# Filling Buckets

• A customer had reported an issue with one of our stored procedures so I took a look and found that the developer had used a cursor to implement his solution. Taking the “all cursors are evil” view I thought that I had better rewrite it, however it wasn’t as easy as I hoped.

The problem can be simplified to...

You have a set of buckets, with varying sizes, so of which are already full/partly full. You are then given some more water which you are to use to fill the buckets on a first-come-first-served basis.

This can be modelled with the following table

`create table dbo.Buckets`

`( TotalSizeint not null,`

` Amountint not null,`

` BucketIDint not null,`

`constraint pk_Buckets primary key (BucketID),`

`constraint ck_Buckets_Amount check ( Amount between 0 and TotalSize)`

`)`

`go`

Where

TotalSize = the total amount the bucket can hold

Amount = the amount currently in the bucket

BucketID = unique id for the bucket, and is used to determine the order of the buckets

Example

So if, we had the following 4 buckets

`insert into dbo.Buckets (TotalSize,Amount,BucketID)`

`select 10, 1, 1`

`go`

`insert into dbo.Buckets (TotalSize,Amount,BucketID)`

`select 5, 4, 2`

`go`

`insert into dbo.Buckets (TotalSize,Amount,BucketID)`

`select 10, 0, 3`

`go`

`insert into dbo.Buckets (TotalSize,Amount,BucketID)`

`select 10, 0, 4`

`go`

and we had to allocate 21 units of water we would end up with

Bucket 1=10

Bucket 2 =5

Bucket 3 =10

Bucket 4 =1

My Solution

The solution I came up was to use two update statements, the first one to handle the buckets which would be completely filled, and the second one to partially fill the final bucket.

This seemed to be working well, until I went to look at the issue reported by the customer - they also needed the ability to empty the buckets as well. My best solution so far (below), is to use another two update statements with an “if” statement to control which are to be used.

So my questions are

1.Is this a “standard” problem with a well known solution?

2.Is there a better solution, as I have to use an ‘if’ statement and double-subselects.

3. Is updating the @AmountToAllocate variable in an update statement a good idea?

David

My sql is...

`-- The amount of water was have to allocate`

`declare @AmountToAllocate int`

`set @AmountToAllocate = 21`

`-- 'Before'`

`select * from dbo.Buckets`

`-- If the amount is positive then we are filling the buckets`

`if @AmountToAllocate > 0`

`begin`

`-- Fill these buckets completely, decrease our "amount to allocate" as we go.`

` -- We update just the buckets then we can completely full. If we filled the following bucket then`

` -- we would have exceed the amount of water we have been given to allocate.`

`update dbo.Buckets`

` set Amount = TotalSize,`

` @AmountToAllocate = @AmountToAllocate - (TotalSize - Amount)`

` where Amount != TotalSize`

` and BucketID <= ( select max(B2.BucketID)`

` from dbo.Buckets B2`

` where @AmountToAllocate >= ( select sum(TotalSize - Amount)`

` from dbo.Buckets B3`

`where B3.BucketID <= B2.BucketID`

`)`

` )`

`-- Part fill the remaining bucket`

`update dbo.Buckets`

` set Amount = Amount + @AmountToAllocate`

` where BucketID = ( select min(B.BucketID)`

` from dbo.Buckets B`

` where B.Amount != B.TotalSize)`

`end`

`else`

`begin`

`--We have a negative amount so we are emptying the buckets`

`-- Complete empty buckets`

`update dbo.Buckets`

` set Amount = 0,`

` @AmountToAllocate = @AmountToAllocate + Amount`

` where Amount != 0`

` and BucketID >= ( select min(B2.BucketID)`

` from dbo.Buckets B2`

` where abs(@AmountToAllocate) >= ( select sum(Amount)`

`from dbo.Buckets B3`

`where B3.BucketID >= B2.BucketID`

` )`

` )`

`-- Part empty the remaining bucket`

`update dbo.Buckets`

` set Amount = Amount - abs(@AmountToAllocate)`

` where BucketID = ( select max(B.BucketID)`

` from dbo.Buckets B`

` where B.Amount != 0)`

`end`

`--'After'`

`select * from dbo.Buckets`

• Interesting. I have been working on a similar task. This is to take away sales figures (already sold items) from a set of monthly sales forecast figures.

eg.

