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Comparisons between Functions and Syntax of Oracle and TiDB

This document describes the comparisons between functions and syntax of Oracle and TiDB. It helps you find the corresponding TiDB functions based on the Oracle functions, and understand the syntax differences between Oracle and TiDB.

Comparisons of functions

The following table shows the comparisons between some Oracle and TiDB functions.

FunctionOracle syntaxTiDB syntaxNote
Cast a value as a certain type
  • TO_NUMBER(key)
  • TO_CHAR(key)
  • CONVERT(key,dataType)TiDB supports casting a value as one of the following types: BINARY, CHAR, DATE, DATETIME, TIME, SIGNED INTEGER, UNSIGNED INTEGER and DECIMAL.
    Convert a date to a string
  • TO_CHAR(SYSDATE,'yyyy-MM-dd hh24:mi:ss')
  • TO_CHAR(SYSDATE,'yyyy-MM-dd')
  • DATE_FORMAT(NOW(),'%Y-%m-%d %H:%i:%s')
  • DATE_FORMAT(NOW(),'%Y-%m-%d')
  • The format string of TiDB is case-sensitive.
    Convert a string to a date
  • TO_DATE('2021-05-28 17:31:37','yyyy-MM-dd hh24:mi:ss')
  • TO_DATE('2021-05-28','yyyy-MM-dd hh24:mi:ss')
  • STR_TO_DATE('2021-05-28 17:31:37','%Y-%m-%d %H:%i:%s')
  • STR_TO_DATE('2021-05-28','%Y-%m-%d%T')
  • The format string of TiDB is case-sensitive.
    Get the current system time in second precisionSYSDATENOW()
    Get the current system time in microsecond precisionSYSTIMESTAMPCURRENT_TIMESTAMP(6)
    Get the number of days between two datesdate1 - date2DATEDIFF(date1, date2)
    Get the number of months between two datesMONTHS_BETWEEN(ENDDATE,SYSDATE)TIMESTAMPDIFF(MONTH,SYSDATE,ENDDATE)The results of MONTHS_BETWEEN() in Oracle and TIMESTAMPDIFF() in TiDB are different. TIMESTAMPDIFF() returns an integer. Note that the parameters in the two functions are swapped.
    Add n days to a dateDATEVAL + nDATE_ADD(dateVal,INTERVAL n DAY)n can be a negative value.
    Add n months to a dateADD_MONTHS(dateVal,n)DATE_ADD(dateVal,INTERVAL n MONTH)n can be a negative value.
    Get the day of a dateTRUNC(SYSDATE)
  • CAST(NOW() AS DATE)
  • DATE_FORMAT(NOW(),'%Y-%m-%d')
  • In TiDB, CAST and DATE_FORMAT return the same result.
    Get the month of a dateTRUNC(SYSDATE,'mm')DATE_ADD(CURDATE(),interval - day(CURDATE()) + 1 day)
    Truncate a valueTRUNC(2.136) = 2
    TRUNC(2.136,2) = 2.13
    TRUNCATE(2.136,0) = 2
    TRUNCATE(2.136,2) = 2.13
    Data precision is preserved. Truncate the corresponding decimal places without rounding.
    Get the next value in a sequencesequence_name.NEXTVALNEXTVAL(sequence_name)
    Get a random sequence valueSYS_GUID()UUID()TiDB returns a Universal Unique Identifier (UUID).
    Left join or right joinSELECT * FROM a, b WHERE a.id = b.id(+);
    SELECT * FROM a, b WHERE a.id(+) = b.id;
    SELECT * FROM a LEFT JOIN b ON a.id = b.id;
    SELECT * FROM a RIGHT JOIN b ON a.id = b.id;
    In a correlated query, TiDB does not support using (+) to left join or right join. You can use LEFT JOIN or RIGHT JOIN instead.
    NVL()NVL(key,val)IFNULL(key,val)If the value of the field is NULL, it returns val; otherwise, it returns the value of the field.
    NVL2()NVL2(key, val1, val2)IF(key is NULL, val1, val2)If the value of the field is not NULL, it returns val1; otherwise, it returns val2.
    DECODE()
  • DECODE(key,val1,val2,val3)
  • DECODE(value,if1,val1,if2,val2,...,ifn,valn,val)
  • IF(key=val1,val2,val3)
  • CASE WHEN value=if1 THEN val1 WHEN value=if2 THEN val2,...,WHEN value=ifn THEN valn ELSE val END
  • If the value of the field is val1, then it returns val2; otherwise it returns val3.
  • When the value of the field satisfies condition 1 (if1), it returns val1. When it satisfies condition 2 (if2), it returns val2. When it satisfies condition 3 (if3), it returns val3.
  • Concatenate the string a and b'a' || 'b'CONCAT('a','b')
    Get the length of a stringLENGTH(str)CHAR_LENGTH(str)
    Get the substring as specifiedSUBSTR('abcdefg',0,2) = 'ab'
    SUBSTR('abcdefg',1,2) = 'ab'
    SUBSTRING('abcdefg',0,2) = ''
    SUBSTRING('abcdefg',1,2) = 'ab'
  • In Oracle, the starting position 0 has the same effect as 1.
  • In TiDB, the starting position 0 returns an empty string. If you want to get a substring from the beginning, the starting position should be 1.
  • Get the position of a substringINSTR('abcdefg','b',1,1)INSTR('abcdefg','b')Search from the first character of 'abcdefg' and return the position of the first occurrence of 'b'.
    Get the position of a substringINSTR('stst','s',1,2)LENGTH(SUBSTRING_INDEX('stst','s',2)) + 1Search from the first character of 'stst' and return the position of the second occurrence of 's'.
    Get the position of a substringINSTR('abcabc','b',2,1)LOCATE('b','abcabc',2)Search from the second character of abcabc and return the position of the first occurrence of b.
    Concatenate values of a columnLISTAGG(CONCAT(E.dimensionid,'---',E.DIMENSIONNAME),'***') within GROUP(ORDER BY DIMENSIONNAME)GROUP_CONCAT(CONCAT(E.dimensionid,'---',E.DIMENSIONNAME) ORDER BY DIMENSIONNAME SEPARATOR '***')Concatenate values of a specified column to one row with the *** delimiter.
    Convert an ASCII code to a characterCHR(n)CHAR(n)The Tab (CHR(9)), LF (CHR(10)), and CR (CHR(13)) characters in Oracle correspond to CHAR(9), CHAR(10), and CHAR(13) in TiDB.

