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Any simpler way to avoid case

Posted on 2013-02-04
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Last Modified: 2013-02-07
select case when d.arn_no is not null then to_char(d.arn_no)
                                                                     when d.boe_no is not null then d.boe_no
                                                                     else d.do_no end
from docs d

Is there any other simpler way without using case.?
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Question by:sakthikumar
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
slightwv (䄆 Netminder) earned 500 total points
ID: 38850950
Looks like you are looking to find the first not null in a list of values.

If so, try coalesce:

coalesce(d.arn_no ,d.boe_no, d.do_no)
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by:sdstuber
sdstuber earned 1000 total points
ID: 38850955
case seems like the simplest way but if you don't want to use it, you could try nvl2 and nvl

select nvl2(d.arn_no,nvl(d.boe_no,d.do_no),to_char(d.arn_no)) from docs d
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by:johnsone
johnsone earned 500 total points
ID: 38850957
I believe that this will do the same thing:

nvl2(d.arn_no, to_char(d.arn_no), nvl2(d.boe_no, d.boe_no, d.do_no))
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by:
sdstuber earned 1000 total points
ID: 38850965
if you want to use coalesce, then all of the parameters must be of the compatible types.
i.e.  all numbers or all strings

based on your original code, it seems like arn_no is a number and the others are strings.
if so then try this...

coalesce(to_char(d.arn_no) ,d.boe_no, d.do_no)
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