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AIM TECHNICAL DESIGN A Structured Approach to SQL Query Design

Team: Creation Date: Created By: Last Updated: Control: Version: Approvals: Technology 22 May 2009 Brendan Furey (BrendanPF@Yahoo.com) 19 August 2009 21095268.doc 1.1

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Change Record
Date Author Version Change Reference

22-May-2009 19-Aug-2009

BP Furey BP Furey

1.0 1.1

Initial Entity Overview: Cardinality reversal (Account); Entity/Subtype Definitions: Added sizes; Join Sequences: Note on outer joins; Other: Minor changes

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Contents
Document Control............................................................................................... .........ii Change Record........................................................................... ..........................ii Introduction.......................................................................................................... ........4 Technical Overview................................................................................ .....................5 Design Process................................................................................ .....................5 Implementation Notes........................................................................... ................6 Diagramming Tool....................................................................................... ....6 Subtypes............................................................................................... ..........6 Attributes......................................................................................................... 6 Notation................................................................................... .......................6 Additional Advantages of Approach.................................................. ....................7 Performance Tuning................................................................. ......................7 Documentation................................................................................................ 7 Package Design........................................................................................ ......7 Worked Example: COGS No Charge Report......................................... .....................8 Requirement Summary........................................................................... ..............8 Entity Relationship Diagrams.................................................................... ............8 Entity Overview....................................................................... .......................8 Entity/Subtype Listings........................................................................ ................11 Entity/Subtype Structure............................................................. ..................11 Entity/Subtype Definitions........................................................................... ..12 Query Diagrams.................................................................................... ..............13 Query Structure..................................................................... .......................13 Main Query.................................................................................. .................14 Transaction View.......................................................................................... .15 Join Sequences............................................................................................ .......16 Notes................................................................................. ...........................16 Query Code............................................................................................... ..........16 Text................................................................................................ ...............16 Notes................................................................................. ...........................18 Issues............................................................................................. ...........................20 Issues................................................................................................... ...............20 References......................................................................................... .......................21

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Introduction
SQL is a declarative language for manipulating data stored in a relational database. Oracle’s PL/SQL is a procedural extension intended to implement logic that cannot be performed directly in SQL. It’s generally accepted that developing software procedurally involves greater effort and results in more complex systems than using declarative languages; in the case of SQL, performance is usually also much better when implementing a requirement entirely in SQL. This leads to a Best Practice guideline, sometimes succinctly expressed (eg REF-1), as: ‘Do it in a single SQL statement if at all possible’ Unfortunately, this guideline appears to be followed surprisingly rarely, particularly in ERP environments. Often, in both batch programs and reports, a set of data that could be selected in a single query will instead be selected by a large and complex program with multiple small SQL queries scattered throughout. There are a couple of possible reasons that may explain why this is so: • With each major release, Oracle increases the power of SQL and its ability to do internally what previously had to be programmed, but the developer community can be slow to keep pace with advances ERP systems in particular tend to have very complex, highly granular data models, owing to the need for generality. This makes for rather complex SQL, which can be daunting to develop without good design techniques. In practice SQL is hardly ever designed and the temptation is to design a procedural program with simpler embedded SQL statements

The purpose of this document is to describe a structured, graphical approach to the design of SQL queries that may be a useful way of handling the complexity without reverting to procedural design. It focuses on subquery structure and join orders, rather than on other areas such as grouping and aggregation, or design patterns. The author has used it to design complex queries with up to 48 table instances, and the approach is demonstrated using a real (rather simpler) example of a custom report within Oracle’s Order Management and Inventory modules (see REF-2 for Oracle’s table specifications).

