Category Archives: ETL

Multi-Table Insert

Today, I was trying to help a friend in migrating data from one data model to another. The first data model had all the levels of the dimension in the same table while the second data model had them in different tables. So, instead of writing some complex procedural logic, I tried using Oracle’s Multi-Table Insert which essentially has the following syntax

insert all
when then into <table> values (…)
when then …
select … from where … connect by … starts with … order by level;

The data models in this specific architecture are auto generated and have the foreign key constraints automatically created. As a result, I tried to order the data by the level of the dimension hierarchy so that the parent level is always inserted before the child level. However, the above sql still gave constraint violation error.

After a bit of a research, apparently, Oracle doesn’t guarantee the order of inserts in spite of the explicit ordering in the select clause. Well, I fixed the problem in a quick and easy manner using a pl/sql block with looping on the level from 1..n.

Anyway, I think the Multi-Table Insert is a cool feature but given the fact that this has been designed specifically keeping ETL in mind, it would be great if this can be enhanced to honor the ordering of the data.

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Filed under Advanced SQL, data migration, ETL, Oracle