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Use UNION instead of OR to speed up results

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This article is from the book "Access 2007 Pure SQL

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Use UNION instead of OR to speed up results

Create an inventory report using UNION instead of OR operators


We can use the UNION statement instead of multiple OR operators to speed up the response time of the database engine.  This is a trick used in databases and the difference in response time is enormous.  The SQL statement below with the UNION operation achieves the exact same results as the SQL code in the previous example.  However, the response is instant using UNION while it takes quite a few seconds using the OR operators. 


Moreover, response times deteriorate as the number of records or the number of OR operators increase.  Consequently, if you have statements with multiple OR operators that you use often, you might consider replacing them with UNION statements.  The only difference is the order in which the retrieved records appear since in this case the results of the first SELECT statement in the UNION operation will appear first and the results of the second SELECT will follow.  You can easily reorder the recordset using the ORDER BY clause with a UNION statement.  For a full understanding of UNION operations, plus related tips and tricks refer to chapter 21.




SELECT productname, unitsinstock, unitsonorder

FROM products

WHERE (UnitsInStock > 10)


SELECT productname, unitsinstock, unitsonorder

FROM products

WHERE (UnitsOnOrder > 10)