Altering Table Column: Oracle vs MS SQL

Today I needed to do some coding in MS SQL and discovered some differences between Oracle and MS SQL worth mentioning.

As you know, Oracle allows altering more than one column in a single command. For ex:

ALTER TABLE scott.emp MODIFY (
   hiredate NOT NULL,
   deptno NUMBER(4) NOT NULL
);

In TSQL, however, you will have to execute two commands:

ALTER TABLE emp ALTER COLUMN hiredate DATE NOT NULL;
ALTER TABLE emp ALTER COLUMN deptno INT NOT NULL;

A couple of more differences:

  • TSQL uses ALTER COLUMN, Oracle SQL – MODIFY
  • TSQL, unlike Oracle SQL, cannot alter column null-ability without knowing its data type

I hope this short post will help Oracle developers to be productive with MS SQL if the opportunity presents.

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

Further Reading:

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.

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3 Solutions to 2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #15

800 Phone Puzzle

For a given 800 phone number (like 1-800-123-4567) find all number-letter representations.

  • Use a single SELECT statement only.
  • Only last 4 digits of the phone number have to be replaced with letters.
  • Exactly 1 letter (out of 4) must be vowel,  the rest – consonant
  • The following table shows all possible mappings:
Digit Maps to
1 1
2 A, B, C
3 D, E, F
4 G, H, I
5 J, K, L
6 M, N, O
7 P, Q, R, S
8 T, U, V
9 W, X, Y, Z
0 0

Solutions:

Essentially, all solutions below share the same idea of generating the letter based phone numbers. The differences are in a way the mapping CTE is created and a way to limit the number of vowels to 1.

Solution #1. Compact form of creating the map CTE with recursive check for the vowels:

WITH map AS (
SELECT digit, letter, '4357' phone
FROM TABLE(sys.odcivarchar2list('00','11','2ABC','3DEF','4GHI',
                                '5JKL','6MNO','7PQRS','8TUV','9WXYZ')) t,
 LATERAL(SELECT SUBSTR(t.column_value,1,1) digit, 
                SUBSTR(t.column_value,1+LEVEL,1) letter
         FROM dual
         CONNECT BY SUBSTR(t.column_value,1+LEVEL,1) IS NOT NULL) x
), res(str, lvl, phone,has_vowel) AS ( 
SELECT letter, 1, phone, 
 CASE WHEN letter IN ('A','E','I','O','U') THEN 1 ELSE 0 END
FROM map 
WHERE SUBSTR(phone,1,1)=TO_CHAR(map.digit) 
UNION ALL 
SELECT res.str || letter, res.lvl+1, res.phone,
       CASE WHEN letter IN ('A','E','I','O','U') 
               OR res.has_vowel=1 THEN 1 ELSE 0 END
FROM res JOIN map ON SUBSTR(res.phone, res.lvl+1,1)=TO_CHAR(map.digit) 
WHERE res.lvl+1<=LENGTH(res.phone) 
  AND NOT (letter IN ('A','E','I','O','U') AND res.has_vowel=1)
) 
SELECT '1-800-123-' || str phone 
FROM res
WHERE lvl=LENGTH(phone)
  AND has_vowel=1

Solution #2. Using more efficient way of creating the map CTE :

WITH x AS (
SELECT ROWNUM-1 digit,COLUMN_VALUE letters
FROM TABLE(sys.odcivarchar2list('0','1','ABC','DEF','GHI','JKL',
                                'MNO','PQRS','TUV','WXYZ'))
), map AS (
SELECT digit, SUBSTR(letters, level, 1) letter, '4357' phone
FROM x
CONNECT BY SUBSTR(letters, level, 1) IS NOT NULL
       AND PRIOR digit = digit 
       AND PRIOR DBMS_RANDOM.VALUE IS NOT NULL
), res(str, lvl, phone,has_vowel) AS ( 
SELECT letter, 1, phone, 
       CASE WHEN letter IN ('A','E','I','O','U') THEN 1 ELSE 0 END
FROM map 
WHERE SUBSTR(phone,1,1)=TO_CHAR(map.digit) 
UNION ALL 
SELECT res.str || letter, res.lvl+1, res.phone,
       CASE WHEN letter IN ('A','E','I','O','U') 
              OR res.has_vowel=1 THEN 1 ELSE 0 END
FROM res JOIN map ON SUBSTR(res.phone, res.lvl+1,1)=TO_CHAR(map.digit) 
WHERE res.lvl+1<=LENGTH(res.phone) 
  AND NOT (letter IN ('A','E','I','O','U') AND res.has_vowel=1)
) 
SELECT '1-800-123-' || str phone 
FROM res
WHERE lvl=LENGTH(phone)
 AND has_vowel=1

Solution #3. Much more efficient way of creating the map CTE and using Regular Expression to limit the vowels :

WITH d AS ( 
SELECT LEVEL+1 n, CASE WHEN LEVEL+1 IN (7,9) THEN 4 ELSE 3 END cnt,
       '4357' phone
FROM dual 
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=8 
), a AS ( 
SELECT CHR(ASCII('A')+LEVEL-1) letter, ROWNUM rn 
FROM dual 
CONNECT BY CHR(ASCII('A')+LEVEL-1)<='Z' 
), x AS ( 
SELECT n, 
       1+NVL(SUM(cnt) OVER(ORDER BY n ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING 
                                           AND 1 PRECEDING),0) c1, 
       SUM(cnt) OVER(ORDER BY n) c2,
       phone
FROM d 
), map AS ( 
SELECT n digit, letter, x.phone
FROM x JOIN a ON a.rn BETWEEN x.c1 AND x.c2 
UNION 
SELECT ROWNUM-1, TO_CHAR(ROWNUM-1), x.phone
FROM x
WHERE ROWNUM<=2
), res(str, lvl) AS ( 
SELECT letter, 1 
FROM map 
WHERE SUBSTR(map.phone,1,1)=TO_CHAR(map.digit) 
UNION ALL 
SELECT res.str || letter, res.lvl+1
FROM res JOIN map ON SUBSTR(map.phone, res.lvl+1,1)=TO_CHAR(map.digit) 
WHERE res.lvl+1<=LENGTH(map.phone) 
 AND REGEXP_COUNT(res.str || letter,'[AEIOU]')<=1
) 
SELECT str phone 
FROM res 
WHERE lvl=4
 AND REGEXP_COUNT(str,'[AEIOU]')=1

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/

Further Reading:

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.