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Select columns as rows

I have a table with four fixed columns, which have to be converted as rows in the SQL output.

I have a table like this:

COLA COLB COLC COLD
 1    2    3    4
 5    6    7    8

And I need SQL output like the following:

COLX COLY
 A    1
 A    5
 B    2
 B    6
 C    3
 C    7
 D    4
 D    8

So I have four fixed columns, which have to be converted as rows.

This can be done with a UNION, with one SELECT per column:

select 'A'  as COLX 
     , COLA as COLY
  from yourtable 
union all 
select 'B'
     , COLB 
  from yourtable 
union all 
select 'C'
     , COLC 
  from yourtable 
union all 
select 'D'
     , COLD 
  from yourtable
order 
    by COLX, COLY
This was last published in January 2006

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