SQL Server XQuery: MORE deleting nodes using .modify()

So after my last post, my developer friend came back to me and noted that I hadn’t really demonstrated the situation we had discussed; our work was a little more challenging than the sample script I had provided.  In contrast to what I previously posted, the challenge was to delete nodes where a sub-node contained an attribute of interest.  Let me repost the same sample code as an illustration:

  <class teacher="Smith" grade="5">
    <student name="Ainsworth" />
    <student name="Miller" />
  <class teacher="Jones" grade="5">
    <student name="Davis" />
    <student name="Mark" />
  <class teacher="Smith" grade="4">
    <student name="Baker" />
    <student name="Smith" />


If I wanted to delete the class nodes which contain a student node with a name of “Miller”, there are a couple of ways to do it; the first method involves two passes:

SET @X.modify('delete /root/class//.[@name = "Miller"]/../*')
SET @X.modify('delete /root/class[not (node())]')

In this case, we walk the axis and find a node test of class (/root/class); we then apply a predicate to look for an attribute of name with a value of Miller ([@name=”Miller”]) in any node below the node of class (//.).  We then walk back up a node (/..), and delete all subnodes (/*).

That leaves us with an XML document that has three nodes for class, one of which is empty (the first one).  We then have to do a second pass through the XML document to delete any class node that does not have nodes below it (/root/class[not (node())]).

The second method accomplishes the same thing in a single pass:

SET @x.modify('delete /root/class[student/@name="Miller"]')

In this case, walk the axis to class (/root/class), and then apply a predicate that looks for a node of student with an attribute of name with a value of Miller ([student/@name=”Miller”); the difference in this syntax is that the pointer for the context of the delete statement is left at the specific class as opposed to stepping down a node, and then back up.

March 13, 2014 · stuart · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: SQL Server, SQLServerPedia Syndication, XML

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