Single T-SQL query to swapping the values of two columns without using temporary column

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How to swap the values of two columns of a table ?

Let me explain the scenario with an example –

Let’s create a table named “Employees” with columns “First_Name” and “Last_Name”. Then populate the table with some fictitious data. Then view the results once and then interchange the values in the “First_Name” and “Last_Name” columns of the table. Then see the results in the table again to verify. The below T-SQL does all this:

Interchanging column values in a table
Interchanging column values in a table

Usually the UPDATE statement as in the above picture gives the impression of the both columns returning the same set of values (here Last_Name column values in both columns). But SQL Server behaves intelligent and interchanges the values in the two columns. It internally stores the values in a temporary column and then does the interchange.

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Happy time until my next blog post.. 🙂


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