Friday, November 29, 2013

FAQ’s in SQL & PL/SQL





What is PL/SQL?
PL/SQL is a procedural language that has both interactive SQL and procedural programming language constructs such as iteration, conditional branching.

What are the components of a PL/SQL Block?
Declarative part
Executable part
Exception part

What are the datatypes a available in PL/SQL?
Some scalar data types such as NUMBER, VARCHAR2, DATE, CHAR, LONG, BOOLEAN. Some composite data types such as RECORD & TABLE.

What are % TYPE and % ROWTYPE? What are the advantages of using these over datatypes?
% TYPE provides the data type of a variable or a database column to that variable.
% ROWTYPE provides the record type that represents a entire row of a table or view or columns selected in the cursor.
The advantages are:
I. Need not know about variable’s data type
ii. If the database definition of a column in a table changes, the data type of a variable changes accordingly.

What is difference between % ROWTYPE and TYPE RECORD?
% ROWTYPE is to be used whenever query returns an entire row of a table or view. TYPE RECORD is to be used whenever query returns columns of different table or views and variables.

Explain the two types of Cursors?
There are two types of cursors, Implicit Cursor and Explicit Cursor.
PL/SQL uses Implicit Cursors for queries.
User defined cursors are called Explicit Cursors. They can be declared and used.

What are the cursor attributes used in PL/SQL?
% ISOPEN – Used to check whether a cursor is open or not.
% ROWCOUNT – Used to check the number of rows fetched/updated/deleted.
% FOUND – Used to check whether cursor has fetched any row. True if rows are fetched.
% NOT FOUND – Used to check whether cursor has fetched any row. True if no rows are fetched.

What is a cursor for loop?
Cursor for loop implicitly declares %ROWTYPE as loop index, opens a cursor, fetches rows of values from active set into fields in the record and closes when all the records have been processed.

What is the difference between implicit and explicit cursors?
An explicit cursor is declared opened and fetched from in the program block where as an implicit cursor is automatically generated for SQL statements that process a single row only.

What are the different types of joins available in Oracle?
Equi Join: When primary and foreign key relationship exists between the tables that are going to be joined.
Self Join: If comparison comes in a single table
Cartesian Join: When tables are joined without giving any join condition.
Inner Join: The resultant set includes all the rows that satisfy the join condition.
Outer Join: The resultant set includes the rows which doesn’t satisfy the join condition.  The outer join operator Plus sign (+) will be included in the join condition.

What are SQLCODE and SQLERRM and why are they important for PL/SQL developers?
SQLCODE returns the value of the error number for the last error encountered. The SQLERRM returns the actual error message for the last error encountered. They can be used in exception handling to report, or, store in an error log table, the error that occurred in the code. These are especially useful for the WHEN OTHERS exception.

What is an autonomous transaction?
An autonomous transaction is an independent transaction that is initiated by another transaction (the parent transaction). An autonomous transaction can modify data and commit or rollback independent of the state of the parent transaction.

What is the difference between View and Materialized view?
Materialized view will not be refreshed every time you query the view. So to have good performance when data is not changed so rapidly, we use Materialized views rather than normal views which always fetches data from tables every time you run a query on it.

What is dynamic SQL?
Dynamic SQL allows you to construct a query, a DELETE statement, a CREATE TABLE statement, or even a PL/SQL block as a string and then execute it at runtime.

Can you use COMMIT in a trigger?
Yes but by defining an autonomous transaction.

What is the difference between anonymous blocks and stored procedures?
Anonymous block is compiled only when called. Stored procedure is compiled and stored in database with the dependency information as well. Former is PL/SQL code directly called from an application. Latter is stored in database. Former has declare statement. Latter doesn’t.

What is a package spec and package body? Why the separation?
Spec declares public constructs. Body defines public constructs, additionally declares and defines Private constructs.
Separation helps make development easier. Dependency is simplified. You can modify body without invalidating dependent objects.

What is Correlated Subquery?
Correlated Subquery is a subquery that is evaluated once for each row processed by the parent statement. Parent statement can be Select, Update or Delete.

What is Sequence?
Sequences are used for generating sequence numbers without any overhead of locking. Drawback is that after generating a sequence number if the transaction is rolled back, then that sequence number is lost.

What is SQL Deadlock?
Deadlock is a unique situation in a multi user system that causes two or more users to wait indefinitely for a locked resource. First user needs a resource locked by the second user and the second user needs a resource locked by the first user. To avoid dead locks, avoid using exclusive table lock and if using, use it in the same sequence and use Commit frequently to release locks.