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Technical Overview
Design Process The approach is based on entity-relationship diagramming, but applied in a different way from its usage in database design. The main steps in the design process are: • Produce one or more entity-relationship diagrams that include all the physical entities required for the query o o Where necessary, follow a top-down approach using higher level entities to group related entities together, and break them down in secondary diagrams Use subtypes to show the logical structure as well as the physical, based on the query requirements (eg display Ship To and Bill To customers as distinct subtypes for an Invoice Print query)

Tabulate the entity and subtype structures o o Include definition of subtypes Map bottom-level entities to physical tables

Produce a query structure diagram, showing proposed subqueries, including inline views and each section of any unions o Use notes to explain the reasoning behind the structure

Produce one or more entity-relationship diagrams for each subquery (including the main query) o o Where necessary, follow a top-down approach using higher level entities to group related entities together, and break them down in secondary diagrams Mark which entities are constraining, or possibly constraining

Define a route through each diagram that a query plan could reasonably take, marking with numbered arrows the sequence of entities visited o o o Begin with a possible driving table, then pass to entities that are linked to entities already visited, favouring the most constraining entities The sequence represents the order in which the tables will be joined in the code, but need not be that followed by the SQL engine The join sequence will be a good starting point in analysing any performance problems that may occur

Tabulate the complete join sequence o Group by subquery, and any entity groupings for convenience

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Implementation Notes Diagramming Tool It is important for clarity that that entities and links can be sized and positioned flexibly. This effectively means that diagrams need to be be manually constructed rather than generated, and Oracle Designer and similar tools do not appear suitable. We have used Microsoft Visio. Subtypes Subtypes are often used at the logical phase of database design to represent the partitioning of an entity into a number of subentities, followed by a physical implementation in one of a number of ways: for example, a Party in Oracle's customer model may be one of several types, including Organisation and Person, and this is physically implemented by a party_type column on the table. The concept is used here more generally and more dynamically, to represent a division of an entity into groups of records, according to any data conditions specified in the query. Subtypes are depicted as two or more entities within another entity (but take care to avoid confusing with distinct entities within an entity group, and may be nested. Subtypes within a query diagram normally correspond to distinct table instances. Attributes Attributes do not appear on the diagrams, as they are not necessary for our purposes and cause clutter and distortion of entities, reducing clarity. Notation The following two points refer to both ERDs and query diagrams. • Entities o o o • Rounded boxes Broken lines indicate a complex entity containing subentities Entities appearing within another solid-lined entity are subtypes

Relationships o o o o Straight lines between entities Perpendicular bar denotes referencing end Circle denotes optionality Triple ending denotes many end of many to one relationship

The remaining points apply to query diagrams only • Constraining entities o • Asterisk against the name

Join sequence o Numbered arrows

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Additional Advantages of Approach Performance Tuning The design process followed here results in a logical join sequence. When the Cost Based Optimiser fails to find a good execution plan, the starting point in analysis is usually to compare its join order with what the developer would expect, and if necessary hints (such as LEADING) can be added to obtain a better plan. This tends to more of an issue with large queries. Documentation The design process described results in a document that makes large queries much easier to understand for support staff. Package Design The type of ERDs shown here can be used in designing package structures for maintenance of logical entities. For example, where Oracle’s customer model is used, the logical entities are usually at a higher level than Oracle’s physical model and maintenance procedures would correspond to the logical level represented on Entity-Relationship diagrams.

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Worked Example: COGS No Charge Report
Requirement Summary This is a custom report based on Oracle Applications (11.5.10) Inventory and Order Management modules (the table definitions can be obtained from REF-2). It lists order lines that are sold at zero price, and includes the Inventory COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) account distributions in two categories (material and overhead). Briefly, the requirements are: • • List order lines with zero unit price, showing COGS Material and Overhead Inventory costs (where they exist), along with Warehouse, Ship To and Item data Order lines may be of type Configuration or Non-Configuration, and the latter are nonshippable, so do not have Inventory records, in which case print the Order Line records with zero for the COGS costs Report driven by the dates of a GL period, applied to the Inventory records for Configuration Lines, and the Order Lines for Non-Configuration Lines

Entity Relationship Diagrams Entity Overview The diagram below gives an overview, showing how the main entity groups relate to each other, with the complex entities broken down subsequently. Broken lines denote complex entities (but don’t always come out in Word!).

