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.

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5 Solutions to 2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #1

2018 Puzzle of the Week #1:

For a given text string, find the first (from the beginning) longest sub-string that does not have repeating characters.

Solutions:

Solution #1: Using CONNECT BY clause (for range generation), REGEXP_COUNT, and RANK() functions:

WITH w AS ( 
SELECT 'arkansas' AS word 
FROM dual 
), r AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM rn 
FROM w 
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=LENGTH(word) 
), x AS ( 
SELECT SUBSTR(w.word, r1.rn, r2.rn - r1.rn + 1) substr, 
       RANK() OVER(ORDER BY r2.rn - r1.rn DESC, r1.rn) rk 
FROM r r1, r r2, w 
WHERE r1.rn<=r2.rn 
 AND REGEXP_COUNT(SUBSTR(w.word, r1.rn, r2.rn - r1.rn + 1), '(.).*\1') = 0 
) 
SELECT substr 
FROM x 
WHERE rk=1

Result of execution in Oracle Live SQL client:

SUBSTR
rkans

Solution #2: Using CONNECT BY clause (for range generation), REGEXP_LIKE, and MAX() KEEP functions:

WITH w AS ( 
SELECT 'arkansas' AS word 
FROM dual 
), r AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM rn 
FROM w 
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=LENGTH(word) 
) 
SELECT MAX(SUBSTR(w.word, r1.rn, r2.rn - r1.rn + 1)) 
 KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY r2.rn - r1.rn DESC, r1.rn) substr 
FROM r r1, r r2, w 
WHERE r1.rn<=r2.rn 
 AND NOT REGEXP_LIKE(SUBSTR(w.word, r1.rn, r2.rn - r1.rn + 1), '(.).*\1')

Solution #3: Using CONNECT BY clause (twice), LATERAL view, REGEXP_COUNT, and RANK() functions:

WITH w AS ( 
SELECT 'arkansas' AS word 
FROM dual 
), s AS ( 
SELECT SUBSTR(word, LEVEL) word, LEVEL rn 
FROM w 
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=LENGTH(word) 
) 
SELECT MAX(x.substr) 
       KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY LENGTH(x.substr) DESC, s.rn) substr 
FROM s, LATERAL(SELECT SUBSTR(s.word, 1, LEVEL) substr 
                FROM dual 
                CONNECT BY LEVEL<=LENGTH(s.word)) x 
WHERE REGEXP_COUNT(x.substr, '(.).*\1') = 0

Solution #4: Using XMLTable function (for range generation), Correlated subquery with COUNT(DISTINCT), and MAX() KEEP function:

WITH w AS ( 
SELECT 'arkansas' AS word 
FROM dual 
), r AS ( 
SELECT ROWNUM rn, word
FROM w, XMLTABLE('for $i in 1 to $N cast as xs:integer return $i' 
                 PASSING LENGTH(w.word) AS N) x
) 
SELECT MAX(SUBSTR(r1.word, r1.rn, r2.rn - r1.rn + 1))
 KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY r2.rn - r1.rn DESC, r1.rn) substr 
FROM r r1, r r2
WHERE r1.rn<=r2.rn 
 AND r2.rn - r1.rn + 1 = 
 (SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT SUBSTR(SUBSTR(r1.word, r1.rn, r2.rn - r1.rn + 1), 
                               LEVEL, 1)) 
 FROM dual 
 CONNECT BY LEVEL<=r2.rn - r1.rn + 1 
 )

Solution #5: Using CONNECT BY, Recursive CTE, INSTR, SUBSTR, and MAX() KEEP functions:

WITH w AS (
 SELECT 'arkansas' word
 FROM dual
), s(sub, word, lvl, rn) AS (
SELECT SUBSTR(word, LEVEL, 1), SUBSTR(word, LEVEL) word, 1, ROWNUM
FROM w
CONNECT BY SUBSTR(word, LEVEL) IS NOT NULL
UNION ALL
SELECT SUBSTR(word, 1, lvl+1), word, lvl+1, ROWNUM
FROM s
WHERE LENGTH(SUBSTR(word, 1, lvl+1))=lvl+1
 AND INSTR(sub, SUBSTR(word, lvl+1, 1))=0
)
SELECT MAX(sub) KEEP (DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY lvl DESC, rn) substr
FROM s

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.