What is SQL*Loader?
SQL*Loader is a product for moving data in external files into tables in an Oracle database. To load data from external files into an Oracle database, two types of input must be provided to SQL*Loader: the data itself and the control file.

What is the use of CASCADE CONSTRAINTS?
When this clause is used with the DROP command, a parent table can be dropped even when a child table exists.

Explain forward declaration used in functions?
A forward declaration means that modules (procedures and functions) are declared in advance of their actual body definition. This declaration makes that module available to be called by other modules even before the program’s body is defined. A forward declaration consists simply of the module header, which is just the name of the module followed by the parameter list (and a RETURN clause in case the module is a function), no more no less.
Forward declarations are required in one specific situation: mutual recursion.

What are SQLCODE and SQLERRM and why are they important for PL/SQL developers?
SQLCODE returns the value of the error number for the last error encountered. The SQLERRM returns the actual error message for the last error encountered. They can be used in exception handling to report, or, store in an error log table, the error that occurred in the code. These are especially useful for the WHEN OTHERS exception.

What is the difference between Truncate and Delete Commands?

TRUNCATE is a DDL command whereas DELETE is a DML command. Hence DELETE operation can be rolled back, but TRUNCATE operation cannot be rolled back. WHERE clause can be used with DELETE and not with TRUNCATE.

What is the Purpose of HAVING Clause?
The HAVING clause is used in combination with the GROUP BY clause. It can be used in a SELECT statement to filter the records that a GROUP BY returns.

What is INLINE View in SQL?
The inline view is a construct in Oracle SQL where you can place a query in the SQL FROM, clause, just as if the query was a table name.

While creating a sequence, what does cache and nocache options mean?
With respect to a sequence, the cache option specifies how many sequence values will be stored in memory for faster access.

Does the view exist if the table is dropped from the database?
Yes, in Oracle, the view continues to exist even after one of the tables (that the view is based on) is dropped from the database. However, if you try to query the view after the table has been dropped, you will receive a message indicating that the view has errors.

What is an Index?
An index is a performance-tuning method of allowing faster retrieval of records. An index creates an entry for each value that appears in the indexed columns. By default, Oracle creates B-tree indexes.

What types of index data structures can you have?
An index helps to faster search values in tables. The three most commonly used index-types are:
  • B-Tree: builds a tree of possible values with a list of row IDs that have the leaf value. Needs a lot of space and is the default index type for most databases.
  • Bitmap: string of bits for each possible value of the column. Each bit string has one bit for each row. Needs only little space and is very fast. (However, domain of value cannot be large, e.g. SEX(m,f); degree(BS,MS,PHD)
  • Hash: A hashing algorithm is used to assign a set of characters to represent a text string such as a composite of keys or partial keys, and compresses the underlying data. Takes longer to build and is supported by relatively few databases.

What is the difference between a “where” clause and a “having” clause?
“Where” is a kind of restriction statement. You use where clause to restrict all the data from DB. Where clause is used before result retrieving. But Having clause is using after retrieving the data. Having clause is a kind of filtering command.

Can a view be updated/inserted/deleted? If Yes – under what conditions?
A View can be updated/deleted/inserted if it has only one base table if the view is based on columns from one or more tables then insert, update and delete is not possible.

What is tkprof and how is it used?
The tkprof tool is a tuning tool used to determine cpu and execution times for SQL statements. You use it by first setting timed_statistics to true in the initialization file and then turning on tracing for either the entire database via the sql_trace parameter or for the session using the ALTER SESSION command. Once the trace file is generated you run the tkprof tool against the trace file and then look at the output from the tkprof tool. This can also be used to generate explain plan output.

What is explain plan and how is it used?
The EXPLAIN PLAN command is a tool to tune SQL statements. To use it you must have an explain_table generated in the user you are running the explain plan for. This is created using the utlxplan.sql script. Once the explain plan table exists you run the explain plan command giving as its argument the SQL statement to be explained. The explain_plan table is then queried to see the execution plan of the statement. Explain plans can also be run using tkprof.

What are the Lock types?
Share Lock: It allows the other users for only reading not to insert or update or delete.
Exclusive Lock: Only one user can have the privileges of insert or update and delete of particular object, others can only read.
Update Lock: Multiple user can read, update delete .

What is Pragma EXECPTION_INIT? Explain the usage?

The PRAGMA EXECPTION_INIT tells the complier to associate an exception with an oracle error.
E.g. PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT (exception name, oracle error number)

What is Raise_application_error?
Raise_application_error is a procedure of package DBMS_STANDARD which allows to issue a user_defined error messages from stored sub-program or database trigger.

