COALESCE function

The COALESCE function takes two or more compatible arguments and returns the first argument that is not null.

The result is null only if all the arguments are null.

If all the parameters of the function call are dynamic, an error occurs.

Note: A synonym for COALESCE is VALUE. VALUE is accepted by SQLFire but is not recognized by the SQL standard.

Syntax

COALESCE ( expression, expression [, expression]* )

The function must have at least two arguments.

Example

ij> -- create table with three different integer types
ij> create table temp(smallintcol smallint, bigintcol bigint, intcol integer);
0 rows inserted/updated/deleted

ij> insert into temp values (1, null, null);
1 row inserted/updated/deleted
ij> insert into temp values (null, 2, null);
1 row inserted/updated/deleted
ij> insert into temp values (null, null, 3);
1 row inserted/updated/deleted

ij> select * from temp;
SMALL&|BIGINTCOL           |INTCOL     
---------------------------------------
1     |NULL                |NULL       
NULL  |2                   |NULL       
NULL  |NULL                |3          

3 rows selected

ij> -- the return data type of coalesce is bigint
ij> select coalesce (smallintcol, bigintcol) from temp;
1                   
--------------------
1                   
2                   
NULL                

3 rows selected

ij> -- the return data type of coalesce is bigint
ij> select coalesce (smallintcol, bigintcol, intcol) from temp;
1
--------------------
1
2
3 

3 rows selected

ij> -- the return data type of coalesce is integer
ij> select coalesce (smallintcol, intcol) from temp;
1          
-----------
1          
NULL       
3          

3 rows selected