SQL Server : Reusing T-SQL Code – How Reusing Code Improves its Robustness

Rather than repeat the same logic in multiple places, we need to refactor the common functionality out of our two stored procedures. We can implement the definition of “sales for a given month” in an inline UDF, as shown in Listing 1.

Listing 1. Implementing the definition of “sales for a given month” in an inline UDF.


This new inline UDF can then be used in both stored procedures.

Listing 2. Utilizing the new inline function in our two stored procedures.



Can we reuse the definition of the reporting period in other queries against other tables? We can at least try to go one step further and have one module define our reporting period and do nothing else. As usual, we should verify that the performance is still acceptable. The code in Listing 3 shows how to implement the definition of reporting period as an inline UDF.

Listing 3. An inline UDF that implements the definition of a reporting period.


We can utilize this inline UDF when we implement the “sales for a given month” functionality.

Listing 4. Altering SalesPerStateForMonth to utilize the new MonthReportingPeriodStart function.



Alternatively, we can use a scalar UDF to implement the definition of reporting period, as shown in Listing 5.

Listing 5. Scalar UDF which implements the definition of reporting period.


We also have to change our SalesForMonth function, so that it utilizes our new scalar UDF, as shown in Listing 6.

Listing 6. Altering SalesForMonth to utilize the new scalar UDF MonthReportingPeriodStart.


Note that the new implementation of SalesForMonth is simpler than the previous one): instead of using the CROSS APPLY clause to utilize the inline UDF, we can just invoke the scalar UDF directly in the WHERE clause.

The basic fact remains, however, that implementing the same logic in multiple places increases the possibility of bugs when our requirements change. Instead, we should aim for sensible code reuse wherever possible, and UDFs are just one of the means to achieve this.

Over the coming sections, we’ll discuss other ways in which we can reuse T-SQL code, as dictated by the given circumstances. Overall, reusing code is a very important component of defensive programming, and I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much it can improve the robustness of our code.