Is PL SQL Table Is a User-Defined Data Type?


Heather Bennett

Is PL SQL Table a User-Defined Data Type?

PL/SQL, the procedural language extension for Oracle databases, provides a powerful and flexible way to work with data. One of its notable features is the ability to define user-defined data types.

These custom data types allow developers to encapsulate complex structures and improve code readability. However, when it comes to PL/SQL tables, the question arises: are they considered user-defined data types?

Understanding PL/SQL Tables

PL/SQL tables, also known as index-by tables or associative arrays, are one-dimensional arrays that can hold elements of any data type. Unlike traditional arrays in programming languages like C or Java, PL/SQL tables do not require a predefined size.

They can dynamically grow and shrink as needed.

PL/SQL tables are incredibly versatile and can be used to solve various programming challenges. They are especially useful when dealing with unknown or varying amounts of data.

By using PL/SQL tables, developers can efficiently process collections of records without worrying about their size.

Defining User-Defined Data Types

In PL/SQL, user-defined types allow developers to create their own custom data structures. These types can consist of multiple attributes and methods, providing a way to encapsulate related data and operations into a single entity.

User-defined types enhance code modularity and reusability.

To define a user-defined type in PL/SQL, you need to use the CREATE TYPE statement. This statement allows you to specify the attributes and methods of your custom type.

Once defined, you can use this type to declare variables or create table columns with the new data structure.

Are PL/SQL Tables User-Defined Data Types?

Now, back to the question at hand: are PL/SQL tables considered user-defined data types? The answer is yes.

Although PL/SQL tables may not be as complex as user-defined types created with the CREATE TYPE statement, they still fall under the category of user-defined data types. They are custom structures created by developers to store and manipulate collections of data.

PL/SQL tables can be declared with a specific data type or as TABLE OF ANYTYPE, allowing them to hold elements of any data type. This flexibility makes them a powerful tool in handling various scenarios.


In summary, PL/SQL tables are indeed considered user-defined data types. While they may not offer the same level of complexity as types defined with the CREATE TYPE statement, they serve as a flexible and efficient means of working with collections of data in Oracle databases.

By utilizing PL/SQL tables, developers can create dynamic arrays that adapt to changing requirements, making their code more robust and scalable.

So next time you encounter a situation that involves handling dynamic collections of data in your PL/SQL code, consider using PL/SQL tables as your go-to solution!

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