2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #8

Triangle Numbers Puzzle

Generate a sequence of first N triangle numbers: 1, 3 (=1+2); 6=(1+2+3), 10=(1+2+3+4), etc

  • Use a single SELECT statement only.
  • Do not use any mathematical formulas, except for the sequence definition.
  • Try to come up with 2-3 different solutions.
  • You have about 1 week to solve the puzzle and submit your solution(s) but whoever does it sooner will earn more points.
  • The scoring rules can be found here.
  • Solutions must be submitted as comments to this blog post.
  • Use <pre> or <code> html tags around your SQL code for better formatting and to avoid losing parts of your SQL.

Expected Result (for N=10):

N TRAINGLE_N
1 1
2 3
3 6
4 10
5 15
6 21
7 28
8 36
9 45
10 55

A correct answer (and workarounds!) will be published here in about a week.

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9 Solutions to 2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #7

Namesake Puzzle

Show groups of employees having the same last name.

  • Use a single SELECT statement only
  • Use hr.employees table

Solutions:

Solution #1: Using Subquery with HAVING clause:

SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id 
FROM hr.employees 
WHERE last_name IN (SELECT last_name 
                    FROM hr.employees 
		    GROUP BY last_name 
		    HAVING COUNT(*)>1) 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #2: Using Multi-Column Subquery with NO HAVING clause

SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id 
FROM hr.employees 
WHERE (last_name, 1) IN (SELECT last_name, SIGN(COUNT(*)-1) 
                         FROM hr.employees 
			 GROUP BY last_name) 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #3: Using Subquery with IN operator

SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id 
FROM hr.employees a 
WHERE last_name IN (SELECT b.last_name 
                    FROM hr.employees b 
		    WHERE a.employee_id!=b.employee_id) 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #4: Using Self-Join with duplicate elimination in GROUP BY

SELECT a.first_name, a.last_name, a.department_id, a.employee_id 
FROM hr.employees a JOIN hr.employees b ON a.last_name=b.last_name 
                                       AND a.employee_id!=b.employee_id 
GROUP BY a.first_name, a.last_name, a.department_id, a.employee_id 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #5: Using a filter by COUNT analytic function with PARTITION BY

WITH x AS ( 
SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id,  
       COUNT(*) OVER(PARTITION BY last_name) cnt 
FROM hr.employees 
)	 
SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id 
FROM x 
WHERE cnt>1 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #6: Mimicking COUNT analytic function with MODEL clause

(credit to Naoto Katayama)

WITH x AS ( 
SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id, cnt 
FROM hr.employees 
MODEL 
RETURN UPDATED ROWS 
DIMENSION BY (last_name, employee_id) 
MEASURES(first_name, department_id, 0 AS cnt) 
RULES (cnt[ANY, ANY]=COUNT(*)[CV(), ANY]) 
) 
SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id 
FROM x 
WHERE cnt>1 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #7: Filtering by LEAD and LAG analytic functions

WITH x AS ( 
SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id,  
       LAG (last_name,1) OVER(ORDER BY last_name) lag_name, 
       LEAD(last_name,1) OVER(ORDER BY last_name) lead_name 
FROM hr.employees 
)	 
SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id 
FROM x 
WHERE last_name IN (lag_name, lead_name) 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #8: Using MODEL clause with dummy measure for SIGN over analytic function expression

SELECT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id
FROM hr.employees 
MODEL 
RETURN UPDATED ROWS 
PARTITION BY (last_name) 
DIMENSION BY (SIGN(COUNT(*) OVER(PARTITION BY last_name)-1) AS n, 
              employee_id) 
MEASURES(first_name, department_id, 0 AS dummy) 
RULES (dummy[1, ANY]=1) 
ORDER BY 2,1

Solution #9: Using UNPIVOT with DISTINCT option over CONNECT BY with PRIOR

WITH x AS (
SELECT first_name curr_first, last_name, department_id curr_dept, employee_id curr_id, 
       PRIOR first_name prior_first, PRIOR department_id prior_dept, PRIOR employee_id prior_id
FROM hr.employees
WHERE level=2
CONNECT BY last_name=PRIOR last_name AND employee_id>PRIOR employee_id
)
SELECT DISTINCT first_name, last_name, department_id, employee_id
FROM x
UNPIVOT( 
    (first_name, department_id, employee_id)  for dummy IN ((curr_first, curr_dept, curr_id),
                                                            (prior_first,prior_dept,prior_id))
)
ORDER BY 2,1;

You can execute the above SQL statements in Oracle Live SQL environment.
My Oracle Group on Facebook:

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Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

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2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #7

Namesake Puzzle

Show groups of employees having the same last name.