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GL Period

Order Header

COGS Overhead

Logical

COGS Material

MTL Transaction Account

Physical MTL Transaction

Component

NonConfiguration Other Warehouse GL Account Account Configuration Order Line Line Model

Line Type

Ship To Site Use

Inventory Item

Address

Item Category

Customer

Product Line Category Item

Ship To

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Entity Breakdown

Ship To Site Use

Inventory Item

Customer Site

Customer Account

Item Category

Party Site

Party

Category

Customer

Location

Product Line

Address Ship To Other Category Set Product Line Category Item

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Entity/Subtype Listings Entity/Subtype Structure The table below shows the entity structure and the subtype structure where applicable. Italics denote complex entities referenced within others. Entity 1 GL Period MTL Transaction Account Warehouse Order Header Line Order Line Line Type Ship To Site Use Customer Site Party Site Location Customer Inventory Item Item Category Item Product Line Category Category Category Set Product Line Other Customer Account Party Entity 2 Entity 3 Subtype 1 Logical Physical Overhead Material Other Configuration Ship To Non-Configuration Model Component Subtype 2

MTL Transaction Account GL Account

Address

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Entity/Subtype Definitions The table below displays all the bottom level entities, with the tables that implement them, and the subtype conditions where applicable. Entity GL Period MTL Transaction Account Table gl_periods mtl_transaction_accounts Size in 1000’s 0.4 54,943 Overhead GL Account gl_code_combinations 117 Material Other Physical MTL Transaction Warehouse Order Header mtl_material_transactions mtl_parameters oe_order_headers_all 26,782 0.1 822 Configuration Order Line oe_order_lines_all 3,230 NonConfiguration Model/Comp onent Line of type Model with linked Component Lines Line not of type Model or Component Component Lines are linked to a Model Line Logical Condition on column values here and in linked MTL Transaction Account record Condition on column values here and in linked MTL Transaction Account record Other Has child transaction Has parent transaction (these arise from intercompany orders using virtual warehouses) Subtype Condition

Line Type Ship To Site Use Customer Site Party Site Location Customer Account Party Inventory Item Item Category Category Category Set

oe_transaction_types_tl hz_cust_site_uses_all hz_cust_acct_sites_all hz_party_sites hz_locations hz_cust_accounts hz_parties mtl_system_items_b mtl_item_categories mtl_categories mtl_category_sets

0.1 489 327 216 145 54 409 1,565 34,294 64 0.1 Product Line Other Set name = ‘PLINE’ Other name

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Query Diagrams Query Structure

Configuration

NonConfiguration

Transaction View Main Query

Notes • • The query is driven by two different sets of source records, requiring the inner union The union goes into an inline view in order to avoid duplicating all the the other tables for each section

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Main Query
NonConfiguration*

1

Configuration*

2

Transaction*

Inventory Item

Order Header

7

Ship To Site Use

Warehouse

3

8

Item Category

Customer Site

Customer Account

4 6 5

9

12 13

Category

Product Line

Party Site

Party

10
Other

Customer

11
Location

Category Set Product Line Category Item

Address Ship To

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Transaction View

GL Period*

GL Period*

1

1

Account Linked

4
MTL Transaction Account

Configuration Line

Parent MTL Transaction

5

Component

NonConfiguration Line

2 3
GL Account Account

6

2

Model*

7

Line Type*

Line Type*

Configuration* Transaction*

Non-Configuration*

Notes • Observe that we have shown the GL Account entity without the subtypes that appeared in the ERD. This represents a design decision not to link to separate instances of the table for the subtypes, but instead link to a single instance and use the row-column pivotting technique to obtain the two COGS amounts on a single line. See the notes section after the query code for an explanation We have used a different subtyping for our MTL Transaction from that in the ERD. The record linked to may be a logical or a physical transaction, and we link from it to its parent, if it exists (logical case)

