GROUPING distinguishes superaggregate rows from regular grouped rows. GROUP BY extensions such as ROLLUP and CUBE produce superaggregate rows where the set of all values is represented by null. Using the GROUPING function, you can distinguish a null representing the set of all values in a superaggregate row from a null in a regular row.

The expr in the GROUPING function must match one of the expressions in the GROUP BY clause. The function returns a value of 1 if the value of expr in the row is a null representing the set of all values. Otherwise, it returns zero. The data type of the value returned by the GROUPING function is Oracle NUMBER. Refer to the SELECT group_by_clause for a discussion of these terms.


In the following example, which uses the sample tables hr.departments and hr.employees, if the GROUPING function returns 1 (indicating a superaggregate row rather than a regular row from the table), then the string "All Jobs" appears in the "JOB" column instead of the null that would otherwise appear:

    DECODE(GROUPING(department_name), 1, 'ALL DEPARTMENTS', department_name)
      AS department,
    DECODE(GROUPING(job_id), 1, 'All Jobs', job_id) AS job,
    COUNT(*) "Total Empl",
    AVG(salary) * 12 "Average Sal"
  FROM employees e, departments d
  WHERE d.department_id = e.department_id
  GROUP BY ROLLUP (department_name, job_id)
  ORDER BY department, job;

DEPARTMENT                     JOB        Total Empl Average Sal
------------------------------ ---------- ---------- -----------
ALL DEPARTMENTS                All Jobs          106  77481.0566
Accounting                     AC_ACCOUNT          1       99600
Accounting                     AC_MGR              1      144096
Accounting                     All Jobs            2      121848
Administration                 AD_ASST             1       52800
Administration                 All Jobs            1       52800
Executive                      AD_PRES             1      288000
Executive                      AD_VP               2      204000
Executive                      All Jobs            3      232000
Finance                        All Jobs            6      103216
Finance                        FI_ACCOUNT          5       95040
. . .