Sales Forecast for an item:

Month 1: 200, Sales 450 (already sold items in Month 1)

Month 2: 100 (no Sales beyond current month, only future orders)

Month 3: 100

Month 4: 120

I have to remove 450 from the month buckets, starting at M1.

So the update forecast would be:

M1: 0

M2: 0

M3: 0

M4: 70

There is an added constraint, which is to only only make adjustments up to a certain number of months in the future. eg.

If Months to Consider = 4 then the result would be as above.

But if Months to Consider = 3 then the result for Month 4 would remain at the original 120. The extra 70 from the Sales would become part of the original Sales forecast.

Orders (not shown) as opposed to Sales also affect the forecast.

Got no code to show, but it is similar to what you have shown.

But I ended up using a cursor around the procedure because I have 6,000 item forecasts to process. (I couldn't work out how to do the sub-selects without the cursor, and was running out of time).

I have not found anything much better than what you have shown. If I had some more time I would investigate, as I can't help feeling there may be some "Tally table" solution to this.

• I think this is a running totals problem, have a look here

http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/T-SQL/68467/

If you are using SQL Server 2012, you can use the built-in windowing functions

`DECLARE @ToAllocate INT = 21;`

`WITH CTE AS (`

`SELECT TotalSize,`

` Amount,`

` BucketID,`

` TotalSize - Amount AS Remaining,`

` SUM(TotalSize - Amount) OVER (ORDER BY BucketID ROWS UNBOUNDED PRECEDING) AS Remaining_RunningTotal`

`FROM dbo.Buckets)`

`SELECT TotalSize,`

` Amount,`

` BucketID,`

` CASE WHEN Remaining_RunningTotal <= @ToAllocate`

` THEN Remaining`

` ELSE @ToAllocate - Remaining_RunningTotal + Remaining`

` END AS AmountToAdd`

`FROM CTE`

`WHERE Remaining_RunningTotal - Remaining < @ToAllocate`

`ORDER BY BucketID;`

____________________________________________________

Deja View - The strange feeling that somewhere, sometime you've optimised this query before

http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537 • The first looks more like a bin packing problem to me:

http://sqlblog.com/blogs/hugo_kornelis/archive/2007/11/30/bin-packing-part-1-setting-a-baseline.aspx

There's a series of 5 articles by Hugo Kornelis at this link (to the first). Very complicated, but the fastest solutions typically involve a set-based loop of some sort.

You didn't mention if speed is an issue for you. The CURSOR will work OK as long as you don't have too many buckets to fill.

My mantra: No loops! No CURSORs! No RBAR! Hoo-uh![/I]

My thought question: Have you ever been told that your query runs too fast?

INDEXing a poor-performing query is like putting sugar on cat food. Yeah, it probably tastes better but are you sure you want to eat it?
The path of least resistance can be a slippery slope. Take care that fixing your fixes of fixes doesn't snowball and end up costing you more than fixing the root cause would have in the first place.

Need to UNPIVOT? Why not CROSS APPLY VALUES instead?[/url]
Since random numbers are too important to be left to chance, let's generate some![/url]
Learn to understand recursive CTEs by example.[/url]
[url url=http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/St

• Thanks for the links guys. Obviously wasn't looking hard enough.

🙂

• Using the sample data provided, a simple calculation rCTE works fine with both positive and negative numbers.