What are the modes for passing parameters to Oracle?
There are three modes for passing parameters to subprograms
IN – An In-parameter lets you pass values to the subprogram being called. In the subprogram it acts like a constant and cannot be assigned a value.
OUT – An out-parameter lets you return values to the caller of the subprogram. It acts like an initialized variable its value cannot be assigned to another variable or to itself.
INOUT – An in-out parameter lets you pass initial values to the subprogram being called and returns updated values to the caller.

What is the difference between Package, Procedure and Functions?
A package is a database objects that logically groups related PL/SQL types, objects, and Subprograms.
Procedure is a sub program written to perform a set of actions and can return multiple values.
Function is a subprogram written to perform certain computations and return a single value.
Unlike subprograms packages cannot be called, passed parameters or nested.

How do you make a Function and Procedure as a Private?
Functions and Procedures can be made private to a package by not mentioning their declaration in the package specification and by just mentioning them in the package body.

What is Commit, Rollback and Save point?
Commit – Makes changes to the current transaction permanent. It erases the savepoints and releases the transaction locks.
Savepoint –Savepoints allow to arbitrarily hold work at any point of time with option of later committing. They are used to divide transactions into smaller portions.
Rollback – This statement is used to undo work.

What is the difference between DDL, DML and DCL structures?
DDL statements are used for defining data. Ex: Create, Alter, Drop, Truncate, Rename.
DML statements are used for manipulating data. Ex: Insert, update, truncate.
DCL statements are used for to control the access of data. Ex; Grant, Revoke.
TCL statements are used for data saving. Ex; Commit, Rollback, Savepoint.

What is the difference between the snapshot and synonym?
A snapshot refers to read-only copies of a master table or tables located on a remote node. A snapshot can be queried, but not updated; only the master table can be updated. A snapshot is periodically refreshed to reflect changes made to the master table. In this sense, a snapshot is really a view with periodicity.
A synonym is an alias for table, view, sequence or program unit. They are of two types private and public.

What is the difference between data types char and varchar?
Char reserves the number of memory locations mentioned in the variable declarations, even though not used (it can store a maximum of 255 bytes). Where as Varchar does not reserve any memory locations when the variable is declared, it stores the values only after they are assigned (it can store a maximum of 32767 bytes).

Can one call DDL statements from PL/SQL?
One can call DDL statements like CREATE, DROP, TRUNCATE, etc. from PL/SQL by using the “EXECUTE IMMEDATE” statement.

Tell some new features in PL/SQL in 10g?
-Regular expression functions REGEXP_LIKE, REGEXP_INSTR, REGEXP_REPLACE, and   REGEXP_SUBSTR
-Compile time warnings
- Conditional compilation
- Improvement to native compilation
- BINARY_INTEGER made similar to PLS_INTEGER
- Implicit conversion between CLOB and NCLOB
- Improved Overloading
- New datatypes BINARY_FLOAT, BINARY_DOUBLE
- Global optimization enabled
- PLS_INTEGER range increased to 32bit
- DYNAMIC WRAP using DBMS_DDL

What is Overloading in PL/SQL?
Overloading is an oops concept (Object Oriented Programming). By using the same name we can write any number of Procedures or functions in a package but either number of parameters in the procedure/function must vary or parameter datatype must vary.

What is a mutating and constraining table?
“Mutating” means “changing”. A mutating table is a table that is currently being modified by an update, delete, or insert statement. When a trigger tries to reference a table that is in state of flux (being changed), it is considered “mutating” and raises an error since Oracle should not return data that has not yet reached its final state.
Another way this error can occur is if the trigger has statements to change the primary, foreign or unique key columns of the table off which it fires. If you must have triggers on tables that have referential constraints, the workaround is to enforce the referential integrity through triggers as well.

What is Nested Table?
A nested table is a table within a table. A nested table is a collection of rows, represented as a column within the main table. For each record within main table, the nested table may contain multiple rows.  In a sense, it’s a way of storing a one-to many relationship within one table.

What is Varying Array?
A varying array is a set of objects, each with the same data types. The size of the array is limited when it is created. (When the table is created with a varying array, the array is a nested table with a limited set of rows). Varying arrays also known as VARRAYS, allows storing repeated attributes in tables.

