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Posted 23 Feb 2008


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A Customized Crosstab Report

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23 Feb 2008CPOL8 min read
An approach on how to organize your data into tables that will help you generate large ‘Crosstab’ Reports using SQL Server.


This topic gives you a new approach on how to organize your data into tables that will help you generate large "Crosstab" Reports using SQL Server 2000/2005. This is a custom solution and does not use and PIVOT/UNPIVOT options which are available in SQL Server 2005.


Recently, I came cross a new problem where I needed to generate a crosstab report that had to pull data for 48 months back in time from the current month, where the report had to calculate and give various amounts like the "Year To Date," "Advances," "Paid Amount," "Recovered Amount," "Adjustment Amount" and "Balance" for each month. This information had to be provided for each "Service Provider." In short, I needed to create a report with data spanning across 250 columns as a crosstab report. Please do not look at the numbers and sum the totals. They will not match. The data tables are given to support the concept and approach. Given below is a sample report format for a period of three months:

Service Providers' TotalYTD ($)Adv. Amt.Paid Amt.Rec. Amt.Adj. Amt.Bal. Amt.Adv. Amt.Paid Amt.Rec. Amt.Adj. Amt.Bal. Amt.
Periods 1-Jan-03 1-Jan-03 1-Jan-03 1-Jan-03 1-Jan-03 1-Dec-07 1-Dec-07 1-Dec-07 1-Dec-07 1-Dec-07


1312 800 150 12 300 362 1300 500 100 300 600


4080 800 200 0 20 580 4000 700 350 0 3650
P1003 8605 800 300 300 20 780 9000 1900 200 0 7300


3325 800 100 0 75 625 3000 2500 1000 0 1500


8105 800 125 0 20 655 7000 100 0900 6000

This basic requirement makes the report a bit complicated to generate, as we are still using SQL 2000 and the PIVOT/UNPIVOT option is not available out of the box. The other things that make this report complex are:

  1. Unavailability of XML data types and XML data manipulation
  2. Unavailability of Object data types as Column types, as available in Oracle 8 and above

The Solution

If not the XML data types, the Object data types kind of violate the First Normal Form (1NF) where a relation must contain only atomic values in each row and column. This relationship of an Object data type column with the primary key is a one to many relationship. We can also see this as a nested table scenario where the primary key maps to an in-memory object which is a table by itself.

Keeping the basics in mind, I kind of looked for several options to implement a solution without writing 1000 of lines of T-SQL Code. Finally I arrived at this solution below.

Let us see this approach through an example before we start to look at the actual SQL Tables, Stored Procedures and Functions that I created to generate this report.

The most important concept that helped solve this issue is "Pointers." So, what is a Pointer? A Pointer is an address of a memory location where the "Data" is present. In a "C/C++ Language" perspective this data is an Instance of a "Structure," a "Class" or any other basic data type.

Other basic concepts of RDBMS that helped solve this issue are the "Unique Index" and the "Primary Keys."

By tying these two programming constructs and database concepts together, I have implemented this approach in getting the "Crosstab" report.

Source Data for the Report

Given below is a summary of the structured data that needs to be presented as a Crosstab report as mentioned above. In reality the different amount/values come from three different sources/tables and not from a single table. To keep it simple, I have listed all different amount/ $value columns along with their provider and process period (2007/12 to 2007/07) in one single table. This table is a single table representation of tblClaims table that you will see in the example.

S. No Service Provider Process Period Advance Paid Received Adjustment
1 P1001 200712 $48.39 $138.61 $187.00 $30.00
2 P1002 200712 $142.97 $107.03 $250.00 $30.00
3 P1003 200712 $40.46 $76.54 $117.00 $128.00
4 P1004 200712 $11.83 $100.17 $112.00 $9.05
5 P1005 200712 $9.88 $145.12 $155.00 $9.05
6 P1001 200711 $3.00 $23.00 $26.00 $89.35
7 P1002 200711 $1,210.05 $689.95 $1,900.00 $8.15
8 P1003 200711 $9.05 $20.95 $30.00 $113.60
9 P1004 200711 $9.05 $20.95 $30.00 $0.13
10 P1005 200711 $9.05 $20.95 $30.00 $51.18
11 P1001 200710 $89.35 $38.65 $128.00 $39.84
12 P1002 200710 $8.15 $20.45 $28.60 $19.27
13 P1003 200710 $18.88 $39.12 $58.00 $519.00
14 P1004 200710 $28.73 $19.27 $48.00 $69.00
15 P1005 200710 $9.44 $19.56 $29.00 $163.00
16 P1001 200709 $28.73 $19.27 $48.00 $36.40
17 P1002 200709 $126.18 $223.82 $350.00 $113.60
18 P1003 200709 $82.74 $287.26 $370.00 $0.13
19 P1004 200709 $192.06 $265.44 $457.50 $51.18
20 P1005 200709 $960.32 $869.68 $1,830.00 $39.84
21 P1001 200708 $19.09 $135.91 $155.00 $126.18
22 P1002 200708 $3.00 $23.00 $26.00 $82.74
23 P1003 200708 $57.67 $461.33 $519.00 $192.06
24 P1004 200708 $48.39 $20.61 $69.00 $20.61
25 P1005 200708 $49.40 $113.60 $163.00 $113.60
26 P1001 200707 $36.27 $0.13 $36.40 $0.13
27 P1002 200707 $22.82 $51.18 $74.00 $56.66
28 P1003 200707 $35.16 $39.84 $75.00 $22.82
29 P1004 200707 $33.91 $26.09 $60.00 $5.49
30 P1005 200707 $98.17 $73.83 $172.00 $5.49

