Skip Headers
Oracle® Database SQL Language Reference
12c Release 1 (12.1)

E17209-15
Go to Documentation Home
Home
Go to Book List
Book List
Go to Table of Contents
Contents
Go to Index
Index
Go to Master Index
Master Index
Go to Feedback page
Contact Us

Go to previous page
Previous
Go to next page
Next
PDF · Mobi · ePub

LAST_VALUE

Syntax

Description of last_value.gif follows
Description of the illustration last_value.gif

See Also:

"Analytic Functions" for information on syntax, semantics, and restrictions, including valid forms of expr

Purpose

LAST_VALUE is an analytic function that is useful for data densification. It returns the last value in an ordered set of values.

Note:

The two forms of this syntax have the same behavior. The top branch is the ANSI format, which Oracle recommends for ANSI compatibility.

{RESPECT | IGNORE} NULLS determines whether null values of expr are included in or eliminated from the calculation. The default is RESPECT NULLS. If the last value in the set is null, then the function returns NULL unless you specify IGNORE NULLS. If you specify IGNORE NULLS, then LAST_VALUE returns the last non-null value in the set, or NULL if all values are null. Refer to "Using Partitioned Outer Joins: Examples" for an example of data densification.

You cannot nest analytic functions by using LAST_VALUE or any other analytic function for expr. However, you can use other built-in function expressions for expr. Refer to "About SQL Expressions" for information on valid forms of expr.

If you omit the windowing_clause of the analytic_clause, it defaults to RANGE BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW. This default sometimes returns an unexpected value, because the last value in the window is at the bottom of the window, which is not fixed. It keeps changing as the current row changes. For expected results, specify the windowing_clause as RANGE BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND UNBOUNDED FOLLOWING. Alternatively, you can specify the windowing_clause as RANGE BETWEEN CURRENT ROW AND UNBOUNDED FOLLOWING.

Examples

The following example returns, for each row, the hire date of the employee earning the highest salary:

SELECT last_name, salary, hire_date,
       LAST_VALUE(hire_date)
         OVER (ORDER BY salary ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND UNBOUNDED
               FOLLOWING) AS lv
  FROM (SELECT * FROM employees
          WHERE department_id = 90
          ORDER BY hire_date);

LAST_NAME           SALARY HIRE_DATE LV
--------------- ---------- --------- ---------
De Haan              17000 13-JAN-01 17-JUN-03
Kochhar              17000 21-SEP-05 17-JUN-03
King                 24000 17-JUN-03 17-JUN-03

This example illustrates the nondeterministic nature of the LAST_VALUE function. Kochhar and De Haan have the same salary, so they are in adjacent rows. Kochhar appears first because the rows in the subquery are ordered by hire_date. However, if the rows are ordered by hire_date in descending order, as in the next example, then the function returns a different value:

SELECT last_name, salary, hire_date,
       LAST_VALUE(hire_date)
         OVER (ORDER BY salary ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND UNBOUNDED
               FOLLOWING) AS lv
  FROM (SELECT * FROM employees
          WHERE department_id = 90 
          ORDER BY hire_date DESC);

LAST_NAME           SALARY HIRE_DATE LV
--------------- ---------- --------- ---------
Kochhar              17000 21-SEP-05 17-JUN-03
De Haan              17000 13-JAN-01 17-JUN-03
King                 24000 17-JUN-03 17-JUN-03

The following two examples show how to make the LAST_VALUE function deterministic by ordering on a unique key. By ordering within the function by both salary and hire_date, you can ensure the same result regardless of the ordering in the subquery.

SELECT last_name, salary, hire_date,
       LAST_VALUE(hire_date)
         OVER (ORDER BY salary, hire_date ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND
               UNBOUNDED FOLLOWING) AS lv
  FROM (SELECT * FROM employees
          WHERE department_id = 90 
          ORDER BY hire_date)
  ORDER BY last_name, salary, hire_date;

LAST_NAME           SALARY HIRE_DATE LV
--------------- ---------- --------- ---------
De Haan              17000 13-JAN-01 17-JUN-03
King                 24000 17-JUN-03 17-JUN-03
Kochhar              17000 21-SEP-05 17-JUN-03

SELECT last_name, salary, hire_date,
       LAST_VALUE(hire_date)
         OVER (ORDER BY salary, hire_date ROWS BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND
               UNBOUNDED FOLLOWING) AS lv
  FROM (SELECT * FROM employees
          WHERE department_id = 90 
          ORDER BY hire_date DESC)
  ORDER BY last_name, salary, hire_date;

LAST_NAME           SALARY HIRE_DATE LV
--------------- ---------- --------- ---------
De Haan              17000 13-JAN-01 17-JUN-03
King                 24000 17-JUN-03 17-JUN-03
Kochhar              17000 21-SEP-05 17-JUN-03

When you use a logical offset (RANGE instead of ROWS), the function is deterministic. When duplicates are found for the ORDER BY expression, the LAST_VALUE is the highest value of expr:

SELECT last_name, salary, hire_date,
       LAST_VALUE(hire_date)
         OVER (ORDER BY salary RANGE BETWEEN UNBOUNDED PRECEDING AND UNBOUNDED
               FOLLOWING) AS lv
  FROM (SELECT * FROM employees
          WHERE department_id = 90
          ORDER BY hire_date DESC);
 
LAST_NAME                     SALARY HIRE_DATE LV
------------------------- ---------- --------- ---------
De Haan                        17000 13-JAN-01 17-JUN-03
Kochhar                        17000 21-SEP-05 17-JUN-03
King                           24000 17-JUN-03 17-JUN-03