  • Use a single SELECT statement only
  • Use hr.employees table
  • You have about 1 week to solve the puzzle and submit your solution(s) but whoever does it sooner will earn more points.
  • The scoring rules can be found here.
  • Solutions must be submitted as comments to this blog post.
  • Use <pre> or <code> html tags around your SQL code for better formatting and to avoid losing parts of your SQL.

Expected Result:

LAST_NAME FIRST_NAME DEPARTMENT_ID EMPLOYEE_ID
Cambrault Gerald 80 148
Cambrault Nanette 80 154
Grant Douglas 50 199
Grant Kimberely 178
King Janette 80 156
King Steven 90 100
Smith Lindsey 80 159
Smith William 80 171
Taylor Jonathon 80 176
Taylor Winston 50 180

A correct answer (and workarounds!) will be published here in about a week.

My Oracle Group on Facebook:

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Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

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7 Solutions to 2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #6

Conference Team Puzzle

Research department from Dallas (#20) needs to delegate a team of 3 to a annual conference. Create a list of all possible teams of 3 employees from that department.

  • Use a single SELECT statement only
  • Use scott.emp table
  • Exactly 3 employees (no repetitions) must be presented for each team

Solutions:

Essentially, all 6 solutions represent 6 different ways how you can UNPIVOT a result set. Some of those are fairly standard and well known (#3, #4, and #7) while the others are quite tricky (#2, #5, and #6).

Solution #1: Using UNPIVOT clause:

WITH t AS (  --#1: Using UNPIVOT 
SELECT ename, empno 
FROM scott.emp 
WHERE deptno=20 
), x AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM team_no, t1.ename e1, t2.ename e2, t3.ename e3 
FROM t t1 JOIN t t2 ON t1.empno>t2.empno 
          JOIN t t3 ON t2.empno>t3.empno 
) 
SELECT team_no, team_member 
FROM x 
UNPIVOT (team_member FOR dummy IN (e1,e2,e3) ) 
ORDER BY 1,2

Solution #2: Mimicking UNPIVOT with IN operator

WITH t AS (  --#2: Mimicking UNPIVOT with IN operator 
SELECT ename, empno 
FROM scott.emp 
WHERE deptno=20 
), x AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM team_no, t1.ename e1, t2.ename e2, t3.ename e3 
FROM t t1 JOIN t t2 ON t1.empno>t2.empno 
          JOIN t t3 ON t2.empno>t3.empno 
) 
SELECT x.team_no, t.ename team_member 
FROM t JOIN x ON t.ename IN (x.e1, x.e2, x.e3) 
ORDER BY 1,2

Solution #3: Mimicking UNPIVOT with MODEL clause

WITH t AS ( --#3: Mimicking UNPIVOT with MODEL clause 
SELECT ename, empno 
FROM scott.emp 
WHERE deptno=20 
), x AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM team_no, t1.ename e1, t2.ename e2, t3.ename e3 
FROM t t1 JOIN t t2 ON t1.empno>t2.empno 
          JOIN t t3 ON t2.empno>t3.empno 
) 
SELECT team_no, team_member 
FROM x 
MODEL 
PARTITION BY (team_no) 
DIMENSION BY (1 AS dummy) 
MEASURES (e1 AS team_member, e2, e3) 
RULES( 
    team_member[2]=e2[1], 
    team_member[3]=e3[1] 
) 
ORDER BY 1,2

Solution #4: Mimicking UNPIVOT with UNION operators

WITH t AS ( --#4: Mimicking UNPIVOT with UNIONs 
SELECT ename, empno 
FROM scott.emp 
WHERE deptno=20 
), x AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM team_no, t1.ename e1, t2.ename e2, t3.ename e3 
FROM t t1 JOIN t t2 ON t1.empno>t2.empno 
          JOIN t t3 ON t2.empno>t3.empno 
) 
SELECT team_no, e1 team_member 
FROM x 
UNION  
SELECT team_no, e2 team_member 
FROM x 
UNION  
SELECT team_no, e3 team_member 
FROM x

Solution #5: Mimicking UNPIVOT with DECODE and Cartesian Product

WITH t AS ( --#5: Mimicking UNPIVOT with DECODE and Cartesian Product 
SELECT ename, empno 
FROM scott.emp 
WHERE deptno=20 
), x AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM team_no, t1.ename e1, t2.ename e2, t3.ename e3 
FROM t t1 JOIN t t2 ON t1.empno>t2.empno 
          JOIN t t3 ON t2.empno>t3.empno 
) 
SELECT team_no, DECODE(y.rn, 1, e1, 2, e2, 3, e3) team_member 
FROM x, (SELECT ROWNUM rn FROM dual CONNECT BY LEVEL<=3) y 
ORDER BY 1,2

