Oracle SQL - Subquery EXISTS Operator

Introduction

The EXISTS and NOT EXISTS operators are empty set checkers.

It doesn't matter which expressions you specify in the SELECT clause of the subquery.

For example, you could also have written the query as follows:

select o.*
from   offerings o
where   not exists
       (select 'x'
        from   registrations r)

Subquery returning a null value is not the same as a subquery returning nothing, that is, the empty set.

Demo

SQL>
SQL> drop table offerings;

Table dropped.--  w w w  .j  a v  a2  s .co m

SQL> create table offerings(
  2  course     VARCHAR2(6)  not null,
  3  begindate  DATE         not null,
  4  trainer    NUMBER(4)            ,
  5  location   VARCHAR2(8)) ;
SQL>
SQL> insert into offerings values ('SQL',date '1999-04-12',7902,'DALLAS' );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('JSON',date '1999-08-10',7004,'CHICAGO');
SQL> insert into offerings values ('SQL',date '1999-10-04',7001,'SEATTLE');
SQL> insert into offerings values ('SQL',date '1999-12-13',7001,'DALLAS' );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('JAVA',date '1999-12-13',7004,'SEATTLE');
SQL> insert into offerings values ('XML',date '2000-02-03',7001,'DALLAS' );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('JAVA',date '2000-02-01',7011,'DALLAS' );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('PLS',date '2000-09-11',7008,'DALLAS' );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('XML',date '2000-09-18',NULL,'SEATTLE');
SQL> insert into offerings values ('JSON',date '2000-09-27',7902,'DALLAS' );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('ERM',date '2001-01-15',NULL, NULL    );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('PRO',date '2001-02-19',NULL,'DALLAS' );
SQL> insert into offerings values ('RSD',date '2001-02-24',7008,'CHICAGO');
SQL>
SQL> drop table registrations;

Table dropped.

SQL> create table registrations(
  2  attendee    NUMBER(4)   not null,
  3  course    VARCHAR2(6) ,
  4  begindate   DATE      not null,
  5  evaluation  NUMBER(1)   check (evaluation in (1,2,3,4,5))) ;
SQL>
SQL> insert into registrations values (7002,'SQL',date '1999-04-12',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7934,'SQL',date '1999-04-12',5   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7006,'SQL',date '1999-04-12',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7011,'SQL',date '1999-04-12',2   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7008,'SQL',date '1999-10-04',NULL);
SQL> insert into registrations values (7009,'SQL',date '1999-10-04',3   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7902,'SQL',date '1999-10-04',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7902,'SQL',date '1999-12-13',NULL);
SQL> insert into registrations values (7006,'SQL',date '1999-12-13',NULL);
SQL> insert into registrations values (7003,'JSON',date '1999-08-10',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7012,'JSON',date '1999-08-10',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7902,'JSON',date '1999-08-10',5   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7010,'JSON',date '2000-09-27',5   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7002,'JAVA',date '1999-12-13',2   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7007,'JAVA',date '1999-12-13',NULL   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7011,'JAVA',date '1999-12-13',5   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7008,'JAVA',date '1999-12-13',5   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7009,'JAVA',date '1999-12-13',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7004,'JAVA',date '2000-02-01',3   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7008,'JAVA',date '2000-02-01',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7006,'JAVA',date '2000-02-01',5   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7012,'XML',date '2000-02-03',4   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7002,'XML',date '2000-02-03',5   );
SQL> insert into registrations values (7004,'PLS',date '2000-09-11',NULL);
SQL> insert into registrations values (7002,'PLS',date '2000-09-11',NULL);
SQL> insert into registrations values (7011,'PLS',date '2000-09-11',NULL);
SQL>
SQL> select o.*
  2  from   offerings o
  3  where   not exists
  4         (select 'x'
  5          from   registrations r)
  6
SQL>

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