`DECLARE @AmountToAllocate INT = 21 `

`;WITH Calculator AS (`

`SELECT`

`BucketID, TotalSize, Amount,`

`AmountLeftToAllocate = CASE`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate > (TotalSize - Amount) THEN @AmountToAllocate - (TotalSize - Amount)`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(@AmountToAllocate) > Amount THEN Amount + @AmountToAllocate`

`ELSE 0 END,`

`NewAmount = CASE`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate > (TotalSize - Amount) THEN TotalSize`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(@AmountToAllocate) > Amount THEN 0`

`ELSE Amount + @AmountToAllocate END`

`FROM dbo.Buckets`

`WHERE BucketID = 1`

`UNION ALL`

`SELECT`

`tr.BucketID, tr.TotalSize, tr.Amount,`

`AmountLeftToAllocate = CASE`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate > (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount) THEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate - (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount)`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(lr.AmountLeftToAllocate) > tr.Amount THEN tr.Amount + lr.AmountLeftToAllocate`

`ELSE 0 END,`

`NewAmount = CASE`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate > (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount) THEN tr.TotalSize`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(lr.AmountLeftToAllocate) > tr.Amount THEN 0`

`ELSE tr.Amount + lr.AmountLeftToAllocate END`

`FROM dbo.Buckets tr`

`INNER JOIN Calculator lr ON lr.BucketID + 1 = tr.BucketID`

`)`

`SELECT`

`BucketID,`

`TotalSize,`

`Amount = NewAmount,`

`OldAmount = Amount`

`FROM Calculator`

“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw

Understanding and using APPLY, (I) and (II) Paul White
Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop Jeff Moden

• ChrisM@Work (9/11/2012)

Using the sample data provided, a simple calculation rCTE works fine with both positive and negative numbers.

`DECLARE @AmountToAllocate INT = 21 `

`;WITH Calculator AS (`

`SELECT`

`BucketID, TotalSize, Amount,`

`AmountLeftToAllocate = CASE`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate > (TotalSize - Amount) THEN @AmountToAllocate - (TotalSize - Amount)`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(@AmountToAllocate) > Amount THEN Amount + @AmountToAllocate`

`ELSE 0 END,`

`NewAmount = CASE`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate > (TotalSize - Amount) THEN TotalSize`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(@AmountToAllocate) > Amount THEN 0`

`ELSE Amount + @AmountToAllocate END`

`FROM dbo.Buckets`

`WHERE BucketID = 1`

`UNION ALL`

`SELECT`

`tr.BucketID, tr.TotalSize, tr.Amount,`

`AmountLeftToAllocate = CASE`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate > (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount) THEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate - (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount)`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(lr.AmountLeftToAllocate) > tr.Amount THEN tr.Amount + lr.AmountLeftToAllocate`

`ELSE 0 END,`

`NewAmount = CASE`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate > (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount) THEN tr.TotalSize`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(lr.AmountLeftToAllocate) > tr.Amount THEN 0`

`ELSE tr.Amount + lr.AmountLeftToAllocate END`

`FROM dbo.Buckets tr`

`INNER JOIN Calculator lr ON lr.BucketID + 1 = tr.BucketID`

`)`

`SELECT`

`BucketID,`

`TotalSize,`

`Amount = NewAmount,`

`OldAmount = Amount`

`FROM Calculator`

Nice one Chris! For some reason I just couldn't wrap my head around solving it that way.

My mantra: No loops! No CURSORs! No RBAR! Hoo-uh![/I]

My thought question: Have you ever been told that your query runs too fast?

INDEXing a poor-performing query is like putting sugar on cat food. Yeah, it probably tastes better but are you sure you want to eat it?
The path of least resistance can be a slippery slope. Take care that fixing your fixes of fixes doesn't snowball and end up costing you more than fixing the root cause would have in the first place.

Need to UNPIVOT? Why not CROSS APPLY VALUES instead?[/url]
Since random numbers are too important to be left to chance, let's generate some![/url]
Learn to understand recursive CTEs by example.[/url]
[url url=http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/St

• dwain.c (9/11/2012)

ChrisM@Work (9/11/2012)

Using the sample data provided, a simple calculation rCTE works fine with both positive and negative numbers.

