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INTERSECT - Common Between Sets


Introduction

The INTERSECT keyword in TSQL is used to find what is common between two datasets. The two datasets must have the same number of columns in them and use the same datatypes. The datasets must also have the columns in the same comparative order. The INTERSECT T-SQL Expression places the INTERSECT keyword between two datasets. By using the INTERSECT keyword between two datasets, TSQL will return a new dataset that just contains the common area between both datasets. The INTERSECT keyword is often used in this fashion:

  • SELECT col1,col2,coln... FROM table1 '[DataSet #1]
  • INTERSECT
  • SELECT col1,col2,coln... FROM table2 '[DataSet #2]

image of intersection of two datasets
The above image represents the use of INTERSECT between two datasets. The top circle (red) represents the first dataset, and the bottom circle (blue) represents the second dataset. The overlapping area (green) is the section that is common to both datasets. By using the INTERSECT keyword between two datasets (red & blue circles), TSQL will return a new dataset that just contains the common area between both datasets (Green Overlapping Area).


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