ORACLE SQL for EPM tips and tricks S01EP04!


Continuing the Oracle SQL for EPM series, today we’ll extend a little bit the “Connect by” post to see some neat thing we can do when we mix regular expression with connect by.

First of all, let’s start explaining the basic of this approach. We can use Connect By and Level to generate data in Oracle like this:

This is very useful when you need to generate 2 rows for each row we have in a query, then you can do a Connect by Level <=2 and use it as a query without join, duplicating everything in the source query. Then you can use a Decode or Case to say, Case when level = 1 then x when level =2 then y….

But for us this is just the basic concept that we need to understand for our trick. let’s get back to our metadata table, the one with parent child relationship and with all metadata from all apps and all dims that we have. Let’s say we need to create an hierarchical table based in a parent child table. Some people does one union for each level that we have in the source table (too much work), another will do filter all over the places, I don’t, I just use connect by with regular expression. Let’s take a look.

As we can see, we have 17 levels or generations for the account dimension. quite big. First of all, let’s do a connect by path to flat the entire hierarchy in one row and remove the parent child relationship.

Now, as we can see, if we just do a connect by prior with the sys_connect_by _path, the query will generate 1 row for each level of data. We don’t want that, unless you want to have the ability to input data in the upper level of the hierarchy, that is usually not the case. What we want is to have one the entire path for each leaf member, then we need to filter just the leafs in our queries. In my case my table already have a column that says if a member has children or not, but I’ll proceed as if I don’t have it.

If we don’t have the leaf information we can generate it by using Connect_By_IsLeaf that basically return 0 if is a parent or 1 if is a leaf. Again, we are filtering this outside the connect by prior and now we have just the leafs and the entire hierarchy above him. Next step is to split this back into rows.

REGEXP_SUBSTR is the perfect tool to split the string we have into new columns. As you can see, we can use the follow expression: REGEXP_SUBSTR(Column, ‘[^|]+’, 1, 1) Basically the regexp uses what is in [] to find what yo want and split it in the way you want. In our case I’m looking for the first | (that is defined by the 1, 1) and get the first word after it. Then I have another regexp and I changed the 1, 1 to 1, 2 to get the second word and keep doing this until I get to the 17 generation (as we saw in the beginning).

Basically if you have 17 generation you need to have 17 columns in the table, then you need to have 17 REGEXP, one for each column, you just need to change the 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 3… until the 1, 17.

Here’s when ODI come in handy because if you use ODI you just need to do a select in the source to figure out how many generations you will have and then generate dynamically the 17 REGEXP and pass this to the target dynamically. It’s very easy since the code itself is always the same and the only thing that changes is the second parameter, and it’s a sequential parameter.

I hope this can be as useful for you as it’s for me and see you soon.

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