Over the past few days I’ve had a number of emails and comments based on my previous post. My previous post was called ‘Adding numbers between two values’. I included some PL/SQL code that can be used to add up the numbers between two values. I mentioned that this was a question that my pre-teen son (a few year pre-teen) had asked me.
There are two main solutions to the same problem. One involves just using a SELECT and the other involves using recursion. I will come back the these alternative solutions below.
But let me start off with a bit more detail and background to why I approached the problem the way that I did. The main reason is that my son is a pre-teen. Over the past couple of years he as expressed an interest in what his daddy does. We even have matching ORACLENERD t-shirts
When I was working through the problem with my son I wanted to show him how to take a problem and by breaking it down into its different parts we can work out an overall solution. We can then take each of these parts and translate them into code. In this case some PL/SQL, yes it is a bit nerdy and we do have the t-shirt. The code that I gave illustrates many different parts of the language and hopefully he will use some of these features as we continue on our learning experience.
It is good sometimes to break a problem down into smaller parts. That way we can understand it better, what works and what does not work, if something does not work then we will know what bit and also leads to easier maintenance. At a later point as you develop an in-depth knowledge of certain features of a language you can then rewrite what you have to be more efficient.
All part of the learning experience.
Ok lets take a look at the other ways to answer this problem. The first approach is to just use a single SELECT statement.
SELECT sum(rownum + &&Start_Number - 1)
CONNECT by level <= &End_Number - &&Start_Number + 1;
An even simpler way is
CONNECT BY level between &Start_Number and &End_Number;
These queries create a hierarchical query that produce all the numbers between the Start_Number parameter and the End_Number parameter. The SUM is needed to all all the numbers/rows produced. This is nice and simple (but not that easy for by son at this point).
Thank you to everyone who contacted me about this. I really appreciated your feedback and please keep your comments coming for all my posts.