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

Recent employment Puzzle

For each location, show 2 most recently hired employees

  • Use a single SELECT statement only.
  • ename1 and hiredate1 columns should correspond the latest hired employee while ename1 and hiredate1 columns – the previous one

Expected Result:

LOC ENAME1 HIREDATE1 ENAME2 HIREDATE2
NEW YORK MILLER 23-JAN-82 KING 17-NOV-81
CHICAGO JAMES 03-DEC-81 MARTIN 28-SEP-81
DALLAS ADAMS 23-MAY-87 SCOTT 19-APR-87

Solutions:

Solution #1. Using Self-Join and MAX functions

SELECT d.loc, 
     MAX(e1.ename) KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY e1.hiredate DESC) ename1, 
     MAX(e1.hiredate) hiredate1, 
     MAX(e2.ename) KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY e2.hiredate DESC) ename2, 
     MAX(e2.hiredate) hiredate2 
FROM scott.emp e1 JOIN scott.emp e2 ON e1.deptno=e2.deptno 
 AND e1.hiredate>=e2.hiredate 
 AND e1.ROWID!=e2.ROWID 
                  JOIN scott.dept d ON e1.deptno=d.deptno 
GROUP BY d.loc;

Solution #2. Using LISTAGG and REGEXP_SUBSTR functions

SELECT d.loc, 
       MAX(ename) KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY hiredate DESC) ename1,
       MAX(hiredate) hiredate1, 
       REGEXP_SUBSTR(LISTAGG(ename, '|') WITHIN GROUP (ORDER BY hiredate DESC),
 '[^|]+',1,2) ename2,
       REGEXP_SUBSTR(LISTAGG(hiredate, '|') WITHIN GROUP (ORDER BY hiredate DESC),
 '[^|]+',1,2) hiredate2
FROM scott.emp e JOIN scott.dept d ON e.deptno=d.deptno
GROUP BY d.loc
ORDER BY 1;

Solution #3. Using CTE, ROW_NUMBER, and Self-Join

WITH x AS (
SELECT d.loc, e.ename, e.hiredate, 
       ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY d.deptno ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) rn
FROM scott.emp e JOIN scott.dept d ON e.deptno=d.deptno
)
SELECT a.loc, a.ename ename1, a.hiredate hiredate1,
              b.ename ename2, b.hiredate hiredate2
FROM x a JOIN x b ON a.loc=b.loc AND a.rn=1 AND b.rn=2;

Solution #4. Using Pivot

WITH x AS (
SELECT d.loc, e.ename, e.hiredate, 
       ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY d.deptno ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) rn
FROM scott.emp e JOIN scott.dept d ON e.deptno=d.deptno
)
SELECT loc, e1_ename AS ename1, e1_hdate AS hiredate1,
       e2_ename AS ename2, e2_hdate AS hiredate2
FROM x
PIVOT (
MAX(ename) ename, MAX(hiredate) hdate FOR rn IN (1 AS e1, 2 AS e2) 
)
ORDER BY 1;

Solution #5. Simulating Pivot with MAX and DECODE functions

WITH x AS (
SELECT d.loc, e.ename, e.hiredate, 
       ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY d.deptno ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) rn
FROM scott.emp e JOIN scott.dept d ON e.deptno=d.deptno
)
SELECT loc, 
       MAX(DECODE(rn,1,ename)) ename1, 
       MAX(DECODE(rn,1,hiredate)) hiredate1,
       MAX(DECODE(rn,2,ename)) ename2, 
       MAX(DECODE(rn,2,hiredate)) hiredate2
FROM x
GROUP BY loc
ORDER BY 1;

Solution #6. Using CONNECT BY

WITH x AS (
SELECT d.loc, e.ename, e.hiredate, 
       ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY d.deptno ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) rn
FROM scott.emp e JOIN scott.dept d ON e.deptno=d.deptno
)
SELECT loc, PRIOR ename ename1, PRIOR hiredate hiredate1, 
       ename ename2, hiredate hriedate2
FROM x
WHERE rn=2
START WITH rn=1
CONNECT BY loc=PRIOR loc
       AND rn=PRIOR rn+1;

Solution #7. Using LEAD and ROW_NUMBER Analytic functions

WITH x AS (
SELECT d.loc, e.ename ename1, e.hiredate hiredate1, 
 LEAD(e.ename,1) OVER(PARTITION BY d.deptno ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) ename2,
 LEAD(e.hiredate,1) OVER(PARTITION BY d.deptno ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) hiredate2,
 ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY d.deptno ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) rn
FROM scott.emp e JOIN scott.dept d ON e.deptno=d.deptno
) 
SELECT loc, ename1, hiredate1, ename2, hiredate2
FROM x
WHERE rn=1
ORDER BY 1;

Solution #8. Using Model Clause:

SELECT loc, ename1, hiredate1, ename2, hiredate2
FROM scott.emp e JOIN scott.dept d ON e.deptno=d.deptno
MODEL
RETURN UPDATED ROWS
PARTITION BY (d.loc)
DIMENSION BY (
   ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY d.loc ORDER BY e.hiredate DESC) AS rn
)
MEASURES(
    ename AS ename1, hiredate AS hiredate1, 
    ename AS ename2, hiredate AS hiredate2
)
RULES(
    ename2[1]   =ename1[2],
    hiredate2[1]=hiredate1[2]
)
ORDER BY 1;

