Temporary tables


Informix temporary tables are created with the CREATE TEMP TABLE DDL instruction or with SELECT ... INTO TEMP statement:
CREATE TEMP TABLE tt1 ( pkey INT, name VARCHAR(50) )
SELECT * FROM tab1 WHERE pkey > 100 INTO TEMP tt2

Temporary tables are automatically dropped when the SQL session ends, but they can also be dropped with the DROP TABLE command. There is no name conflict when several users create temporary tables with the same name.

BDL REPORTs can create a temporary table when the rows are not sorted externally (by the source SQL statement).

Informix allows you to create indexes on temporary tables. No name conflict occurs when several users create an index on a temporary table by using the same index identifier.

When creating temporary tables in Informix, the WITH NO LOG clause can be used to avoid the overhead of recording DML operations in transaction logs.

Microsoft™ SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server provides local (SQL session wide) or global (database wide) temporary tables by using the '#' or '##' characters as table name prefix.

The following SQL Server statement creates a session temporary table with the CREATE TABLE statement:
CREATE TABLE #temp1 ( kcol INTEGER, .... )

To create and fill a session temporary table in one step, use the SQL Server SELECT ... INTO statement:

SELECT * INTO #temp2 FROM customers WHERE ...
Important: When not specifying the collation in the column definition, CHAR/VARCHAR columns of SQL Server temporary tables created with CREATE TABLE #tabname get by default the collation of the tempdb system database. If the collation of the temp table columns does not match the current database collation, SQL Server will return the error 468 "Cannot resolve the collation conflict between A and B in the ..." when comparing CHAR/VARCHAR columns from permanent and temporary tables, as in the next query:
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM #temptab1 WHERE name IN (SELECT cust_name FROM customers)

To create columns with the database collation and avoid the 468 collaction mismatch error, one must add the COLLATE DATABASE_DEFAULT clause after CHAR/VARCHAR and NCHAR/NVARCHAR types in the CREATE TABLE #tabname statement.

When using the SELECT * INTO #tabname SQL Server statement, the character type columns of the temp table get the current database collation automatically.


In BDL, Informix temporary tables instructions are converted to generate native SQL Server temporary tables.

When Informix emulations are enabled, CREATE TEMP TABLE tabname statements executed by Genero programs are converted to CREATE TABLE #tabname for SQL Server, and SELECT <select-list> <select-body> INTO TEMP tabname statements are converted to SQL Server SELECT <select-list> INTO #tabname <select-body>.


Simple Informix-style SQL statement creating temporary tables can be converted to a native SQL equivalent instruction. However, complex SQL statements such as SELECT .. INTO TEMP with subqueries may fail. In such cases, create a view from the complex query and then create the temp table from the view. Or, disable Informix emulation and use the native SQL syntax to create the temporary table (EXECUTE IMMEDIATE "/* fglhint_no_ifxemul */ …")

With Informix SQL, if the source table has a column defined as SERIAL or BIGSERIAL, a SELECT ... INTO TEMP will produce a new temp table with an auto-incremented serial column. With the SELECT … INTO TEMP emulation for non-Informix databases, not using the native sequence generators (such as IDENTITY columns in SQL Server), the resulting temporary table will get a simple INTEGER or BIGINT column, instead of an auto-incremented column.

To avoid 468 SQL errors when comparing character type columns of temp tables and permanent tables, the collation of the temporary table columns must match the collation of the permanent table.

When using a converted Informix SELECT ... INTO TEMP tabname statement, or a native SQL Server SELECT ... INTO #tabname statement, the character columns of the temporary table will automatically get the default collation of the current database, and the error 468 will not occur when comparing character columns.

When using a converted Informix CREATE TEMP TABLE tabname statement, or the native SQL Server CREATE TABLE #tabname statement, the temporary table columns get by default the collation of the tempdb system database, inherited from the SQL Server instance collation. To avoid 468 errors, only for CREATE TEMP TABLE statements, the ODI driver will add the COLLATE DATABASE_DEFAULT clause to SQL Server character types correponding to Informix CHAR, VARCHAR, LVARCHAR and TEXT type names. For example, a CREATE TEMP TABLE tt1 ( col1 VARCHAR(20) NOT NULL ) will be converted to CREATE TABLE #tt1 ( col1 VARCHAR(20) COLLATE DATABASE_DEFAULT NOT NULL )
Tip: To avoid having the ODI drivers add the COLLATE DATABASE_DEFAULT clause, disable Informix emulation switches for character types, and replace the orignal Informix types by the required SQL Server types:
dbi.database.dsname.datatype.char = false
dbi.database.dsname.datatype.varchar = false
dbi.database.dsname.datatype.text = false
Another option is to use dynamic SQL and add the fglhint comment to disable Informix emulations and use directly the native SQL Server syntax:
EXECUTE IMMEDIATE "/* fglhint_no_ifxemul */ CREATE TABLE #tt1 ... "
The general FGLPROFILE entry to control temporary table emulation is:
dbi.database.dsname.ifxemul.temptables = { true | false }
For more details see IBM Informix emulation parameters in FGLPROFILE.
Note: Microsoft SQL Server does not support scroll cursors based on a temporary table.