`DECLARE @AmountToAllocate INT = 21 `

`;WITH Calculator AS (`

`SELECT`

`BucketID, TotalSize, Amount,`

`AmountLeftToAllocate = CASE`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate > (TotalSize - Amount) THEN @AmountToAllocate - (TotalSize - Amount)`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(@AmountToAllocate) > Amount THEN Amount + @AmountToAllocate`

`ELSE 0 END,`

`NewAmount = CASE`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate > (TotalSize - Amount) THEN TotalSize`

`WHEN @AmountToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(@AmountToAllocate) > Amount THEN 0`

`ELSE Amount + @AmountToAllocate END`

`FROM dbo.Buckets`

`WHERE BucketID = 1`

`UNION ALL`

`SELECT`

`tr.BucketID, tr.TotalSize, tr.Amount,`

`AmountLeftToAllocate = CASE`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate > (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount) THEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate - (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount)`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(lr.AmountLeftToAllocate) > tr.Amount THEN tr.Amount + lr.AmountLeftToAllocate`

`ELSE 0 END,`

`NewAmount = CASE`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate > (tr.TotalSize - tr.Amount) THEN tr.TotalSize`

`WHEN lr.AmountLeftToAllocate < 0 AND ABS(lr.AmountLeftToAllocate) > tr.Amount THEN 0`

`ELSE tr.Amount + lr.AmountLeftToAllocate END`

`FROM dbo.Buckets tr`

`INNER JOIN Calculator lr ON lr.BucketID + 1 = tr.BucketID`

`)`

`SELECT`

`BucketID,`

`TotalSize,`

`Amount = NewAmount,`

`OldAmount = Amount`

`FROM Calculator`

Nice one Chris! For some reason I just couldn't wrap my head around solving it that way.

Cheers buddy. It took two goes, the first was rubbish 😀

“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw

Understanding and using APPLY, (I) and (II) Paul White
Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop Jeff Moden

• Hi

Thanks for the post, really useful. I am working on similar stuff. My problem is the value the above query is using is static. What will be the solution if the value is also a table.

If the Variable above @AmountToAllocate is a table of values to be filled in this bucket. Any help is appreciated. I want to show all the records recursively till the bucket gets filled.

• ashishkumarrai (9/6/2016)

Hi

Thanks for the post, really useful. I am working on similar stuff. My problem is the value the above query is using is static. What will be the solution if the value is also a table.

If the Variable above @AmountToAllocate is a table of values to be filled in this bucket. Any help is appreciated. I want to show all the records recursively till the bucket gets filled.

You've come along at a good time, quite a few folks have recently worked on similar problems.

Before doing anything else, have a quick scan through this article[/url]. We'll need sample data scripts and a script to generate your expected result set from the sample data. The article shows you how to do this.

Also, start a new thread - your scenario is different to the one covered by this thread.

Cheers

“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw

Understanding and using APPLY, (I) and (II) Paul White
Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop Jeff Moden

• Posted my problem with all the details and sample data over here. https://ask.sqlservercentral.com/questions/140089/sql-server-2008-cte-bucket-filling.html

• This should be a step in the right direction:

`DROP TABLE #Buckets`

`CREATE TABLE #Buckets (bucketID INT, FullCapacity INT, CurrentAmount INT);`

`INSERT INTO #Buckets`

`VALUES ( '1', 85, 0 ) ,`

` ( '2', 80, 0 ) ,`

` ( '3', 75, 0 ) ,`

` ( '4', 70, 0 ) ,`

` ( '5', 50, 0 ) ,`

` ( '6', 40, 0 );`

`DROP TABLE #Filler`

`CREATE TABLE #Filler (FillerID INT, Filler INT);`

`INSERT INTO #Filler`

`VALUES ( '1', 90 ) ,`

` ( '2', 40 ) ,`

` ( '3', 70 ) ,`

` ( '4', 50 ) ,`

` ( '5', 40 ) ,`

` ( '6', 30 ) ,`

` ( '7', 35 );`

`WITH ProcessedDebits AS (`

`SELECT bucketID, FullCapacity, [from] = ([to] - FullCapacity), [to]`

`FROM (SELECT *, [to] = SUM(FullCapacity) OVER (PARTITION BY 1 ORDER BY bucketID`

`ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW) FROM #Buckets) d`

`),`

`ProcessedCredits AS (`

`SELECT FillerID, Filler, [from] = ([to] - Filler), [to]`

`FROM (SELECT *, [to] = SUM(Filler) OVER (PARTITION BY 1 ORDER BY FillerID`

`ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW) FROM #Filler) d`

`)`

`SELECT`

`bucketID, FullCapacity,`

`DebitBalance = CASE`

`WHEN dr.[to] >= cr.[to] THEN (dr.[to] - cr.[to])`

`WHEN dr.[to] < cr.[to] THEN 0`

`ELSE dr.[to] - MAX(cr.[to]) OVER(PARTITION BY 1 ORDER BY dr.bucketID`

`ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW)`

`END,`

`FillerID, Filler,`

`CreditBalance = CASE`

`WHEN cr.[to] >= dr.[to] THEN (cr.[to] - dr.[to])`

`WHEN cr.[to] < dr.[to] THEN 0`

`ELSE cr.[to] - MAX(dr.[to]) OVER(PARTITION BY 1 ORDER BY cr.FillerID`

`ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW)`

`END`

`FROM ProcessedDebits dr`

`FULL OUTER JOIN ProcessedCredits cr`

`ON cr.[from] < dr.[to]`

`AND cr.[to] > dr.[from]`

`ORDER BY bucketID, FillerID`

`OPTION (MAXDOP 1);`

“Write the query the simplest way. If through testing it becomes clear that the performance is inadequate, consider alternative query forms.” - Gail Shaw

Understanding and using APPLY, (I) and (II) Paul White
Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins / The "Numbers" or "Tally" Table: What it is and how it replaces a loop Jeff Moden

• ashishkumarrai (9/9/2016)

Posted my problem with all the details and sample data over here. https://ask.sqlservercentral.com/questions/140089/sql-server-2008-cte-bucket-filling.html

edit >>>

is this the result you are looking for?

`+---------------------------------------------+`

`¦ BucketId ¦ Fullcapacity ¦ RemainingCapacity ¦`

`¦----------+--------------+-------------------¦`

`¦ 1 ¦ 85 ¦ 0 ¦`

`¦----------+--------------+-------------------¦`

`¦ 2 ¦ 80 ¦ 0 ¦`

`¦----------+--------------+-------------------¦`

`¦ 3 ¦ 75 ¦ 0 ¦`

`¦----------+--------------+-------------------¦`

`¦ 4 ¦ 70 ¦ 0 ¦`

`¦----------+--------------+-------------------¦`

`¦ 5 ¦ 50 ¦ 5 ¦`

`¦----------+--------------+-------------------¦`

`¦ 6 ¦ 40 ¦ 40 ¦`

`+---------------------------------------------+`

________________________________________________________________
you can lead a user to data....but you cannot make them think
and remember....every day is a school day

• CREATE TABLE Buckets

(bucket_nbr INTEGER NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,

bucket_size INTEGER NOT NULL

CHECK (bucket_size > 0,

bucket_contentINTEGER NOT NULL

CHECK (bucket_content BETWEEN 0 AND bucket_size)

);

INSERT INTO Buckets (bucket_size, bucket_content, bucket_nbr)

(1, 10, 0), (2, 5, 0), (3, 10, 0), (4, 10, 0);

There are actually several different ways of doing this. Using a "greedy algorithm", we fill the biggest buckets first. But you could just as easily start filling the smallest buckets.