You can execute the above SQL statements in Oracle Live SQL environment.
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3 Solutions to 2018 Oracle SQL Puzzle of the Week #2

2018 Puzzle of the Week #2:

For each of the following salary ranges select two randomly chosen employees:
0-999
1000-1999
2000-2999
3000+

Expected Result (in SQL*Plus):

ENAME      SAL        RANGE
---------- ---------- ---------
SCOTT            3000 3000+
FORD             3000 3000+
BLAKE            2850 2000-2999
CLARK            2450 2000-2999
TURNER           1500 1000-1999
MILLER           1300 1000-1999
JAMES             950 0-999
SMITH             800 0-999
  • Remember to use only a single SELECT statement.
  • Use table emp (from Oracle scott schema)

Solutions:

Solution #1: Using ROW_NUMBER with random.value functions:

We are applying a random sorting order to each of the salary ranges and take 2 top records from each range:

WITH x AS (
SELECT CASE WHEN sal<=999  THEN '0-999'
            WHEN sal<=1999 THEN '1000-1999'
            WHEN sal<=2999 THEN '2000-2999'
            ELSE                '3000+'
       END range,
       ename, sal
FROM emp
), y AS (
SELECT ename, sal, range, 
       ROW_NUMBER()OVER(PARTITION BY range 
                        ORDER BY dbms_random.value) rn
FROM x
)
SELECT range, ename, sal
FROM y
WHERE rn<=2
ORDER BY range

Result:

RANGE     ENAME      SAL
--------- ---------- ----------
0-999     JAMES      950
0-999     SMITH      800
1000-1999 WARD 1250
1000-1999 TURNER 1500
2000-2999 JONES 2975
2000-2999 CLARK 2450
3000+     FORD 3000
3000+     KING 5000

Result (of subsequent execution):

RANGE     ENAME             SAL
--------- ---------- ----------
0-999     SMITH             800
0-999     JAMES             950
1000-1999 WARD             1250
1000-1999 MARTIN           1250
2000-2999 BLAKE            2850
2000-2999 JONES            2975
3000+     SCOTT            3000
3000+     KING             5000

Solution #2: Using DECODE, MAX() KEEP and UNION ALL:

Instead of taking top 2 records (randomly sorted), we are taking top 1 and bottom 1 and combine them together. DECODE function mimics the CASE from the previous solution.

WITH x AS (
SELECT DECODE(1, SIGN(999-sal), '0-999', SIGN(1999-sal), '1000-1999',
                 SIGN(2999-sal), '2000-2999', '3000+') range,
       ename, sal, ROWNUM || dbms_random.value rnd
FROM scott.emp
)
SELECT range, MAX(ename)KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY rnd) ename,
              MAX(sal)  KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY rnd) sal
FROM x
GROUP BY range
UNION ALL
SELECT range, MAX(ename)KEEP(DENSE_RANK LAST ORDER BY rnd) ename,
              MAX(sal)  KEEP(DENSE_RANK LAST ORDER BY rnd) sal
FROM x
GROUP BY range
ORDER BY range

Result:

RANGE     ENAME             SAL
--------- ---------- ----------
0-999     JAMES             950
0-999     SMITH             800
1000-1999 MARTIN           1250
1000-1999 WARD             1250
2000-2999 JONES            2975
2000-2999 BLAKE            2850
3000+     FORD             3000
3000+     KING             5000

Note, that we concatenated ROWNUM with dbms_random.value to produce UNIQUE random value. Without ROWNUM (or any other KEY) there is always a chance that dbms_random.value will repeat on different rows and hence top and bottom values could be mixed and the same employee will be repeated twice.

Solution #3: Using SIN for random value simulation and multi-column UNPIVOT with MAX() KEEP function:

Instead of combining top and bottom records from two statements using UNION ALL, here were calculating top and bottom values as 1 record and UNPIVOT them to produce two rows per salary range:

WITH x AS (
SELECT DECODE(1, SIGN(999-sal), '0-999', SIGN(1999-sal), '1000-1999',
                 SIGN(2999-sal), '2000-2999', '3000+') range,
       ename, sal, 
       SIN(ROWNUM*TO_NUMBER(SUBSTR(
                             extract(second 
                                     from current_timestamp),-3))
           ) rnd
FROM scott.emp
), y AS (
SELECT range, MAX(ename)KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY rnd) ename1,
              MAX(sal)  KEEP(DENSE_RANK FIRST ORDER BY rnd) sal1,
              MAX(ename)KEEP(DENSE_RANK LAST ORDER BY rnd) ename2,
              MAX(sal)  KEEP(DENSE_RANK LAST ORDER BY rnd) sal2
FROM x
GROUP BY range
)
SELECT range, ename, sal
FROM y
UNPIVOT (
  (ename, sal) for (t1, t2) in ((ename1,sal1), (ename2,sal2))
)
ORDER BY range

Result:

RANGE     ENAME             SAL
--------- ---------- ----------
0-999     SMITH             800
0-999     JAMES             950
1000-1999 MILLER           1300
1000-1999 MARTIN           1250
2000-2999 CLARK            2450
2000-2999 BLAKE            2850
3000+     FORD             3000
3000+     SCOTT            3000

Note the use of multi-column UNPIVOT. Randomization simulation is based on a fairly random selection of the last 3 digits in the current timestamp’s second value. This number is used as a “seed”. When this seed is multiplied by the rownum, the result is used as a SIN function argument which makes the outcome pseudo-random.

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

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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.

 

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.