Give some most often used predefined exceptions?
a) NO_DATA_FOUND (Select Statement returns no rows)
b) TOO_MANY_ROWS (Single row Select statement returns more than 1 row)
c) INVALID_CURSOR (Illegal cursor operations occurred)
d) CURSOR_ALREADY_OPEN (If cursor is opened & we are trying to reopen it)
e) INVALID_NUMBER (Conversion of Character to number fails)
f) ZERO_DIVIDE
g) DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX (Attempted to insert a duplicate value)

Give some important Oracle supplied packages?
DBMS_SQL: It is used to write Procedures & Anonymous blocks that use Dynamic SQL.
DBMS_JOB: Using it, we can submit PL/SQL programs for execution, execute PL/SQL programs on a schedule, identify when programs should run, remove programs from the schedule & suspend programs from running.
DBMS_OUTPUT: This package outputs values & messages from any PL/SQL block.
UTL_FILE: With this package, you can read from & write to Operating system files
UTL_HTTP: This package allows to make HTTP Requests directly from the database.

What is Instead Of Trigger?
This trigger is used to perform DML operation directly on the underlying tables, because a view cannot be modified by normal DML Statements if it contains joins or Group Functions. These triggers are Only Row Level Triggers. The CHECK option for views is not enforced when DML to the view are performed by Instead of Trigger.

What is the Sequence of Firing Database Triggers?
a) Before Row Level Trigger
b) Before Statement Level Trigger
c) After Row Level Trigger
d) Statement Operation
e) After Statement Level Trigger

What is the Difference between PL/SQL Table & Nested Table?
PL/SQL Table: Index by Tables are not Stored in Database.
Nested Table: Nested Tables are Stored in Database as Database Columns.

What is the Difference between Nested Table & Varray?
Nested Table
a) This are Sparse
b) We can Delete its Individual Elements
c) It do not have an Upper Boundary
d) This are Stored in System Generated Table
Varray
a) This are Dense
b) We cannot Delete its Elements
c) This are Fixed Size & always need to specify the size
d) These are Stored in Tablespaces

What are the various SQL Statements?
a) Data Retrieval: Select
b) DML: Insert, Update, Delete
c) DDL: Create, Alter, Drop, Rename, Truncate
d) Transaction Control: Commit, Rollback, Savepoint
e) DCL: Grant, Revoke
f) Session Control: Alter Session, Set Role
g) System Control: Alter System
h) Embedded SQL Statements: Open, Close, Fetch & Execute.
What is Rowid?
It is a Hexadecimal Representation of a Row in a Table. Rowid can only be Changed if we ‘Enable Row Movement’ on a Partitioned Table. Rowid’s of Deleted Rows can be Reused if Transaction is Committed.

What is Partitioning?
It Enables Tables & Indexes or Index-Organized tables to be subdivided into smaller manageable Pieces & these each small Piece is called Partition.
They are of following Types:
a) Range Partitioning
b) Hash Partitioning
c) List Partitioning
d) Composite Range-Hash Partitioning
What is a Cluster?
A cluster provides an optional method of storing table data. A cluster is comprised of a group of tables that share the same data blocks, which are grouped together because they share common columns and are often used together. For example, the EMP and DEPT table share the DEPTNO column. When you cluster the EMP and DEPT, Oracle physically stores all rows for each department from both the EMP and DEPT tables in the same data blocks. You should not use Clusters for tables that are frequently accessed individually.

What is the Difference between Nested Subquery & Correlated Subquery?
Nested Subquery
a) Inner Query runs first and executes once, returning values which are to be used by the Main query or outer query
b) Outer query is driver by Inner Query
Correlated Subquery
a) A Correlated Subquery or Inner Query execute once for each candidate row considered by outer query
b) Inner Query is Driven by Outer Query

What is the Difference between Translate & Replace?
Translate function converts each character in String with specified one whereas Replace function replaces part of the string in continuity by another sub-string.

