Maintaining Data Integrity

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Objectives
After completing this lesson, you should be able to do the following: • Implement data integrity constraints • Maintain integrity constraints • Obtain constraint information

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Data Integrity
Database trigger Integrity constraint

Data

Application code

Table

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Types of Constraints
Constraint NOT NULL UNIQUE Description Specifies that a column cannot contain null values Designates a column or combination of columns as unique Designates a column or combination of columns as the table’s primary key Designates a column or combination of columns as the foreign key in a referential integrity constraint Specifies a condition that each row of the table must satisfy

PRIMARY KEY FOREIGN KEY CHECK

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Constraint States
DISABLE NOVALIDATE DISABLE VALIDATE ENABLE NOVALIDATE ENABLE VALIDATE

= =
New data Existing data
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Constraint Checking

DML statement Check nondeferred constraints

COMMIT

Check deferred constraints

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Defining Constraints Immediate or Deferred
• Use the SET CONSTRAINTS statement to make constraints either DEFERRED or IMMEDIATE. • The ALTER SESSION statement also has clauses to set constraints to DEFERRED or IMMEDIATE.

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Primary and Unique Key Enforcement
Key enabled?

Yes

Is an index available for use? No Constraint deferrable?

Yes

Constraint Deferrable?

Yes

Is the index nonunique? No/Yes

Yes

No Use existing index

No Do not use index

No Create unique index Create nonunique index

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Foreign Key Considerations

Desired Action Drop parent table Truncate parent table

Appropriate Solution Cascade constraints Disable or drop foreign key Use the CASCADE CONSTRAINTS clause

Drop tablespace containing parent table

Perform DML on child table Ensure that the tablespace containing the parent key is online

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Defining Constraints While Creating a Table
CREATE TABLE hr.employee( id NUMBER(7) CONSTRAINT employee_id_pk PRIMARY KEY DEFERRABLE USING INDEX STORAGE(INITIAL 100K NEXT 100K) TABLESPACE indx, last_name VARCHAR2(25) CONSTRAINT employee_last_name_nn NOT NULL, dept_id NUMBER(7)) TABLESPACE users;

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Guidelines for Defining Constraints
• Primary and unique constraints: – Place indexes in a separate tablespace. – Use nonunique indexes if bulk loads are frequent. • Self-referencing foreign keys: – Define or enable foreign keys after the initial load. – Defer constraint checking.

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Enabling Constraints
• No locks on table • Primary and unique keys must use nonunique indexes

ENABLE NOVALIDATE

ALTER TABLE hr.departments ENABLE NOVALIDATE CONSTRAINT dept_pk;

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Enabling Constraints
• Locks the table • Can use unique or nonunique indexes • Needs valid table data

ENABLE VALIDATE

ALTER TABLE hr.employees ENABLE VALIDATE CONSTRAINT emp_dept_fk;

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Renaming Constraints
Use the following to rename a constraint:
ALTER TABLE employees RENAME CONSTRAINT emp_dept_fk TO employees_dept_fk;

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Using the EXCEPTIONS Table
• Create the EXCEPTIONS table by running the utlexpt1.sql script. • Execute the ALTER TABLE statement with EXCEPTIONS option. • Use subquery on EXCEPTIONS to locate rows with invalid data. • Rectify the errors. • Reexecute ALTER TABLE to enable the constraint.

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Obtaining Constraint Information
Obtain information about constraints by querying the following views: • DBA_CONSTRAINTS • DBA_CONS_COLUMNS

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Summary
In this lesson, you should have learned how to: • Implement data integrity • Use an appropriate strategy to create and maintain constraints • Obtain constraint information

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Practice 13 Overview
This practice covers the following topics: • Creating constraints • Enabling unique constraints • Creating an EXCEPTIONS table • Identifying existing constraint violations in a table, correcting the errors, and reenabling the constraints

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