Shape XML with nested FOR XML queries

Applies to: SQL Server Azure SQL Database Azure SQL Managed Instance

The following example queries the Production.Product table to retrieve the ListPrice and StandardCost values of a specific product. To make the query interesting, both prices are returned in a <Price> element, and each <Price> element has a PriceType attribute.


This is the expected shape of the XML:

<xsd:schema xmlns:schema="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:sql:SqlRowSet2" xmlns:xsd="" xmlns:sqltypes="" targetNamespace="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:sql:SqlRowSet2" elementFormDefault="qualified">
  <xsd:import namespace="" schemaLocation="" />
  <xsd:element name="Production.Product" type="xsd:anyType" />
<Production.Product xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:sql:SqlRowSet2" ProductID="520">
  <Price xmlns="" PriceType="ListPrice">133.34</Price>
  <Price xmlns="" PriceType="StandardCost">98.77</Price>

This is the nested FOR XML query:

USE AdventureWorks2022;
SELECT Product.ProductID,
          (SELECT 'ListPrice' as PriceType,
                   CAST(CAST(ListPrice as NVARCHAR(40)) as XML)
           FROM    Production.Product Price
           WHERE   Price.ProductID=Product.ProductID
           FOR XML AUTO, TYPE),
          (SELECT  'StandardCost' as PriceType,
                   CAST(CAST(StandardCost as NVARCHAR(40)) as XML)
           FROM    Production.Product Price
           WHERE   Price.ProductID=Product.ProductID
           FOR XML AUTO, TYPE)
FROM Production.Product
WHERE ProductID=520

Note the following from the previous query:

  • The outer SELECT statement constructs the <Product> element that has a ProductID attribute and two <Price> child elements.

  • The two inner SELECT statements construct two <Price> elements, each with a PriceType attribute and XML that returns the product price.

  • The XMLSCHEMA directive in the outer SELECT statement generates the inline XSD schema that describes the shape of the resulting XML.

To make the query interesting, you can write the FOR XML query and then write an XQuery against the result to reshape the XML, as shown in the following query:

( SELECT p2.ListPrice, p2.StandardCost
   FROM Production.Product p2
   WHERE Product.ProductID = p2.ProductID
   FOR XML AUTO, ELEMENTS XSINIL, type ).query('
                                   for $p in /p2/*
                                    <Price PriceType = "{local-name($p)}">
                                     { data($p) }
FROM Production.Product
WHERE ProductID = 520

The previous example uses the query() method of the xml data type to query the XML returned by the inner FOR XML query and construct the expected result.

This is the result:

<Production.Product ProductID="520">
  <Price PriceType="ListPrice">133.3400</Price>
  <Price PriceType="StandardCost">98.7700</Price>

See also