Implementation Details to this Approach

As mentioned in the problem definition, this report needs to present 6 different amount/$ values for a period of 48 months. It is not too hard to build a table with so many columns (250+) and pretty much most of the RDBMS like SQL Server support this and bring the same back into reports. But the basic idea is to PIVOT/Transform the data of "Rows of Process Period" into Data of "Process Period Columns." The way I have implemented this solution is by using "Concepts and Language Constructs," as I have mentioned above in the "The Solution" section of this article.

As part of the solution I had to create two tables. The First table is called CrosstabXRef. The structure of this table is given below:

Table Name: CrosstabXRef

S. No Column Name Data type Primary Key Is Null
1 SvcProvider char (10) YES (Unique Index) NO
2 RecGeneratedDate datetime NO NO
3 Period48 uniqueidentifier NO YES
4 Period47 uniqueidentifier NO YES
5 Period46 uniqueidentifier NO YES
6 uniqueidentifier NO YES
7 uniqueidentifier NO YES
8 uniqueidentifier NO YES
9 Period02 uniqueidentifier NO YES
10 Period01 uniqueidentifier NO YES

Note the data type of the columns (Period48, Period47, Period46, ..., Period02, Period01). All these columns are of type uniqueidentifier that will hold a unique value which maps to a record in the table CrosstabLookup given below.

Table Name: CrosstabLookup

S. No Column Name Data type Primary Key Is Null
1 PeriodIdentifier uniqueidentifier YES NO
2 Advance numeric NO YES
3 Paid numeric NO YES
4 Received numeric NO YES
5 Adjustment numeric NO YES
6 Balance numeric NO YES

So, how are these two tables related? The answer is on the data type of the Period## columns that are there in these two tables. If you have guessed it correctly, yes the GUID value that is returned as part of the =NEWID () method is stored as data values of these uniqueidentifier data typed columns.

When a record is present as part of the "Claims" payment and adjustment selection of a given "Period" and "Service Provider" an entry will be made into this CrosstabLookup table. And this process will be continued for the selected "48" months window. If there is no activity for a particular "Svc Provider" for a specific "Period" then no record will be inserted into this lookup table. But that situation is unlikely to happen as Advance is paid to the "Svc Provider" every month.

So in a nutshell, the data in the database will look as depicted in the diagram below:


For achieving this, I have to create two DB Objects, one Stored procedure to construct the above mentioned two tables and one function to return the data stored in the CrosstabLookup based on the uniqueidentifier and an Index.

The SQL code block is the Stored Procedure that I have created which will load the data into CrosstabLookup and CrosstabXRef. The name of this stored procedure is spProcessClaimsCrosstabMaping.

CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.spProcessClaimsCrosstabMaping


    Declare @SvcProv         varchar(10)
    Declare @Advance        numeric
    Declare @PaidAmt        numeric
    Declare @RecAmt        numeric
    Declare @AdjAmt        numeric
    Declare @GUID            uniqueidentifier
    Declare @DynamicSQL        varchar(3000)
    Declare @ProcessPeriod        numeric
    Declare @YearPart        Varchar(4)
    Declare @MonthPart        Varchar(2)
    Declare @CharYear        Varchar(6)
    Declare    @StartDate        datetime
    Declare @EndDate        datetime

    Select distinct ServiceProvider from tblClaims

    OPEN SvcProvCursor

    FETCH NEXT FROM SvcProvCursor INTO @SvcProv

        --SET @ProcessPeriod = 200706
        SET @EndDate = GETDATE()
        SET @StartDate = DATEADD(mm,-12, @EndDate)

        SET @DynamicSQL = ' INSERT INTO dbo.CrosstabXRef ' +  ' values (''' + _
            @SvcProv + ''',''' + CAST(@StartDate AS Varchar(20)) + ''','

        WHILE (@StartDate <= @EndDate)