PL/SQL Collections

These are composite variables in PL/SQL and have internal components that you can treat as individual variables. You can pass these composite variables to subprograms as a parameters.
To create a collection or record variable, you first define a collection or record type, and then you declare a variable of that type.
  • In a collection, the internal components are always of the same data type, and are called elements. You access each element by its unique subscript. Lists and arrays are classic examples of collections.
  • In a record, the internal components can be of different data types, and are called fields. You access each field by its name. A record variable can hold a table row, or some columns from a table row. Each record field corresponds to a table column.
PL/SQL Collection Types:
PL/SQL has three collection types, whose characteristics are summarized below.
1] Associative array (or index-by table)
  • Number of Elements: Unbounded
  • Subscript Type: String or integer
  • Dense or Sparse: Either
  • Where Created: Only in PL/SQL block
2] Nested Table
  • Number of Elements: Unbounded
  • Subscript Type: Integer
  • Dense or Sparse: Starts dense, can become sparse
  • Where Created: Either in PL/SQL block or at schema level
Variable size Array (Varray)
  • Number of Elements: Bounded
  • Subscript Type: Integer
  • Dense or Sparse: Always Dense
  • Where Created: Either in PL/SQL block or at schema level
Note:
Unbounded means that, theoretically, there is no limit to the number of elements in the collection. Actually, there are limits, but they are very high.
Dense means that the collection has no gaps between elements—every element between the first and last element is defined and has a value (which can be NULL).
A collection that is created in a PL/SQL block is available only in that block. A nested table type or varray type that is created at schema level is stored in the database, and you can manipulate it with SQL statements.
A collection has only one dimension, but you can model a multidimensional collection by creating a collection whose elements are also collections.
Associative Arrays (Index-By Tables):
An associative array (also called an index-by table) is a set of key-value pairs. Each key is unique, and is used to locate the corresponding value.
DECLARE
02
  -- Associative array indexed by string:




03
  
04
     TYPE ODI_RUNS IS TABLE OF NUMBER  -- Associative array type

05
  INDEX BY VARCHAR2(64);
06
  

07
     odi_batsman_runs  ODI_RUNS;        -- Associative array variable
08
  i VARCHAR2(64);

09
  
10
  BEGIN

11
    -- Add new elements to associative array:
12
  

13
     odi_batsman_runs('Virender Sehwag')  := 7380;
14
     odi_batsman_runs('Ricky Ponting')    := 13082;

15
     odi_batsman_runs('Sachin Tendulkar') := 17629;
16
  

17
   -- Print associative array:
18
  

19
  i := odi_batsman_runs.FIRST;
20
  

21
  WHILE i IS NOT NULL LOOP
22
      DBMS_Output.PUT_LINE

23
  ('Total ODI Runs on Jan 2010 by ' || i || ' is ' || TO_CHAR(odi_batsman_runs(i)));
24
  i := odi_batsman_runs.NEXT(i);

25
    END LOOP;
26
    END;


Total ODI Runs on Jan 2010 by Ricky Ponting is 13082
Total ODI Runs on Jan 2010 by Sachin Tendulkar is 17629
Total ODI Runs on Jan 2010 by Virender Sehwag is 7380
  • Like a database table, an associative array holds a data set of arbitrary size, and you can access its elements without knowing their positions in the array.
  • An associative array does not need the disk space or network operations of a database table, but an associative array cannot be manipulated by SQL statements (such as INSERT and DELETE).
  • An associative array is intended for temporary data storage.
  • To make an associative array persistent for the life of a database session, declare the associative array (the type and the variable of that type) in a package, and assign values to its elements in the package body.
Nested Tables: 
A nested table is like a one-dimensional array with an arbitrary number of elements.
Within the database, a nested table is a column type that holds a set of values. The database stores the rows of a nested table in no particular order. When you retrieve a nested table from the database into a PL/SQL variable, the rows are given consecutive subscripts starting at 1. These subscripts give you array-like access to individual rows.
A nested table differs from an array in these important ways:
  • An array has a declared number of elements, but a nested table does not. The size of a nested table can increase dynamically.
  • An array is always dense (that is, it always has consecutive subcripts). A nested array is dense initially, but it can become sparse, because you can delete elements from it.
Variable-Size Arrays (Varrays):
A variable-size array (varray) is an item of the data type VARRAY. A varray has a maximum size, which you specify in its type definition. A varray can contain a varying number of elements, from zero (when empty) to the maximum size. A varray index has a fixed lower bound of 1 and an extensible upper bound. To access an element of a varray, you use standard subscripting syntax
DECLARE
02
  TYPE nested_type IS TABLE OF VARCHAR2(30);




03
  TYPE varray_type IS VARRAY(5) OF INTEGER;
04
  v1 nested_type;

05
  v2 varray_type;
06
BEGIN

07
  v1 := nested_type('Shipping','Sales','Finance','Payroll');
08
  v2 := varray_type(1, 2, 3, 4, 5); -- Up to 5 integers

09
FOR IN v1.FIRST .. v1.LAST
10
   LOOP

11
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Element #' || i || 'in the nested table = ' || v1(i));
12
   END LOOP;