    Comparisons of syntax

    This section describes some syntax differences between Oracle and TiDB.

    String syntax

    In Oracle, a string can only be enclosed in single quotes (''). For example 'a'.

    In TiDB, a string can be enclosed in single quotes ('') or double quotes (""). For example, 'a' and "a".

    Difference between NULL and an empty string

    Oracle does not distinguish between NULL and an empty string '', that is, NULL is equivalent to ''.

    TiDB distinguishes between NULL and an empty string ''.

    Read and write to the same table in an INSERT statement

    Oracle supports reading and writing to the same table in an INSERT statement. For example:

    INSERT INTO table1 VALUES (feild1,(SELECT feild2 FROM table1 WHERE...))
    

    TiDB does not support reading and writing to the same table in a INSERT statement. For example:

    INSERT INTO table1 VALUES (feild1,(SELECT T.fields2 FROM table1 T WHERE...))
    

    Get the first n rows from a query

    In Oracle, to get the first n rows from a query, you can use the ROWNUM <= n clause. For example ROWNUM <= 10.

    In TiDB, to get the first n rows from a query, you can use the LIMIT n clause. For example LIMIT 10. The Hibernate Query Language (HQL) running SQL statements with LIMIT results in an error. You need to change the Hibernate statements to SQL statements.

    Update multiple tables in an UPDATE statement

    In Oracle, it is not necessary to list the specific field update relationship when updating multiple tables. For example:

    UPDATE test1 SET(test1.name,test1.age) = (SELECT test2.name,test2.age FROM test2 WHERE test2.id=test1.id)
    

    In TiDB, when updating multiple tables, you need to list all the specific field update relationships in SET. For example:

    UPDATE test1,test2 SET test1.name=test2.name,test1.age=test2.age WHERE test1.id=test2.id
    

    Derived table alias

    In Oracle, when querying multiple tables, it is unnecessary to add an alias to the derived table. For example:

    SELECT * FROM (SELECT * FROM test)
    

    In TiDB, when querying multiple tables, every derived table must have its own alias. For example:

    SELECT * FROM (SELECT * FROM test) t
    

    Set operations

    In Oracle, to get the rows that are in the first query result but not in the second, you can use the MINUS set operation. For example:

    SELECT * FROM t1 MINUS SELECT * FROM t2
    

    TiDB does not support the MINUS operation. You can use the EXCEPT set operation. For example:

    SELECT * FROM t1 EXCEPT SELECT * FROM t2
    

    Comment syntax

    In Oracle, the comment syntax is --Comment.

    In TiDB, the comment syntax is -- Comment. Note that there is a white space after -- in TiDB.

    Pagination

    In Oracle, you can use the OFFSET m ROWS to skip m rows and use the FETCH NEXT n ROWS ONLYto fetch n rows. For example:

    SELECT * FROM tables OFFSET 0 ROWS FETCH NEXT 2000 ROWS ONLY
    

    In TiDB, you can use the LIMIT n OFFSET m to replace OFFSET m ROWS FETCH NEXT n ROWS ONLY. For example:

    SELECT * FROM tables LIMIT 2000 OFFSET 0
    

    Sorting order on NULL values

    In Oracle, NULL values are sorted by the ORDER BY clause in the following cases:

    • In the ORDER BY column ASC statement, NULL values are returned last.

    • In the ORDER BY column DESC statement, NULL values are returned first.

    • In the ORDER BY column [ASC|DESC] NULLS FIRST statement, NULL values are returned before non-NULL values. Non-NULL values are returned in ascending order or descending order specified in ASC|DESC.

    • In the ORDER BY column [ASC|DESC] NULLS LAST statement, NULL values are returned after non-NULL values. Non-NULL values are returned in ascending order or descending order specified in ASC|DESC.

    In TiDB, NULL values are sorted by the ORDER BY clause in the following cases:

    • In the ORDER BY column ASC statement, NULL values are returned first.

    • In the ORDER BY column DESC statement, NULL values are returned last.

    The following table shows some examples of equivalent ORDER BY statements in Oracle and TiDB:

    ORDER BY in OracleEquivalent statements in TiDB
    SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY name NULLS FIRST;SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY name;
    SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY name DESC NULLS LAST;SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY name DESC;
    SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY name DESC NULLS FIRST;SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY ISNULL(name) DESC, name DESC;
    SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY name ASC NULLS LAST;SELECT * FROM t1 ORDER BY ISNULL(name), name;
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