Solution #6: Mimicking UNPIVOT with COALESCE and GROUPING SETS

WITH t AS ( --#6: Mimicking UNPIVOT with COALESCE and GROUPING SETS 
SELECT ename, empno 
FROM scott.emp 
WHERE deptno=20 
), x AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM team_no, t1.ename e1, t2.ename e2, t3.ename e3 
FROM t t1 JOIN t t2 ON t1.empno>t2.empno 
          JOIN t t3 ON t2.empno>t3.empno 
) 
SELECT team_no, COALESCE(e1, e2, e3) team_member 
FROM x 
GROUP BY team_no, GROUPING SETS(e1,e2,e3) 
ORDER BY 1,2

Solution #7: Mimicking UNPIVOT with Recursive CTE

WITH t AS ( --#7: Mimicking UNPIVOT with Recursive CTE
SELECT ename, empno 
FROM scott.emp 
WHERE deptno=20 
), x AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM team_no, t1.ename e1, t2.ename e2, t3.ename e3 
FROM t t1 JOIN t t2 ON t1.empno>t2.empno 
 JOIN t t3 ON t2.empno>t3.empno 
), y(team_no, team_member, e2, e3, lvl) AS (
SELECT team_no, e1, e2, e3, 1
FROM x
UNION ALL
SELECT team_no, DECODE(lvl+1, 2, e2, e3), e2, e3, lvl+1
FROM y
WHERE lvl+1<=3
)
SELECT team_no, team_member
FROM y
ORDER BY 1,2

You can execute the above SQL statements in Oracle Live SQL environment.
My Oracle Group on Facebook:

If you like this post, you may want to join my new Oracle group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sqlpatterns/

Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

For more tricks and cool techniques check my book “Oracle SQL Tricks and Workarounds” for instructions.

 

Term Replication Sequence SQL Puzzle

SQL Puzzle:

Generate a term replication sequence: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, etc in a single SELECT statement.

Level: Advanced

Expected Result (for N=4):

RN
1
2
2
3
3
3
4
4
4
4

Solutions:

#1: Using CONNECT BY (for both, the range and the sequence generation)

WITH x AS (
SELECT ROWNUM rn
FROM dual
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=4
)
SELECT rn--, LEVEL
FROM x
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=rn
       AND rn>PRIOR rn
GROUP BY rn, LEVEL
ORDER BY 1;

#2: Using Recursive CTE

WITH x(rn, lvl) AS (
SELECT ROWNUM rn, 1
FROM dual
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=4
UNION ALL
SELECT rn, lvl+1
FROM x
WHERE rn>=lvl+1
)
SELECT rn
FROM x
ORDER BY 1;

#3: Using Self-Join

WITH x AS (
SELECT ROWNUM rn
FROM dual
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=4
)
SELECT a.rn
FROM x a JOIN x b ON a.rn>=b.rn
ORDER BY 1;

Naoto Katayama submitted one more elegant solution using MODEL clause:

#4: Using MODEL clause

SELECT RN
FROM (SELECT LEVEL rn
      FROM DUAL 
      CONNECT BY LEVEL<=4)
MODEL
PARTITION BY(ROWNUM AS par)
DIMENSION BY(0 AS dummy)
MEASURES(rn)
RULES ITERATE(100) UNTIL ITERATION_NUMBER+1>=rn[0]
(rn[ITERATION_NUMBER]=rn[0])
ORDER BY 1;

My Oracle Group on Facebook:

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Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

For more tricks and cool techniques check my book “Oracle SQL Tricks and Workarounds” for instructions.

 

 

 

Duplication SQL Puzzle

Each row in a table should be duplicated certain number of times:
1st row – N times (where N = total number of rows in the table)
2nd and 3rd rows – (N-1) times
4th, 5th, 6th – (N-2) times
7,8,9,10 – (N-3) times
etc

Complexity Level: Advanced

Let’s assume that we have a table t with the content:

LETTER
A
B
C
D
E
F

So the record A needs to be repeated 6 times, B and C – 5 times, D, E, and F  – 4 times.

This can be summarized the following way:

LETTER Rule REPS
A N reps 6
B N-1 reps 5
C N-1 reps 5
D N-2 reps 4
E N-2 reps 4
F N-2 reps 4

Expected Result (28 rows):

LETTER REPS
A 6
A 6
A 6
A 6
A 6
A 6
B 5
B 5
B 5
B 5
B 5
C 5
C 5
C 5
C 5
C 5
D 4
D 4
D 4
D 4
E 4
E 4
E 4
E 4
F 4
F 4
F 4
F 4

The video below demonstrates a couple of techniques aiming to solve this puzzle:

The source code can be also seen here.

