July 8, 2015

esProc Simplifies SQL-style Computations – Record Splitting

Programmers often encounter complicated SQL-style computations during database application development. Record splitting, for example, is to split a record separated by a certain separator into multiple ones. For different databases, SQL has various problems like poor syntax support and the need of writing nested and multilayered statements. esProc boasts rich class library, has the ability to produce intuitive script step by step and thus makes the handling of the case much easier. An example will be used to illustrate how it works.

The application stores the operations of each user at a single login in the user operation record table – user_op – by separating them with commas. Some of the original data are as follows:
2014/1/3 11:10:12  100001    a,d,h
2014/1/3 9:23:12    100002    a,e,g,p
2014/1/3 10:35:11  100003    a,r,n
Now we want to split each record separated by commas into multiple ones. For instance the first record will become this after splitting:
2014/1/3 11:10:12  100001    a
2014/1/3 11:10:12  100001    d
2014/1/3 11:10:12  100001    h

SQL needs recursive queries to handle this kind of operation, but it is extremely difficult when the database supports recursion poorly. Even Oracle that supports recursion well has difficulty in doing this. The following SQL statements are used to prove this point:

SELECT logtime,userid,REGEXP_SUBSTR(opid,'[^,]+',1,rn) opid
CONNECT BY LEVEL<=(SELECT MAX(length(trim(translate(opid,replace(opid,
','),' '))))+1 FROM user_op))
'[^,]+',1,rn) IS NOT NULL
select logtime,userid,regexp_substr(opid,'[^,]+',1,level) opid
from user_op
connect by level <= length(opid)-length(regexp_replace(opid,
and rowid= prior rowid
and prior dbms_random.value is not null
They demonstrate the complexity featuring SQL-style computations. Now let’s look at how esProc will handle this:

In this esProc script:


Retrieve data of user_op from the database. Part of the result is as follows: 

A2= A1.create()

Based on A1, create a new table sequence with the same structure to store the final result set. The new table sequence is as follows: 


Loop through each record of A1’s sequence table to split each value of OPID field and convert it into a sequence. Then write the splitting results to A2’s result set. The result of A2 is as follows: 

It can be seen that esProc uses merely three lines of code to complete the record splitting operation. By the way, esProc can be called by the reporting tool or Java program much like they call a database, and provides JDBC interface to return the result in the form of ResultSet to Java main program. See related documents for details.