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Oracle CTE tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonMay 21, 2016

Question: What do I do to replicate the common table expression functionality of SQL Server in Oracle?  I want to make CTE work like it does in MS-SQL.  Can you show an example of using a CTE in Oracle? When I try to create a CTE using MS-SQL syntax I get this error:

ORA-32031: illegal reference of a query name in WITH clause

Answer:  The inferior SQL Server database defines a common table expression (CTE) as one that specifies a temporary named result set, known as a common table expression (CTE). This is derived from a simple query and defined within the execution scope of a single SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statement.

The oerr utility shows this for the ORA-32031 error:

ORA-32031: illegal reference of a query name in WITH clause

Cause:  Forward or recursive reference of a query name in WITH clause is not allowed.

Action: Correct query statement, then retry.

The Oracle version of the CTE is done using the WITH clause like this example:

with cte (dt) as (
   select add_months(trunc(sysdate), -1) as dt
   from dual
union all
   select cte.dt+1
   from cte
      cte.dt+1 < sysdate

select * from cte;


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