            SET @YearPart = CAST(DATEPART(yyyy, @StartDate) AS VARCHAR(4))
            SET @MonthPart = CAST(DATEPART(mm, @StartDate) AS VARCHAR(2))
            IF LEN(@MonthPart) = 1
                SET @MonthPart = '0' + @MonthPart

            SET @CharYear = @YearPart + @MonthPart

            SET @ProcessPeriod  = CAST(@CharYear AS numeric)
            --PRINT @ProcessPeriod

            SET @GUID = NULL

            Select @Advance = Advance ,
            @PaidAmt =  Paid , @RecAmt = Received,
            @AdjAmt = Adjustment
            from tblClaims tc where tc.ProcessDate =  @ProcessPeriod and

            if @@ROWCOUNT = 1
                SET @GUID = NEWID()
                --PRINT  @GUID

                INSERT INTO  dbo.CrosstabLookup
    --                ("PeriodIdentifier", "Advance", "Paid", "Received", "Adjustment")
                    (@GUID, @Advance, @PaidAmt, @RecAmt, @AdjAmt)

                SET @DynamicSQL =  @DynamicSQL  + '''' +  _
                    CAST(@GUID AS varchar(64)) + ''''
            ELSE    --END OF IF BLOCK

                -- IN THE MAPPING TABLE
                SET @DynamicSQL =  @DynamicSQL  + 'NULL'

            END    --END OF ELSE BLOCK

            if (@StartDate <> @EndDate)
                IF (@GUID <> NULL)
                    SET @DynamicSQL =  @DynamicSQL + ''','
                    SET @DynamicSQL =  @DynamicSQL + ','

            SET @StartDate = DATEADD(mm,1, @StartDate)


            IF (@GUID <> NULL)
                SET @DynamicSQL =  @DynamicSQL + ''')'
                SET @DynamicSQL =  @DynamicSQL + ')'

        --PRINT @DynamicSQL
        PRINT 'WORKING....!!'
        EXEC (@DynamicSQL)

        FETCH NEXT FROM SvcProvCursor INTO @SvcProv
    CLOSE SvcProvCursor

The second function that I have created to present the data is called fnClaimsCrosstabHpr. This will help us get the $ Values based on the PeriodIdentifier, which is indirectly mapped to a Service Provider.

CREATE  FUNCTION dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(@PeriodId uniqueidentifier, @ColumnIndes int)
    Declare @Amount float

    if (@ColumnIndes = 1) Select  @Amount=_
            Advance from CrosstabLookup where PeriodIdentifier = @PeriodId
    if (@ColumnIndes = 2) Select  @Amount=_
            Paid from CrosstabLookup where PeriodIdentifier = @PeriodId
    if (@ColumnIndes = 3) Select  @Amount=_
            Received from CrosstabLookup where PeriodIdentifier = @PeriodId
    if (@ColumnIndes = 4) Select  @Amount=_
            Adjustment from CrosstabLookup where PeriodIdentifier = @PeriodId


The next step is to execute the Stored Procedure to populate the data into CrosstabLookup and CrosstabXRef tables. Once this is complete, the next step is to generate the report itself. Given below is a sample query that will help generate a table of data for the Crosstab report. This data will be directly exported to Excel for further analysis.

select SvcProvider, RecGeneratedDate,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period48, 1) AS Advance_48,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period48, 2) AS Paid_48,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period48, 3) AS Received_48,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period48, 4) AS Adjustment_48,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period47, 1) AS Advance_47,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period47, 2) AS Paid_47,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period47, 3) AS Received_47,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period47, 4) AS Adjustment_47,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period01, 1) AS Advance_01,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period01, 2) AS Paid_01,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period01, 3) AS Received_01,
dbo.fnClaimsCrosstabHpr(Period01, 4) AS Adjustment_01
from CrosstabXRef


Attached is a copy of the SQL Script and SQL Objects that are listed as part of this article for download.


For writing this article, I had to make few changes to the actual tables and SQL DB objects. I hope the changes I have made have not caused differences making this document unclear to read. If you have any questions please write to me. I will try to address them.

Enjoy learning by reading.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
United States United States
An Architect / Technical Project Lead worked on various Microsoft technologies starting C++/MFC/ATL-COM/C# .NET, SQL Server. Also used Oracle as the DB Server for various projects and have one project experience on Java/J2EE technology as well.

Currently working as a consultant, building applications using ASP.NET (C#), SQL, DTS and MS SQL Server.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralFormatting the cross tab Styles dynamically Pin
da_dhanaraj5-Nov-08 4:18
da_dhanaraj5-Nov-08 4:18 
Generalcrystal report Pin
sonia100nu22-Apr-08 21:33
sonia100nu22-Apr-08 21:33 

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