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SQL query to combine rows

Expert Rudy Limeback explains how to write a query in SQL that will combine rows in a table.

Suppose there is a table as below:

SkillName SkillCode Beginner Proficient Experienced 
Java        001         2         0          0 
Java        001         0         3          0 
Java        001         0         0          1

The above table suggests that for the skill Java, there are 2 Beginners, 3 Proficient and 1 Experienced people. I need to write a query which will query the above table and retrieve the results in the form given below, combining the rows:

SkillName SkillCode Beginner Proficient Experienced 
Java        001         2         3          1

Can you explain me as to how to go about this? An example would be much better. Thanks in advance.

The best example to explain this concept is your own:

SELECT SkillName 
     , SkillCode 
     , SUM(Beginner)    AS Beginner     
     , SUM(Proficient)  AS Proficient   
     , SUM(Experienced) AS Experienced   
  FROM yourtable
GROUP
    BY SkillName 
     , SkillCode

To understand how this query works, you will need to do some research on two concepts: GROUP BY and aggregate functions, specifically SUM(). Every basic SQL tutorial or textbook will cover these concepts in sufficient detail.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of SQL.

This was last published in July 2008

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