My Oracle Group on Facebook:

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Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

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Interview Question: Get top and bottom paid employees in each department

This is a typical interview problem: list all bottom and top paid employees in each department. A preferred solution should not be using UNION or UNION ALL operators.

Please watch this short video to learn a couple of non-obvious techniques and to impress your potential employers on your next job interview.

My Oracle Group on Facebook:

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Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

For more tricks and cool techniques check my book “Oracle SQL Tricks and Workarounds” for instructions.

 

RANK function and my first video blog post

Hello everyone!

This morning I decided to do my first video blog post. Check it out and provide your feedback and suggestions.

 

My Oracle Group on Facebook:

If you like this post, you may want to join my Oracle group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sqlpatterns/

Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

For more tricks and cool techniques check my book “Oracle SQL Tricks and Workarounds” for instructions.

2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #6

Conference Team Puzzle

Research department from Dallas (#20) needs to delegate a team of 3 to a annual conference. Create a list of all possible teams of 3 employees from that department.

  • Use a single SELECT statement only
  • Use scott.emp table
  • Exactly 3 employees (no repetitions) must be presented for each team
  • You have about 1 week to solve the puzzle and submit your solution(s) but whoever does it sooner will earn more points.
  • The scoring rules can be found here.
  • Solutions must be submitted as comments to this blog post.
  • Use <pre> or <code> html tags around your SQL code for better formatting and to avoid losing parts of your SQL.

Expected Result:

TEAM_NO TEAM_MEMBER
1 ADAMS
1 FORD
1 SMITH
2 ADAMS
2 SCOTT
2 SMITH
3 ADAMS
3 JONES
3 SMITH
4 FORD
4 SCOTT
4 SMITH
5 ADAMS
5 FORD
5 SCOTT
6 FORD
6 JONES
6 SMITH
7 ADAMS
7 FORD
7 JONES
8 FORD
8 JONES
8 SCOTT
9 JONES
9 SCOTT
9 SMITH
10 ADAMS
10 JONES
10 SCOTT

A correct answer (and workarounds!) will be published here in about a week.

My Oracle Group on Facebook:

If you like this post, you may want to join my Oracle group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sqlpatterns/

Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

For more tricks and cool techniques check my book “Oracle SQL Tricks and Workarounds” for instructions.

3 Solutions to the 2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #5

Puzzle of the Week #5:

Find the shortest and longest last names of the employees in each department.

 

  • If two or more employees tie for the shortest or longest name, pick the name that comes first in alphabetical order
  • Use hr.employees or scott.emp tables
  • Use a single SELECT statement only
  • Ideally, the solution should NOT rely on any sub-queries, CTEs  (WITH clause), or inline views
  • Exclude unknown (NULL) departments

Solutions:

#1. Using MIN() KEEP Group Function

SELECT department_id, 
 MIN(last_name) KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST 
                     ORDER BY LENGTH(last_name)) shortest,
 MIN(last_name) KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST 
                     ORDER BY LENGTH(last_name) DESC) longest
FROM hr.employees
WHERE department_id IS NOT NULL
GROUP BY department_id

#2. Using FIRST_VALUE Analytic Function and DISTINCT option

(Credit to Igor Shpungin)

SELECT DISTINCT department_id, 
   FIRST_VALUE(last_name) OVER(PARTITION BY department_id 
                               ORDER BY LENGTH(last_name))      shortest, 
   FIRST_VALUE(last_name) OVER(PARTITION BY department_id 
                               ORDER BY LENGTH(last_name) DESC) longest 
FROM hr.employees 
WHERE department_id IS NOT NULL 
ORDER BY 1

#3. Using MODEL clause

(Credit to Naoto Katayama)

SELECT department_id, shortest, longest
FROM hr.employees
WHERE department_id IS NOT NULL
MODEL
RETURN UPDATED ROWS
PARTITION BY (department_id)
DIMENSION BY (
 ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY department_id 
                  ORDER BY LENGTH(last_name), last_name) rn1,
 ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY department_id 
                  ORDER BY LENGTH(last_name) DESC, last_name) rn2)
MEASURES(last_name, 
         CAST(NULL AS VARCHAR2(25)) AS shortest, 
         CAST(NULL AS VARCHAR2(25)) AS longest)
RULES(
      shortest[0,0]=MAX(last_name)[1,ANY], 
      longest [0,0]=MAX(last_name)[ANY,1]
)
ORDER BY department_id

You can execute the above SQL statements in Oracle Live SQL environment.

My Oracle Group on Facebook:

If you like this post, you may want to join my Oracle group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sqlpatterns/

Would you like to read about many more tricks and puzzles?

For more tricks and cool techniques check my book “Oracle SQL Tricks and Workarounds” for instructions.