Using the default temporary table emulation

The default temporary table emulation is provided to achieve a high level of Informix® compatibility, when minimal code change is required.

In order to use the default temporary table emulation, define the following FGLPROFILE entry (or leave it unset):
dbi.database.dbname.ifxemul.temptables.emulation = "default"

How does the default temp table emulation work?

  • Informix CREATE TEMP TABLE and SELECT INTO TEMP statements are automatically converted to Oracle® "CREATE TABLE". The name of the temporary table is converted to a unique table name.
  • By default, Oracle tables are created in the current schema (i.e. no schema prefix is added to the generated table name). In order to control the schema where the Oracle tables are created, use the following FGLPROFILE parameters:
    dbi.database.dsname.ora.temptables.schema.source = { "login" | "command" }
    dbi.database.dsname.ora.temptables.schema.command = "SELECT ..."

    When specifying "login" in the ora.temptables.schema.source parameter, the user name passed to the connection instruction will be used as schema name. When specifying "command" as schema source, the schema name will be produced by the SELECT statement defined in the ora.temptables.schema.command parameter.

    Schema specification for temporary table emulations is mandatory when you have created a DB user for each end user, and you force common schema usage with the ora.schema parameter:
    dbi.database.dsname.ora.schema = "app_owner"

    In this case, it is better to add the current user as schema name for temporary tables, to get Oracle tables created in the current user schema, instead of creating tables in the common schema: Creating tables in another schema requires CREATE ANY TABLE / DROP ANY TABLE privileges for each DB user, which is not possible in an organization using strong security policy.

  • By default, temporary tables are created in a dedicated tablespace named "TEMPTABS". Of course the TEMPTABS tablespace must exist before running programs, otherwise temporary table creation will fail. Using a specific tablespace for temporary tables allows you to specify storage options, for example to use a physical device which can be different from the disk drive used for real data storage. Additionally, backups of permanent application tables can be performed without the data of temporary tables.

    If required, you can specify another tablespace name for Oracle tables with the following FGLPROFILE entry:
    dbi.database.dsname.ora.temptables.tablespace = "mytemptabs"

    This tablespace must be a permanent tablespace.

  • With Oracle, dropped tables are saved in the recycle bin by default. You may want to avoid the recycle bin feature at the database level or session level with:

    ALTER SYSTEM SET recyclebin = OFF scope=spfile

    or, at current session level only:

    ALTER SESSION SET recyclebin = OFF
  • Once the temporary table has been created, all other SQL statements performed in the current SQL session are parsed to convert the original table name to the corresponding unique table name.
  • When the BDL program disconnects from the database (for example, when it ends or when a CLOSE DATABASE instruction is executed), the tables which have not been removed with an explicit DROP TABLE are automatically removed by the database interface. However, if the program crashes, the tables will remain in the database, so you may need to cleanup the database from time to time.

Prerequisites when using the default temp table emulation

  • Application users must have sufficient privileges to create database tables in the schema used to create the Oracle table (usually, CONNECT and RESOURCE roles).
  • Create a tablespace dedicated to the Oracle tables created by this emulation. The default tablespace is named "TEMPTABS", but it can be another tablespace defined by the ora.temptables.tablespace FGLPROFILE entry as described before.

    The tablespace must be of type "permanent", as it will hold permanent tables used to emulate Informix temp tables.

    Make sure the tablespace is big enough to hold all the data, and check for automatic extension.

    When using a PDB, the tablespace must be created in the context of the PDB.

    -- Give privileges on temptabs tablespace to other users

    For more details, see CREATE TABLESPACE in the Oracle documentation.

Limitations of the default temp table emulation

  • When using the default emulation, the real name of an emulated temporary table will have the following format:
    Where name if the original table name, and number is by default the Oracle AUDSID session id returned by:

    Since session ids are persistent over server shutdown, make sure that the table names generated for temporary table emulation do not exceed the maximum length of Oracle table names.

    If needed, you can provide a customized SQL command to generate a unique session id, with the following FGLPROFILE entry:
    dbi.database.dbname.ora.sid.command = "select ..."

    As an example, you can use the SID column value from V$SESSION:

  • Application tables and columns cannot use the same table name as the name generated for temporary tables. Make sure you are not using table or column names with the format:
  • Tokens matching the original table names are converted to unique names in all SQL statements. Make sure you are not using the temp table name for other database objects, like columns. The following example illustrates this limitation:
    CREATE TABLE tab1 ( key INTEGER, tmp1 CHAR(20) )
    CREATE TEMP TABLE tmp1 ( col1 INTEGER, col2 CHAR(20) )
    SELECT tmp1 FROM tab1 WHERE ... 

Maintenance of default temp table emulation

  • If you want to list the tables created by a specific user, do this:

    As with other database object names, the user name is stored in uppercase letters if it has been created without using double quotes (create user scott ... = stored name is "SCOTT").

Creating indexes on temporary tables with default temp table emulation

  • Indexes created on temporary tables must have unique names also. The database interface detects CREATE INDEX statements which are using temporary tables and converts the index name to unique names. Indexes created on temporary tables follow the same storage and schema settings as for the CREATE TABLE statements: Schema and tablespace specification of FGLPROFILE will also be applied to CREATE INDEX commands.
  • DROP INDEX statements are also detected to replace the original index name by the real name.

SERIALs in temporary table creation with default temp table emulation

You can use SERIAL/BIGSERIAL data types when creating a temporary table.

Sequences and triggers will be created in the current schema.

See issue about serial types for more details.