Multi-statement Table Valued Function vs Inline Table Valued Function
A few examples to show, just incase:
Inline Table Valued
CREATE FUNCTION MyNS.GetUnshippedOrders() RETURNS TABLE AS RETURN SELECT a.SaleId, a.CustomerID, b.Qty FROM Sales.Sales a INNER JOIN Sales.SaleDetail b ON a.SaleId = b.SaleId INNER JOIN Production.Product c ON b.ProductID = c.ProductID WHERE a.ShipDate IS NULL GO Multi Statement Table Valued CREATE FUNCTION MyNS.GetLastShipped(@CustomerID INT) RETURNS @CustomerOrder TABLE (SaleOrderID INT NOT NULL, CustomerID INT NOT NULL, OrderDate DATETIME NOT NULL, OrderQty INT NOT NULL) AS BEGIN DECLARE @MaxDate DATETIME SELECT @MaxDate = MAX(OrderDate) FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader WHERE CustomerID = @CustomerID INSERT @CustomerOrder SELECT a.SalesOrderID, a.CustomerID, a.OrderDate, b.OrderQty FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader a INNER JOIN Sales.SalesOrderHeader b ON a.SalesOrderID = b.SalesOrderID INNER JOIN Production.Product c ON b.ProductID = c.ProductID WHERE a.OrderDate = @MaxDate AND a.CustomerID = @CustomerID RETURN END GO
In researching Matt’s comment, I have revised my original statement. He is correct, there will be a difference in performance between an inline table valued function (ITVF) and a multi-statement table valued function (MSTVF) even if they both simply execute a SELECT statement. SQL Server will treat an ITVF somewhat like a VIEW in that it will calculate an execution plan using the latest statistics on the tables in question. A MSTVF is equivalent to stuffing the entire contents of your SELECT statement into a table variable and then joining to that. Thus, the compiler cannot use any table statistics on the tables in the MSTVF. So, all things being equal, (which they rarely are), the ITVF will perform better than the MSTVF. In my tests, the performance difference in completion time was negligible however from a statistics standpoint, it was noticeable.