This is truly an amazing feature to add to SQL Server 2014. I use table variables all the time and this was the only thing I didn’t like about them. Up to this point, SQL Server did not support having non-clustered indexes on table variables (the one with the name that starts with the @). If you wanted to do this, you had to create/use a temp table (the one with the name that starts with #).
With SQL Server 2014, they changed this and now allow the table variables to have non-clustered indexes as well. To do this, we simply add a little bit of extra code after the column declaration.
The OUTPUT clause is an amazing part of SQL Server that many people do not know about. As corny as it is, I still remember the day that I found it. I had been searching for the whole day trying to figure out how to get the identity values from a large amount of data that I just inserted in to the database. There had to be a way… right? After searching and searching, I gave up and just accepted that it is not possible… a few days later I found exactly what I was looking for… the OUTPUT clause.
The OUTPUT clause is a part of the query that will return data from before or after the operations is completed. Let’s say that you inserted data in to a table and you wanted the ID column values (which are auto-numbers). The OUTPUT clause gives you this information! It can work on INSERT, DELETE, UPDATE, and MERGE statements. I will take you through examples of each.
To access the data that is being altered in your sql statement, you need to use special column prefixes that SQL Server makes available to you. The two special prefixes are “inserted” and “deleted”. During an insert statement, the inserted prefix is available for you to use. During a delete statement, the deleted prefix is available to you. During the update and merge statements, both the deleted and inserted prefixes are available to you. In these cases, the deleted represents the data before it was changed and the inserted represents the data after it was changed.
One thing to note is that the data being outputted must go in to a table or table variable.
OUTPUT Clause On An INSERT Statement
-- Insert into the table and stick the resulting animal