13
  
14
FOR j IN v2.FIRST .. v2.LAST

15
   LOOP
16
  DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Element #' || j || 'in the varray = ' || v2(j));

17
   END LOOP;
18
END;


Nested tables Vs. Varrays:
  • Nested tables are unbounded and are initially dense but can become sparse through deletions. Varrays are always bounded and never sparse.
  • When stored in the database, the order and subscripts of Nested tables are not preserved while varrays keep their ordering and subscripts.
  • Nested table data is stored in a separate store table, a system-generated database table while a  varray is stored as a single object in the database.
Autonomous Transactions in Oracle
Autonomous Transaction is a new feature in ORACLE starting from 8i. It allows setting up independent transactions that can be called from within other transactions. It lets you suspend the main transaction (without committing or rolling back), perform some DML operations, commit or roll back those operations (without any effect on the main transaction), and then return to the main transaction.
Being independent of the main transaction (almost like a separate session), an autonomous transaction does not see the uncommitted changes from the main transaction. It also does not share locks with the main transaction. Changes committed by an autonomous transaction are visible to other sessions/transactions immediately, regardless of whether the main transaction is committed or not. These changes also become visible to the main transaction when it resumes, provided its isolation level is set to READ COMMITTED (which is the default).
The following types of PL/SQL blocks can be defined as autonomous transactions:
  • Stored procedures and functions.
  • Local procedures and functions defined in a PL/SQL declaration block.
  • Packaged procedures and functions.
  • Type methods.
  • Top-level anonymous blocks.
Any of the routines can be marked as autonomous simply by using the following syntax anywhere in the declarative section of the routine (putting it at the top is recommended for better readability):
DECLARE
2
  PRAGMA AUTONOMOUS_TRANSACTION;




3
BEGIN
4
  FOR i IN 3 .. 10 LOOP

5
    INSERT INTO at_test (id, description)
6
    VALUES (i, 'Description for ' || i);

7
  END LOOP;
8
  COMMIT;

9
END;


Delete Duplicate Records in Oracle
There are times when duplicate rows somehow creep into a table. The best scenario to happen this is when the data is to be imported from some other table or data and the Constraints are removed so that data import successfully. Removing duplicate rows from Oracle tables with SQL can be very tricky, and there are several techniques for identifying and removing duplicate rows from tables:
CREATE TABLE dup_test (
02
    Emp_Id VARCHAR2(5),




03
  Name VARCHAR2(15),
04
    Phone  NUMBER);

05
  
06
INSERT INTO dup_test values('100','John',473256);

07
INSERT INTO dup_test values('100','John',473256);
08
INSERT INTO dup_test values('101','Dave',561982);

09
  
10
SELECT * FROM dup_test;


Use subquery to delete duplicate rows:
Here we see an example of using SQL to delete duplicate table rows using an SQL subquery to identify duplicate rows, manually specifying the join columns

DELETE FROM
02
   dup_test A




03
WHERE
04
  a.rowid >

05
   ANY (
06
     SELECT

07
        B.rowid
08
     FROM

09
        dup_test B
10
     WHERE

11
        A.Emp_Id = B.Emp_Id
12
     AND

13
        A.Name = B.Name
14
     AND

15
        A.Phone = B.Phone
16
        );

Use another table to delete duplicate rows:
This is the simplest method to remove duplicity.
CREATE TABLE dup_test_1 as select distinct * from dup_test;
2
DROP TABLE dup_test;

3
RENAME dup_test_1 to dup_test;


Use RANK to delete duplicate rows:
This is an example of the RANK function to identify and remove duplicate rows from Oracle tables, which deletes all duplicate rows while leaving the initial instance of the duplicate row:

DELETE FROM dup_test where rowid in
02
  (

03
  select "rowid" from
04
  (select "rowid", rank_n from

05
  (select rank() over (partition by Emp_Id order by rowid) rank_n, rowid as "rowid"
06
             from dup_test

07
             )
08
         )

09
     where rank_n > 1
10
);


The Oracle DUAL table

The DUAL Dummy table (as it is sometimes called) is an automatically-generated table assigned to SYS, but accessible to all users. It has a single column “DUMMY” of type VARCHAR2(1) which has a single row with a value of ‘X’.
SELECT * FROM DUAL;
D
-
X
DESC DUAL;
Name                        Null?                Type
—————————————————————————-
DUMMY                                             VARCHAR2(1)
What is it used for?
It is useful because it always exists, and has a single row, which is handy for select statements with constant expressions. You could just as easily do this with any other table with a single row, but using DUAL makes it portable among all Oracle installations.
SELECT 1+1 FROM DUAL;
SELECT SYSDATE  FROM DUAL;
SELECT USER FROM DUAL;
Why is it called “DUAL”?
The DUAL table was created by Chuck Weiss of Oracle corporation to provide a table for joining in internal views:
“I created the DUAL table as an underlying object in the Oracle Data Dictionary. It was never meant to be seen itself, but instead used inside a view that was expected to be queried. The idea was that you could do a JOIN to the DUAL table and create two rows in the result for every one row in your table. Then, by using GROUP BY, the resulting join could be summarized to show the amount of storage for the DATA extent and for the INDEX extent(s). The name, DUAL, seemed apt for the process of creating a pair of rows from just one.”
The original DUAL table had two rows in it (hence its name), but subsequently it only had one row.

