I have a table with 100+ columns, each containing a numeric value that maps to a string value in another table. When trying to create a view for the table that contains these string values, I'm getting a significant performance hit from all the joins. Given that table structures can't be changed, is there a better way to map all these strings in from the other table?

Id  Name    attr1   attr2   attr3   ... attr200
1   First   1       2       4           2
2   Second  3       3       5           1

AttrName    Value   Label
attr1       1       Small
attr1       2       Medium
attr1       3       Large
attr2       1       A
attr2       2       B
attr2       3       C
attr200     1       Purple
attr200     2       Blue
attr200     3       Green

  s1.Label as attr1name,
  s2.Label as attr2name,
  s3.Label as attr3name,
  s200.Label as attr200name
from MyTable t
  left join StringMap s1 on s1.AttrName = 'attr1' and s1.Value = t.attr1
  left join StringMap s2 on s2.AttrName = 'attr2' and s2.Value = t.attr2
  left join StringMap s3 on s3.AttrName = 'attr3' and s3.Value = t.attr3
  left join StringMap s200 on s200.AttrName = 'attr200' and s200.Value = t.attr200
  • 1
    Can you post the execution plan? Do you get performance issues SELECTing the view or the view with a WHERE clause? What version and edition of SQL Server? Row counts for the view and underlying tables?
    – HandyD
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 0:13
  • 3
    you might want to check out dba.stackexchange.com/questions/20759/…
    – SQLRaptor
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 3:28
  • 1
    please post the table schema with indexes. and the execution plan, as HandyD requested. Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 3:46
  • 1
    Please post a minimal reproducible example as per the link - more information is needed here. Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


You could try UnPivoting your data and then Pivoting the results:


Create Table #tbl
Id Int,
[Name] VarChar(20),
attr1 Int,
attr2 Int,
attr3 Int,
attr200 Int
Insert Into #tbl Values

Create Table #StringMap
AttrName VarChar(25),
[Value] Int,
[Label] VarChar(25)
Insert Into #StringMap Values

Query uses CTEs to UnPivot your table to have a single join to your StringMap table. It then Pivots back the results

;With cte As
        id, [name], attr, vals 
  From #tbl
      For attr IN (attr1, attr2, attr3, attr200)
    ) As u
  ), cte1 As
  Select cte.id, cte.[Name], cte.attr, s.[Label] 
  From cte 
  Inner Join #StringMap s 
    On s.[Value] = cte.vals And s.AttrName = cte.attr
Select [Name] As [Name],
       [attr1], [attr2], [attr3], [attr200]
(Select [Name], [Label], attr From cte1) As src
Max(Label) For attr IN ([attr1], [attr2], [attr3], [attr200])

) As piv


Name    attr1   attr2   attr3   attr200
First   Small   B       NULL    Blue
Second  Large   C       NULL    Purple

Note: With so many columns, you'll want to search the site for using dynamic Pivots Such as: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10404348/sql-server-dynamic-pivot-query

  • I was thinking of something like this but the scale of it makes me think that the pivot/unpivot would perform worse (testing needed, of course) than the original. I was thinking that perhaps a columnstore index might help as well. But without the original execution plan and DDL I can't really say. Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 21:13

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