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Join Sequences The table below shows the (possible) join sequences by subquery Entity 1 GL Period Account MTL Transaction Account GL Account Any Physical (if previous Logical) Component Model Non-Configuration GL Period Order Line (Non-Configuration) Line Type Main Query Transaction Item Inventory Item Item Category Product Line Category Order Header Ship To Category Category Set (Product Line) (Inline View) mtl_system_items_b mtl_item_categories mtl_categories mtl_category_sets oe_order_headers_all hz_cust_site_uses_all hz_cust_acct_sites_all hz_party_sites hz_locations hz_cust_accounts hz_parties mtl_parameters gl_periods oe_order_lines_all oe_transaction_types_tl Entity 2 Entity 3 Configuration Table gl_periods mtl_transaction_accounts gl_code_combinations mtl_material_transactions mtl_material_transactions (+) oe_order_lines_all oe_order_lines_all oe_transaction_types_tl

MTL Transaction Order Line (Configuration) Line Type

Ship To Site Use Address Customer Customer Site Party Site Location Customer Account Party

Warehouse Notes Outer Joins

Outer joins are a frequent source of errors in SQL, either by the join being incorrectly specified as outer (or inner), or by the outer join syntax being incorrectly implemented (usually by including the (+) on only some of the relevant clauses). ANSI join syntax (see notes on next section) makes it harder to get the implementation wrong. Specification errors will be less likely if the join type is part of the design. Outer joins are indicated by the same symbol as in Oracle native SQL - (+) - in the table above.

Query Code Text
SELECT /*+ LEADING (ilv) USE_NL (ooh) */ war.organization_code orgcode,

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FROM ( SELECT lty) */

loc.country, ooh.order_number ilv.line_number ilv.line_type, ilv.dept, ilv.reason, ooh.cust_po_number Substr(par.party_name,1,25) ilv.shipped_quantity Nvl (ilv.material*ilv.shipped_quantity, Nvl (ilv.OH*ilv.shipped_quantity, 0) msi.segment1 cat.segment1 ilv.period_name

order_num, line_num,

ponum, cust_name, qty, 0) extd_mat, extd_ovh, partnum, prodline, period

/*+ LEADING (per mta gcc trx trx_p ool_cpt ool_mdl lty) USE_NL (gcc trx trx_p ool_cpt ool_mdl

ool_mdl.header_id, ool_mdl.line_number, ool_mdl.inventory_item_id, ool_mdl.ship_to_org_id, ool_cpt.shipped_quantity, Max (CASE WHEN mta.cost_element_id = 1 OR gcc.segment4 IN ('1360', '1361') THEN mta.rate_or_amount END) material, Max (CASE WHEN mta.cost_element_id = 2 OR gcc.segment4 IN ('1330', '1331') THEN mta.rate_or_amount END) OH, lty.name line_type, ool_mdl.attribute10 dept, ool_mdl.attribute9 reason, mta.organization_id, per.period_name FROM gl_periods per, mtl_transaction_accounts mta, gl_code_combinations gcc, mtl_material_transactions trx, mtl_material_transactions trx_p, oe_order_lines_all ool_cpt, oe_order_lines_all ool_mdl, oe_transaction_types_tl lty WHERE mta.transaction_date BETWEEN per.start_date AND per.end_date AND per.period_name = '&&1' AND per.period_type = '1' AND gcc.code_combination_id = mta.reference_account AND trx.transaction_id = mta.transaction_id AND trx_p.transaction_id (+) = trx.parent_transaction_id AND ool_cpt.line_id = Nvl (trx.trx_source_line_id, trx_p.trx_source_line_id) AND ool_mdl.line_id = ool_cpt.link_to_line_id AND lty.transaction_type_id = ool_mdl.line_type_id AND mta.transaction_source_type_id = 2 AND mta.accounting_line_type = 1 AND (mta.cost_element_id IN (1, 2) OR gcc.segment4 IN ('1360', '1361', '1330', '1331')) AND ool_mdl.unit_selling_price = 0 AND Nvl (ool_mdl.attribute9, '&&2') BETWEEN '&&2' AND '&&3' AND lty.name BETWEEN Nvl ('&&4', 'BO') AND Nvl ('&&5', 'US') AND lty.name <> 'TO' GROUP BY ool_mdl.header_id, ool_mdl.line_number, ool_mdl.inventory_item_id, ool_mdl.ship_to_org_id, ool_cpt.shipped_quantity, lty.name, ool_mdl.attribute10, ool_mdl.attribute9, mta.organization_id, per.period_name UNION SELECT /*+ LEADING (per ool lty) USE_NL (lty) */ ool.header_id, ool.line_number, ool.inventory_item_id, ool.ship_to_org_id, Nvl (ool.ordered_quantity, 0), 0, 0, lty.name, ool.attribute10,

