How to: Use Table-Valued User-Defined Functions

A table-valued function returns a single rowset (unlike stored procedures, which can return multiple result shapes). Because the return type of a table-valued function is Table, you can use a table-valued function anywhere in SQL that you can use a table. You can also treat the table-valued function just as you would a table.

Example

The following SQL function explicitly states that it returns a TABLE. Therefore, the returned rowset structure is implicitly defined.

CREATE FUNCTION ProductsCostingMoreThan(@cost money)  
RETURNS TABLE  
AS  
RETURN  
    SELECT ProductID, UnitPrice  
    FROM Products  
    WHERE UnitPrice > @cost  

LINQ to SQL maps the function as follows:

[Function(Name="dbo.ProductsCostingMoreThan", IsComposable=true)]
public IQueryable<ProductsCostingMoreThanResult> ProductsCostingMoreThan([Parameter(DbType="Money")] System.Nullable<decimal> cost)
{
    return this.CreateMethodCallQuery<ProductsCostingMoreThanResult>(this, ((MethodInfo)(MethodInfo.GetCurrentMethod())), cost);
}
   <FunctionAttribute(Name:="dbo.ProductsCostingMoreThan", IsComposable:=True)> _
Public Function ProductsCostingMoreThan(<Parameter(DbType:="Money")> ByVal cost As System.Nullable(Of Decimal)) As IQueryable(Of ProductsCostingMoreThanResult)
       Return Me.CreateMethodCallQuery(Of ProductsCostingMoreThanResult)(Me, CType(MethodInfo.GetCurrentMethod, MethodInfo), cost)
   End Function

Example

The following SQL code shows that you can join to the table that the function returns and otherwise treat it as you would any other table:

SELECT p2.ProductName, p1.UnitPrice  
FROM dbo.ProductsCostingMoreThan(80.50)  
AS p1 INNER JOIN Products AS p2 ON p1.ProductID = p2.ProductID  

In LINQ to SQL, the query would be rendered as follows:

        var q =
from p in db.ProductsCostingMoreThan(80.50m)
join s in db.Products on p.ProductID equals s.ProductID
select new { p.ProductID, s.UnitPrice };
    Dim q = _
From p In db.ProductsCostingMoreThan(80.5), p1 In db.Products _
Where p.ProductID = p1.ProductID _
Select p.ProductID, p1.UnitPrice

See Also

User-Defined Functions