Create comma delimited list in SQL Server

Many a times need arises to create comma delimited list in SQL Server. This can be done using the DOR XML PATH feature of SQL Server. The FOR XML PATH generates a xml when used with select statement. An example of same is shown below.

DECLARE @tb TABLE(sno int identity,col1 varchar(10))

INSERT INTO @tb VALUES('a'),('b'),('c'),('d')

SELECT ',' + col1 from @tb 
			for xml path('')

The above query creates a table variable and does a simple select on it with FOR XML PATH. The delimiter in our case is a “,”. The output of above query is shown below.

1_create comma delimited list in sql

We get a comma separated list, however we still need to get rid of the first comma before “a”. This can be done using the STUFF function as shown below.

DECLARE @tb TABLE(sno int identity,
	col1 varchar(10))

INSERT INTO @tb VALUES('a'),('b'),('c'),('d')

SELECT 
	STUFF(
			(SELECT ',' + col1 from @tb 
			for xml path('')),
			1,
			1,
			''
		 ) AS Comma_separated_list

The above query removes the annoying “,” and returns below result.

2_create comma delimited list in sql

Do share if you have any other interesting way of solving this issue.

 
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