Unpivot Transformation with Multiple Destination Columns

The need to unpivot data during an ETL operation is quite common. One method to perform the unpivoting is writing the source query in such a way that the data starts off unpivoted using the UNPIVOT T-SQL statement in SQL Server 2005 and later. This however would obviously not work out on a source that does not support unpivoting such as a text file or Office Excel or even older versions of popular RDBMSs. The other method of course is to use the Unpivot Transformation in Integration Services.

The Unpivot Transformation is quite a simple component, especially if you need to unpivot a bunch of columns to a single destination column. Unpivoting to multple destination columns however, seems a tad challenging the first time round, at least for me it did. Until I figured out how to. This post is all about unpivoting a columns to multiple destination columns.

Consider this scenario. A simple Product table (which I shall call Product_Source this point forward):

Source Table (Product_Source)

Needs to be transformed into the following Product table (which I shall call Product_Destination this point forward):

Destination Table (Product_Destination)

Configuring the Unpivot transformation for this would be quite simple, and would look like this:

Unpivot Transformation for Single Destinations

The problem starts when you need the Product_Destination table looking like this, with multiple destination columns (Quantity and Price):

Destination Table (Product_Destination) with Multiple Destination Columns

You add the price columns as well (as in the image below) to the Unpivot transformation,

Unpivot Transformation for Multiple Destination Columns

and get the following validation error (encountered by a lot of people):

PivotKeyValue is not valid. In an UnPivot transform with more than one unpivoted DestinationColumn, the set of PivotKeyValues per destination must match exactly.

The reason is this. If you look closely at the Pivot Key Value column of the Unpivot transformation you would notice that for the Quantity destination column, the set of values are ‘Quantity1’, ‘Quantity2’ and ‘Quantity3’. Whereas, for the Price destination column, the set of values are ‘Price1’, ‘Price2’ and ‘Price3’, which are clearly not matching. The solution to the problem here is quite trivial. Change the default values of the Pivot Key Value column of the offending destination column to match the values of the other destination columns. Like this:

Mapping for Unpivot Transformation for Multiple Destination Columns

And you’re good to go!

I’ve attached a sample solution of this scenario, so that you too could try it out first hand.