Exception Handling in Oracle

What is Exception Handling?
PL/SQL provides a feature to handle the Exceptions which occur in a PL/SQL Block known as exception Handling. Using Exception Handling we can test the code and avoid it from exiting abruptly.
An exception is an identifier in PL/SQL that is raised during the execution of a block that terminates its main body of actions. A block always terminates when PL/SQL raises an exception, but can you specify an exception handler to perform final actions.
Types of Exception
There are 3 types of Exceptions.
a) Named System Exceptions
b) Unnamed System Exceptions
c) User-defined Exceptions
Named System Exceptions (or Predefined Oracle Server Exceptions) and Unnamed System Exceptions (or Nonpredefined Oracle Server Exceptions) are implicitly raised.
User-defined Exceptions are explicitly raised
DECLARE
02
   Declaration section



 
03
BEGIN
04
   Exception section
 
05
EXCEPTION
06
  WHEN ex_name1 THEN
 
07
     -Error handling statements
08
  WHEN ex_name2 THEN
 
09
     -Error handling statements
10
  WHEN Others THEN
 
11
     -Error handling statements
12
END;
You can trap any error by including a corresponding routine within the exception handling section of the PL/SQL block. Each handler consists of a WHEN clause, which specifies an exception, followed by a sequence of statements to be executed when that exception is raised.
The exception-handling section traps only those exceptions that are specified; any other exceptions are not trapped unless you use the OTHERS exception handler.
Exceptions Trapping Rules:
  • Begin the exception-handling section of the block with the EXCEPTION keyword.
  • You can define several exception handlers, each with its own set of actions, for the block.
  • When an exception occurs, PL/SQL processes only one handler before leaving the block.
  • Place the OTHERS clause after all other exception-handling clauses.
  • WHEN OTHERS is the last clause and you can have only one OTHERS clause.
a) Named System Exceptions
System exceptions are automatically raised by Oracle, when a program violates a RDBMS rule. There are some system exceptions which are raised frequently, so they are pre-defined and given a name in Oracle which are known as Named System Exceptions.
Few Predefined Exceptions:
  • NO_DATA_FOUND (ORA-01403) — When a SELECT…INTO clause does not return any row from a table.
  • TOO_MANY_ROWS (ORA-01422) — When you SELECT or fetch more than one row into a record or variable.
  • ZERO_DIVIDE (ORA-01476) — When you attempt to divide a number by zero.
  • CURSOR_ALREADY_OPEN (ORA-06511) — You tried to open a cursor that is already open.
  • INVALID_CURSOR (ORA-01001) — Illegal cursor operation occurred. You tried to reference a cursor that does not yet exist. This may have happened because you’ve executed a FETCH cursor or CLOSE cursor before Opening the cursor.
  • INVALID_NUMBER (ORA-01722) — You tried to execute an SQL statement that tried to convert a string to a number, but it was unsuccessful.
  • DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX (ORA-00001) — Attempted to insert a duplicate value.
  • LOGIN_DENIED (ORA-01017) — You tried to log into Oracle with an invalid username/password combination.
  • NOT_LOGGED_ON (ORA-01012) — You tried to execute a call to Oracle before logging in.
  • VALUE_ERROR (ORA-06502) — You tried to perform an operation and there was an error on a conversion, truncation, or invalid constraining of numeric or character data.
BEGIN
2
  Execution section



 
3
EXCEPTION
4
  WHEN NO_DATA_FOUND THEN
 
5
  dbms_output.put_line ('A SELECT...INTO did not return any row.');
6
END;
Unnamed System Exceptions
Those system exception for which oracle does not provide a name is known as unnamed system exception. These exceptions do not occur frequently. These Exceptions have a code and an associated message.
There are two ways to handle unnamed system exceptions:
1. By using the WHEN OTHERS exception handler, or
2. By associating the exception code to a name and using it as a named exception.
We can assign a name to unnamed system exceptions using a Pragma called EXCEPTION_INIT. EXCEPTION_INIT will associate a predefined Oracle error number to a programmer defined exception name.
Steps to be followed to use unnamed system exceptions are
  • They are raised implicitly.
  • If they are not handled in WHEN Others they must be handled explicitly.
  • To handle the exception explicitly, they must be declared using Pragma EXCEPTION_INIT as given above and handled referencing the user-defined exception name in the exception section.
DECLARE
02
   exception_name EXCEPTION;



