Does Oracle Support Scalar Data Type?


Angela Bailey

Does Oracle Support Scalar Data Type?

When working with databases, it is essential to understand the different data types supported by the database management system. One such data type is the scalar data type, which represents a single value.

What is a Scalar Data Type?

A scalar data type is a fundamental data type that holds a single value. These values can be numeric, character-based, or date/time-based. Unlike composite data types, which can hold multiple values together, scalar data types represent individual values.

Numeric Scalar Data Types

In Oracle, there are several numeric scalar data types:

  • NUMBER: This is a flexible numeric data type that can store both integers and floating-point numbers.
  • BINARY_FLOAT: This data type stores single-precision floating-point numbers.
  • BINARY_DOUBLE: This data type stores double-precision floating-point numbers.

Character Scalar Data Types

In addition to numeric scalar data types, Oracle also supports various character-based scalar data types:

  • VARCHAR2: This is a variable-length character string with a maximum size of 4,000 bytes.
  • CHAR: This fixed-length character string has a defined length specified during table creation.

Date/Time Scalar Data Types

To handle date and time-related information, Oracle provides the following scalar data types:

  • DATE: This stores date and time information up to the second precision.
  • TIMESTAMP: This data type extends the functionality of the DATE type to include fractional seconds.

Working with Scalar Data Types in Oracle

Using scalar data types in Oracle is straightforward. You can define columns in database tables with specific scalar data types to ensure proper storage and retrieval of values.

For example, suppose you want to create a table to store employee information:

CREATE TABLE employees (
  employee_id NUMBER,
  first_name VARCHAR2(50),
  last_name VARCHAR2(50),
  hire_date DATE

In this example, the employees table has columns with different scalar data types. The employee_id column is of type NUMBER, while the first_name, last_name, and hire_date columns are of type VARCHAR2 and DATE, respectively.

You can then insert values into these columns using INSERT statements:

INSERT INTO employees (employee_id, first_name, last_name, hire_date)
VALUES (1, 'John', 'Doe', TO_DATE('2021-01-01', 'YYYY-MM-DD'));

In this case, we inserted values into each column according to their respective scalar data types.


In conclusion, Oracle supports a variety of scalar data types for storing different kinds of values. These include numeric scalar data types like NUMBER and BINARY_FLOAT, character scalar data types like VARCHAR2 and CHAR, and date/time scalar data types like DATE and TIMESTAMP. Understanding these data types is crucial for designing efficient and accurate database schemas in Oracle.

Note: It is important to consult the official Oracle documentation for the most up-to-date information on data types and their usage.

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