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FROM WHERE AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND

WHERE AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND AND ORDER

ool.attribute9, ool.ship_from_org_id, per.period_name gl_periods oe_order_lines_all oe_transaction_types_tl ool.request_date per.period_name per.period_type lty.transaction_type_id ool.unit_selling_price lty.name lty.name ool.link_to_line_id ( (ool.top_model_line_id ool.top_model_line_id OR (ool.top_model_line_id ) ) mtl_system_items mtl_item_categories mtl_categories mtl_category_sets oe_order_headers_all hz_cust_site_uses_all hz_cust_acct_sites_all hz_party_sites hz_locations hz_parties hz_cust_accounts mtl_parameters msi.inventory_item_id msi.organization_id mic.inventory_item_id mic.organization_id mic.category_set_id mcs.category_set_name cat.category_id ooh.header_id csu.site_use_id sit.cust_acct_site_id pst.party_site_id loc.location_id cus.cust_account_id par.party_id war.organization_id BY 1, 6, 2, 3, 4

per, ool, lty BETWEEN per.start_date AND per.end_date = '&&1' = '1' = ool.line_type_id = 0 BETWEEN Nvl ('&&4', 'BO') AND Nvl ('&&5', 'TO') IN ('BO', 'TO') IS NULL IS NOT NULL AND != ool.line_id) IS NULL) ilv, msi, mic, cat, mcs, ooh, csu, sit, pst, loc, par, cus, war = ilv.inventory_item_id = ilv.organization_id = msi.inventory_item_id = ilv.organization_id = mcs.category_set_id = 'PLINE' = mic.category_id = ilv.header_id = ilv.ship_to_org_id = csu.cust_acct_site_id = sit.party_site_id = pst.location_id = sit.cust_account_id = cus.party_id = ilv.organization_id

Notes Row-Column Pivotting The GL Account is regarded as having three subtypes for the purpose of this query. The query needs to bring back two of them for a given transaction, and display cost values in two columns corresponding to the subtypes, but one or the other may be missing. We prefer to avoid the complications and likely inefficiency of attempting to achieve this by outer-joining to two instances and instead use a row-column pivotting method, which is a useful general purpose technique that goes as follows (let’s say we have n columns, COL_1-COL_n whose values are obtained by expressions EXPRESSION_1- EXPRESSION_n and corresponding Where conditions CONDITION_1CONDITION_n): • Join the table once for all conditions corresponding to the columns o • • WHERE (CONDITION_1 OR … CONDITION_n)

Group by all columns except COL_1-COL_n Add lines to Select list for i = 1 to n: o Max (CASE WHEN CONDITION_i THEN EXPRESSION_i END) COL_i

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In Oracle 11g, there is a PIVOT clause native to SQL. Hints The Explain Plan for the query was found to favour hash joins, and poor performance was obtained. As a result a LEADING hint was added to each subquery, giving the preferred join order, following directly from the design sequences, and where necessary USE_NL hints were added to ensure nested loop joins. This gave much improved performance. ANSI SQL We would prefer to use ANSI join syntax, but cannot because the version of Oracle 10g we are using (10g 10.2.0.3.0 ) has a bug that causes some ANSI queries to fail spuriously with ORA-01445

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Issues
Issues # 1 Issue ANSI join syntax Description Oracle bug, see above Note if closed

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References
REF REF-1 REF-2 Document Oracle, Ask Tom, ‘Considering SQL as a Service’ Oracle, eTRM, R11.5.10 Location http://asktom.oracle.com/pls/asktom/f?p= 100:11:0::::P11_QUESTION_ID:6727247 00346558185 https://etrm.oracle.com/pls/trm11510/etr m_search.search

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