What Is Boolean Data Type in Oracle?


Larry Thompson

The Boolean data type in Oracle is a fundamental concept that plays a crucial role in database management. It allows the storage and manipulation of true/false or yes/no values. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of the Boolean data type and its usage in Oracle databases.

What is a Boolean Data Type?

A Boolean data type is a simple, yet powerful, data type that represents two possible states: true or false. It is commonly used to store logical values and make decisions based on these values.

In Oracle, the Boolean data type is represented by the keywords TRUE and FALSE. These keywords are case-insensitive, meaning you can use either uppercase or lowercase letters.

Boolean Data Type in Oracle

Oracle introduced native support for the Boolean data type starting from version 12c. Before that, developers had to use alternative approaches like number or character datatypes to simulate boolean values. The introduction of the native Boolean data type simplified coding and improved performance for boolean-related operations.

Defining a Column with Boolean Data Type

To define a column with the Boolean data type in Oracle, you use the BOOLEAN keyword when creating a table. Here’s an example:

CREATE TABLE Employees (
    id NUMBER,
    name VARCHAR2(100),
    is_active BOOLEAN

In this example, we have created an “Employees” table with three columns. The “is_active” column is defined as a BOOLEAN datatype.

Inserting Values into a Boolean Column

When inserting values into a BOOLEAN column, you can use either TRUE, ‘TRUE’, ‘T’, ‘Y’, or ‘YES’ to represent a true value. Similarly, you can use FALSE, ‘FALSE’, ‘F’, ‘N’, or ‘NO’ to represent a false value. For example:

INSERT INTO Employees (id, name, is_active)
VALUES (1, 'John Doe', TRUE);

In this case, we are inserting a record with the “is_active” column set to TRUE.

Querying Boolean Data

When querying data from a BOOLEAN column, you can use various techniques to manipulate the results based on the boolean values. For instance, you can use the WHERE clause to filter records based on certain conditions:

SELECT id, name
FROM Employees
WHERE is_active = TRUE;

This query will retrieve all records from the “Employees” table where the “is_active” column is set to TRUE.


The Boolean data type in Oracle provides a simple and efficient way to handle true/false values in database management. With its native support starting from Oracle 12c, developers can now leverage this data type for improved performance and readability in their code.

Understanding how to define and manipulate boolean columns is essential for effective database management and decision-making processes. By incorporating the Boolean data type into your Oracle databases, you can enhance your ability to store and process logical values efficiently.

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