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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle  Find Latest Row

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJune 30, 2015

Question: I have a table that contains columns titled last_row, first_row and latest,.  These columns are intended to help track the last row inserted, the first row inserted and the latest row updated.  

Each of these columns has a value of 1 if the condition is met and 0 otherwise (i.e. the most recently inserted row will have 1 in both the last_row and latest columns.  

Is it possible to get multiple entries in the latest column?  If so, how do I protect against it?

Answer:  You only want one row at a time to have the latest column set to 1.  

What you will need to accomplish this is a function-based index on some identifier and decode for latest.  For example:

create table vehicle_positions (vehicle_id number, longitude number,
   latitude number, insert_time date, latest number);
create unique index
on vehicle_positions

This will ensure that there exists one, and only one, vehicle_id associated with a latest column equal to 1; otherwise, Oracle will throw a constraint violation error.  The constraint violation error should be caught and handled with an PL/SQL stored procedure.

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