MacLochlainns Weblog

Michael McLaughlin's Technical Blog

Site Admin

Java Generics in Oracle

without comments

Somebody posed the question about using a Comparator in the sorting examples provided in this earlier post on Updating Table View Columns (columns using a Varray or Nested Table of a single scalar data type). It seems the individual thought that you can’t use Java Generics inside an Oracle Database 11g’s Java libraries. It’s seems odd since they’ve been around since Java 5.

You can use Generics like those shown in the following example. It builds on explanation from the prior post. If you want to get the whole set of facts click the link above but you should have all the code you need in this post.

An example like this requires you first define a collection of strings in the database. This one uses the following definition:

1
2
CREATE OR REPLACE TYPE stringlist IS TABLE OF VARCHAR2(4000);
/

This creates the Java library source, and line 21 shows the use of Generics in the instantiation of a anonymous Comparator class:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
CREATE OR REPLACE AND COMPILE JAVA SOURCE NAMED "SortList" AS
 
  // Import required classes.
  import java.io.*;
  import java.security.AccessControlException;
  import java.sql.*;
  import java.util.Arrays;
  import java.util.Comparator;
  import oracle.sql.driver.*;
  import oracle.sql.ArrayDescriptor;
  import oracle.sql.ARRAY;
 
  // Define class.
  public class Sorting {
    public static ARRAY sortTitleCaseList(oracle.sql.ARRAY list) throws SQLException, AccessControlException {
 
    // Convert Oracle data type to Java data type.
    String[] unsorted = (String[])list.getArray();
 
    // Sort elements.
    Arrays.sort(unsorted, new Comparator<String>() {
      public int compare(String s1, String s2) {
 
      // Declare a sorting key integer for the return value.
      int sortKey;
 
      // Check if lowercase words match and sort on first letter only.
      if (s1.toLowerCase().compareTo(s2.toLowerCase()) == 0)
         sortKey = s1.substring(0,1).compareTo(s2.substring(0,1));
      else
        sortKey = s1.toLowerCase().compareTo(s2.toLowerCase());
 
      // Return the sorting index.
      return sortKey; }});
 
      // Define a connection (this is for Oracle 11g).
      Connection conn = DriverManager.getConnection("jdbc:default:connection:");
 
      // Declare a mapping to the schema-level SQL collection type.
      ArrayDescriptor arrayDescriptor = new ArrayDescriptor("STRINGLIST",conn);
 
      // Translate the Java String{} to the Oracle SQL collection type.
      ARRAY sorted = new ARRAY(arrayDescriptor,conn,((Object[])unsorted));
 
      // Return the sorted list.
      return sorted; }
  }
/

The PL/SQL wrapper for this class would be:

1
2
3
4
CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION sortTitleCaseList(list STRINGLIST) RETURN STRINGLIST IS
LANGUAGE JAVA
NAME 'Sorting.sortNaturalCaseList(oracle.sql.ARRAY) return oracle.sql.ARRAY';
/

You can test the code with the following query:

1
2
SELECT column_value
FROM TABLE(sortTitleCaseList(stringlist('Oranges','apples','Apples','Bananas','Apricots','apricots')));

It sorts the strings based on a title case sort, like:

COLUMN_VALUE
------------------------
Apples
apples
Apricots
apricots
Bananas
Oranges
 
6 rows selected.

If you want a quick example of a Generic Collection sort operation outside of the database, here a sample file.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
// Import required classes.
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Comparator;
 
/**
 * An example of using a Comparator sort.
 */
public class SortStaticString {
 
  /*
   * Sort the instance array.
   */
  public static String[] sortTitleCaseList(String[] list) {
 
    // Sort elements by title case.
    Arrays.sort(list, new Comparator<String>() {
      public int compare(String s1, String s2) {
 
        // Declare a sorting key integer for the return value.
        int sortKey;
 
        // Check if lowercase words match and sort on first letter only.
        if (s1.toLowerCase().compareTo(s2.toLowerCase()) == 0)
          sortKey = s1.substring(0,1).compareTo(s2.substring(0,1));
        else
          sortKey = s1.toLowerCase().compareTo(s2.toLowerCase());
 
        // Return the sorting index.
        return sortKey; }});
 
    // Return the sorted Index.     
    return list;
  }
 
  /*
   * Test case.
   */
  public static void main(String[] args) {
 
    // Construct and instance and apply sort method.     
    args = SortStaticString.sortTitleCaseList(args);
 
    // Print the title case sorted list.
    for (int i = 0; i < args.length; i++) {
      System.out.println(args[i]); }
  }
}

You would call the SortStaticString class as follows:

java SortStaticString apples Oranges Pears Apples orange Grapefruit

I hope this helps the interested party and any others looking for a sample file. ;-)

Written by maclochlainn

January 11th, 2012 at 12:49 am

Leave a Reply