this table. I cannot change the remote table.

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Months](
    [MonthID] [smallint] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
    [MonthName] [varchar](25) NOT NULL,
INSERT INTO [dbo].[Months]
           (<MonthName, varchar(25),>)

The "widget" table has over 250 fields, that will take me much too long to anonymize.

share|improve this question
Do you have some sample DDL (CREATE TABLE and INSERT INTO commands) for these two tables to test with? – Thomas Stringer Jun 3 '13 at 14:58
Ah sorry, missed the MONTH() function in the JOIN (which probably contributes to a high cost of the remote query, BTW). – Aaron Bertrand Jun 3 '13 at 15:55
How do you control / validate that start date / end date are within the same year and/or are less than 13 months apart? When start date is May 2012 and end date is null, do you expect 8 rows of output, or more? – Aaron Bertrand Jun 3 '13 at 16:19
The start and end date are arbitrary. The report can be run from the beginning of time to a date, or to a date til the end of time. If they run it for 9 years, I will expect 9 years of results to show. There are business rules that the user is following while running this report – RateControl Jun 3 '13 at 17:16
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Your code says you are doing a LEFT OUTER JOIN, but are you really? Your very first WHERE clause (as well as each that follow) filters rows for inclusion from the outer table:

WHERE     (A.[Operator_Name] LIKE '%'+ @OName +'%')

This turns your LEFT OUTER JOIN into an INNER JOIN, whether you meant it or not. Perhaps you meant to move those filters to the ON clause.

Of course I would probably remove the non-sargeable MONTH() function from the JOIN, since this is going to force a complete scan on the remote table, and write it this way instead - also eliminating the join to your local months table:

  @OName      VARCHAR(50) = 'John', 
  @Start_Date DATE = NULL,--'20120101', -- use safe date formats 
  @End_Date   DATE = '20121231'; -- use semi-colons

-- deal with NULLs here so the query is simpler:

SELECT @Start_Date = COALESCE(@Start_Date, '20010101'),
       @End_Date   = COALESCE(@End_Date, CURRENT_TIMESTAMP);

;WITH n(n) AS 
  -- get the # of months you need instead of relying on your Connector table:
  SELECT TOP (DATEDIFF(MONTH, @Start_Date, @End_Date)+1) Number
    FROM master..spt_values
    WHERE [type] = N'P' AND Number >= 0
    ORDER BY Number
), m(m) AS
  -- convert those to months:
  FROM n
  MonthName = DATENAME(MONTH, m.m),
  [Widget Count] = COUNT(w.Widget_ID)
LEFT OUTER JOIN [Server].[Database].dbo.Widget AS w -- meaningful alias
  w.Widget_Date >= m.m
  AND w.Widget_Date < DATEADD(MONTH, 1, m.m) -- open-ended date range query
  AND w.Operator_Name LIKE '%' + @OName + '%'

Just ignore the m column in the output (you can't order by it without including it in the output, and it doesn't make sense to order by the name).

Another suggestion: don't use 'single quotes' as alias delimiters. Forms of this are deprecated and it also makes column alias look like string literals. Use [square brackets] instead.

share|improve this answer
Thank you! That is what I was looking for! I had thought something was going on, just blamed my lack of knowledge. Your answer to my question is correct, now, can you help me achieve the desired output? – RateControl Jun 3 '13 at 15:15
Ha good eyes! +1 – Thomas Stringer Jun 3 '13 at 15:15
@RateControl Encapsulate your current filters on A in parenthesis and add an OR A.JoinKey IS NULL – JNK Jun 3 '13 at 15:16
Ha! Perfect. I haven't run into this before, and didn't know how to deal with it. Thanks so much for your help! – RateControl Jun 3 '13 at 15:20
You just blew my mind with your current edit. Thank so much. – RateControl Jun 3 '13 at 17:18

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