In general there is no perfect way of doing it. Google "martello toth bin packing" and look at all the free PDF files which you can download on the topic. Try playing with this query:

SELECT bucket_nbr, bucket_size, bucket_content,

SUM(bucket_content)

OVER (ORDER BY bucket_size DESC

ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURENT ROW)

AS greedy_running_total,

SUM(bucket_size)

ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURENT ROW)

AS capacity_running_total

FROM Buckets;

(1, 10, 10, NULL)

(3, 10, 20, NULL)

(4, 10, 30, NULL)

(2, 5, 35, NULL)

Without going into the code, you can see that your 21 liters will overflow bucket #1, then bucket #2, but not bucket #4. We never get to bucket #2, because we ran out of water. This means we need some logic (hint: it can be done with case expressions in the UPDATE statement) to classify each of the buckets as {'full', 'empty', 'partial'}

(1, 10, 10, 10) -- full

(3, 10, 20, 10) -- full

(4, 10, 30, 1) -- partial, and needs math

(2, 5, 35, 0) -- empty = 0

In the body the procedure, it is probably a good idea to have a test for (SUM(bucket_size) >= @input_amount) so that you know your task is impossible due to lack of capacity.

Books in Celko Series for Morgan-Kaufmann Publishing
Analytics and OLAP in SQL
Data and Databases: Concepts in Practice
Data, Measurements and Standards in SQL
SQL for Smarties
SQL Programming Style
Thinking in Sets
Trees and Hierarchies in SQL

• CELKO (9/10/2016)

CREATE TABLE Buckets

(bucket_nbr INTEGER NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY,

bucket_size INTEGER NOT NULL

CHECK (bucket_size > 0,

bucket_contentINTEGER NOT NULL

CHECK (bucket_content BETWEEN 0 AND bucket_size)

);

INSERT INTO Buckets (bucket_size, bucket_content, bucket_nbr)

(1, 10, 0), (2, 5, 0), (3, 10, 0), (4, 10, 0);

There are actually several different ways of doing this. Using a "greedy algorithm", we fill the biggest buckets first. But you could just as easily start filling the smallest buckets.

In general there is no perfect way of doing it. Google "martello toth bin packing" and look at all the free PDF files which you can download on the topic. Try playing with this query:

SELECT bucket_nbr, bucket_size, bucket_content,

SUM(bucket_content)

OVER (ORDER BY bucket_size DESC

ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURENT ROW)

AS greedy_running_total,

SUM(bucket_size)

ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURENT ROW)

AS capacity_running_total

FROM Buckets;

(1, 10, 10, NULL)

(3, 10, 20, NULL)

(4, 10, 30, NULL)

(2, 5, 35, NULL)

Without going into the code, you can see that your 21 liters will overflow bucket #1, then bucket #2, but not bucket #4. We never get to bucket #2, because we ran out of water. This means we need some logic (hint: it can be done with case expressions in the UPDATE statement) to classify each of the buckets as {'full', 'empty', 'partial'}

(1, 10, 10, 10) -- full

(3, 10, 20, 10) -- full

(4, 10, 30, 1) -- partial, and needs math

(2, 5, 35, 0) -- empty = 0

In the body the procedure, it is probably a good idea to have a test for (SUM(bucket_size) >= @input_amount) so that you know your task is impossible due to lack of capacity.

bit confused on this....

there are two tables....(Buckets/Filler)...which you only include "Buckets"

your code that you provide doesnt parse and throws errors...?

edit>>>

for clarification I refer to the latest question on this post....probably better if it was a new thread

http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Forums/FindPost1816384.aspx

Posted my problem with all the details and sample data over here. https://ask.sqlservercentral.com/questions/140089/sql-server-2008-cte-bucket-filling.html

________________________________________________________________
you can lead a user to data....but you cannot make them think
and remember....every day is a school day

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