 
03
   PRAGMA
04
   EXCEPTION_INIT (exception_name, Err_code);
 
05
BEGIN
06
   Execution section
 
07
EXCEPTION
08
   WHEN exception_name THEN
 
09
     Handle the exception
10
END;
For Example:
Let’s trap for Oracle server error number –2292, which is an integrity constraint violation.
1] Declare the name for the exception within the declarative section.
exception EXCEPTION;
Where: exception is the name of the exception.
2.] Associate the declared exception with the standard Oracle server error number using the
PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT statement.
PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT(exception, error_number);
Where: exception is the previously declared exception.
error_number is a standard Oracle Server error number.
3] Reference the declared exception within the corresponding exception-handling routine
DEFINE p_deptno = 10
02
DECLARE
 
03
     e_emps_remaining EXCEPTION;
04
     PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT(e_emps_remaining, -2292);
 
05
BEGIN
06
     DELETE FROM departments
 
07
     WHERE department_id = &p_deptno;
08
     COMMIT;
 
09
EXCEPTION
10
     WHEN e_emps_remaining THEN
 
11
     DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE ('Cannot remove dept ' ||
12
     TO_CHAR(&p_deptno) || '. Employees exist. ');
 
13
END;
User-defined Exceptions
Apart from system exceptions we can explicitly define exceptions based on business rules. These are known as user-defined exceptions.
Steps to be followed to use user-defined exceptions:
• They should be explicitly declared in the declaration section.
• They should be explicitly raised in the Execution Section.
• They should be handled by referencing the user-defined exception name in the exception section.
DECLARE
02
     e_invalid_department EXCEPTION;



 
03
BEGIN
04
    UPDATE departments
 
05
    SET department_name = '&p_department_desc'
06
    WHERE department_id = &p_department_number;
 
07
    IF SQL%NOTFOUND THEN
08
      RAISE e_invalid_department;
 
09
    END IF;
10
    COMMIT;
 
11
EXCEPTION
12
    WHEN e_invalid_department THEN
 
13
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('No such department id.');
14
END;
Functions for Trapping Exceptions:
When an exception occurs, you can identify the associated error code or error message by using two functions. Based on the values of the code or message, you can decide which subsequent action to take based on the error.
SQLCODE: Returns the numeric value for the error code. 
SQLERRM: Returns the message associated with the error number.
You cannot use SQLCODE or SQLERRM directly in a SQL statement. Instead, you must assign their values to local variables, then use the variables in the SQL statement, as shown in the following example:
DECLARE
02
    err_num NUMBER;



 
03
    err_msg VARCHAR2(100);
04
BEGIN
 
05
    ...
06
EXCEPTION
 
07
    ...
08
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
 
09
    err_num := SQLCODE;
10
    err_msg := SUBSTR(SQLERRM, 1, 100);
 
11
    INSERT INTO errors VALUES (err_num, err_msg);
12
END;
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR ( ) :
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR is a built-in procedure in oracle which is used to display the user-defined error messages along with the error number whose range is in between -20000 and -20999.
Whenever a message is displayed using RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR, all previous transactions which are not committed within the PL/SQL Block are rolled back automatically (i.e. change due to INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statements).
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR raises an exception but does not handle it.
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR is used for the following reasons,
a) to create a unique id for an user-defined exception.
b) to make the user-defined exception look like an Oracle error.
The General Syntax to use this procedure is:
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR (error_number, error_message);
The Error number must be between -20000 and -20999
• The Error_message is the message you want to display when the error occurs.
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR can be used in either (or both) the executable section and the exception section of a PL/SQL program. The returned error is consistent with how the Oracle server produces a predefined, nonpredefined, or user-defined error. The error number and message is displayed to the user.
BEGIN
2
...
 
3
DELETE FROM employees
4
WHERE manager_id = v_mgr;
 
5
IF SQL%NOTFOUND THEN
6
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR (-20202,'This is not a valid manager');
 
7
END IF;
8
...
What is Exception propagation in Oracle? 
Exceptions which are not handled in a sub block get propagated to the outer block. When an exception occurs, it terminates from the line where the exception occurs and the control goes to the calling program or the next outer block. If not handled in the outer block, it terminates that block and propagates to the next outer block and so on. And, if exception occurs in the outermost block, then the whole program gets terminated.



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