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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why is a UNION ALL faster than a UNION?

The union operation, you will recall, brings two sets of data together. It will *NOT* however produce duplicate or redundant rows. To perform this feat of magic, a SORT operation is done on both tables. This is obviously computationally intensive, and uses significant memory as well. A UNION ALL conversely just dumps collection of both sets together in random order, not worrying about duplicates.

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