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How to create id with AUTO_INCREMENT on Oracle?


Question

It appears that there is no concept of AUTO_INCREMENT in Oracle, up until and including version 11g.

How can I create a column that behaves like auto increment in Oracle 11g?

2017/05/08
1
433
5/8/2017 7:41:14 AM

Accepted Answer

There is no such thing as "auto_increment" or "identity" columns in Oracle as of Oracle 11g. However, you can model it easily with a sequence and a trigger:

Table definition:

CREATE TABLE departments (
  ID           NUMBER(10)    NOT NULL,
  DESCRIPTION  VARCHAR2(50)  NOT NULL);

ALTER TABLE departments ADD (
  CONSTRAINT dept_pk PRIMARY KEY (ID));

CREATE SEQUENCE dept_seq START WITH 1;

Trigger definition:

CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER dept_bir 
BEFORE INSERT ON departments 
FOR EACH ROW

BEGIN
  SELECT dept_seq.NEXTVAL
  INTO   :new.id
  FROM   dual;
END;
/

UPDATE:

IDENTITY column is now available on Oracle 12c:

create table t1 (
    c1 NUMBER GENERATED by default on null as IDENTITY,
    c2 VARCHAR2(10)
    );

or specify starting and increment values, also preventing any insert into the identity column (GENERATED ALWAYS) (again, Oracle 12c+ only)

create table t1 (
    c1 NUMBER GENERATED ALWAYS as IDENTITY(START with 1 INCREMENT by 1),
    c2 VARCHAR2(10)
    );

Alternatively, Oracle 12 also allows to use a sequence as a default value:

CREATE SEQUENCE dept_seq START WITH 1;

CREATE TABLE departments (
  ID           NUMBER(10)    DEFAULT dept_seq.nextval NOT NULL,
  DESCRIPTION  VARCHAR2(50)  NOT NULL);

ALTER TABLE departments ADD (
  CONSTRAINT dept_pk PRIMARY KEY (ID));
2018/10/18
614
10/18/2018 6:42:50 AM

SYS_GUID returns a GUID-- a globally unique ID. A SYS_GUID is a RAW(16). It does not generate an incrementing numeric value.

If you want to create an incrementing numeric key, you'll want to create a sequence.

CREATE SEQUENCE name_of_sequence
  START WITH 1
  INCREMENT BY 1
  CACHE 100;

You would then either use that sequence in your INSERT statement

INSERT INTO name_of_table( primary_key_column, <<other columns>> )
  VALUES( name_of_sequence.nextval, <<other values>> );

Or you can define a trigger that automatically populates the primary key value using the sequence

CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER trigger_name
  BEFORE INSERT ON table_name
  FOR EACH ROW
BEGIN
  SELECT name_of_sequence.nextval
    INTO :new.primary_key_column
    FROM dual;
END;

If you are using Oracle 11.1 or later, you can simplify the trigger a bit

CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER trigger_name
  BEFORE INSERT ON table_name
  FOR EACH ROW
BEGIN
  :new.primary_key_column := name_of_sequence.nextval;
END;

If you really want to use SYS_GUID

CREATE TABLE table_name (
  primary_key_column raw(16) default sys_guid() primary key,
  <<other columns>>
)
2013/10/09

In Oracle 12c onward you could do something like,

CREATE TABLE MAPS
(
  MAP_ID INTEGER GENERATED ALWAYS AS IDENTITY (START WITH 1 INCREMENT BY 1) NOT NULL,
  MAP_NAME VARCHAR(24) NOT NULL,
  UNIQUE (MAP_ID, MAP_NAME)
);

And in Oracle (Pre 12c).

-- create table
CREATE TABLE MAPS
(
  MAP_ID INTEGER NOT NULL ,
  MAP_NAME VARCHAR(24) NOT NULL,
  UNIQUE (MAP_ID, MAP_NAME)
);

-- create sequence
CREATE SEQUENCE MAPS_SEQ;

-- create tigger using the sequence
CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER MAPS_TRG 
BEFORE INSERT ON MAPS 
FOR EACH ROW
WHEN (new.MAP_ID IS NULL)
BEGIN
  SELECT MAPS_SEQ.NEXTVAL
  INTO   :new.MAP_ID
  FROM   dual;
END;
/
2018/03/06

Here are three flavors:

  1. numeric. Simple increasing numeric value, e.g. 1,2,3,....
  2. GUID. globally univeral identifier, as a RAW datatype.
  3. GUID (string). Same as above, but as a string which might be easier to handle in some languages.

x is the identity column. Substitute FOO with your table name in each of the examples.

-- numerical identity, e.g. 1,2,3...
create table FOO (
    x number primary key
);
create sequence  FOO_seq;

create or replace trigger FOO_trg
before insert on FOO
for each row
begin
  select FOO_seq.nextval into :new.x from dual;
end;
/

-- GUID identity, e.g. 7CFF0C304187716EE040488AA1F9749A
-- use the commented out lines if you prefer RAW over VARCHAR2.
create table FOO (
    x varchar(32) primary key        -- string version
    -- x raw(32) primary key         -- raw version
);

create or replace trigger FOO_trg
before insert on FOO
for each row
begin
  select cast(sys_guid() as varchar2(32)) into :new.x from dual;  -- string version
  -- select sys_guid() into :new.x from dual;                     -- raw version
end;
/

update:

Oracle 12c introduces these two variants that don't depend on triggers:

create table mytable(id number default mysequence.nextval);
create table mytable(id number generated as identity);

The first one uses a sequence in the traditional way; the second manages the value internally.

2016/02/24

Assuming you mean a column like the SQL Server identity column?

In Oracle, you use a SEQUENCE to achieve the same functionality. I'll see if I can find a good link and post it here.

Update: looks like you found it yourself. Here is the link anyway: http://www.techonthenet.com/oracle/sequences.php

2010/01/12

Oracle Database 12c introduced Identity, an auto-incremental (system-generated) column. In the previous database versions (until 11g), you usually implement an Identity by creating a Sequence and a Trigger. From 12c onward, you can create your own Table and define the column that has to be generated as an Identity.

The following article explains how to use it:

Identity columns - A new entry in Oracle Database 12c

2017/04/05