Does Oracle Have Integer Data Type?


Angela Bailey

Does Oracle Have Integer Data Type?

When working with databases, it is common to store numerical values such as integers. In Oracle, a widely used relational database management system (RDBMS), you might wonder if there is a specific data type for integers. Let’s explore this topic in detail.

The Numeric Data Types in Oracle

In Oracle, there is no dedicated data type called “integer.” Instead, the numeric data types are used to store integer values. The numeric data types available in Oracle include:

  • NUMBER: This is the most commonly used numeric data type in Oracle. It allows you to store both integers and decimal numbers with precision and scale.
  • BINARY_INTEGER: This is a built-in subtype of the PL/SQL programming language.

    It can be used to define variables and parameters that store whole numbers within a specific range.

  • PLS_INTEGER: Another subtype of PL/SQL, PLS_INTEGER provides similar functionality as BINARY_INTEGER. However, it has some performance advantages and is often recommended for use in certain scenarios.

Choosing the Right Numeric Data Type

To determine which numeric data type to use when storing integer values, consider the following factors:

  • Precision Requirements: If you need to store large numbers or require high precision for decimal calculations, the NUMBER data type is your best choice.
  • Data Range Limitation: Both BINARY_INTEGER and PLS_INTEGER have predefined ranges. If your integer values fall within these ranges and you don’t need decimal precision, consider using one of these subtypes.
  • Performance Considerations: If your application heavily uses PL/SQL, using PLS_INTEGER might offer better performance due to its specific design decisions.

Examples of Using Numeric Data Types in Oracle

Let’s take a look at some examples of using numeric data types in Oracle:

CREATE TABLE employees (
  employee_id NUMBER,

In this example, we use the NUMBER data type for the employee_id column, which is likely to store unique identifier values. The BINARY_INTEGER and PLS_INTEGER data types are used for the salary and bonus columns, respectively, as they represent integer values within a specific range.

In Conclusion

In Oracle, there is no dedicated “integer” data type. Instead, you can use the NUMBER data type to store integers along with decimal numbers.

Additionally, Oracle provides subtypes like BINARY_INTEGER and PLS_INTEGER that are specifically designed for storing whole numbers within certain ranges. By considering factors such as precision requirements and performance considerations, you can choose the appropriate numeric data type for your specific use case in Oracle.

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