What Is Oracle Data Type Number?


Scott Campbell

What Is Oracle Data Type Number?

Oracle provides a wide range of data types to store different kinds of data in a database. One of the most commonly used data types is the NUMBER data type.

The NUMBER data type allows you to store numeric values, including integers and floating-point numbers, with a high degree of precision and flexibility.

Benefits of Using the NUMBER Data Type

The Oracle NUMBER data type offers several advantages compared to other numeric data types:

  • Precision: The NUMBER data type allows you to specify the precision and scale for your numeric values. Precision refers to the total number of digits that can be stored, while scale refers to the number of digits that can be stored after the decimal point.

    This enables you to store very large or very small numbers with great accuracy.

  • Versatility: The NUMBER data type supports both positive and negative numbers, as well as zero. It also allows you to perform various mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Ease of Use: Oracle automatically converts between different numeric representations when necessary. For example, if you perform an operation between an integer and a floating-point number, Oracle will convert the integer to a floating-point number before executing the operation.

Syntax for Defining Columns with NUMBER Data Type

To define a column with the NUMBER data type in Oracle, you can use the following syntax:

column_name NUMBER(precision, scale)

Here, column_name is the name of the column you want to create, precision is the total number of digits you want to store, and scale is the number of digits you want to store after the decimal point. If you omit the precision and scale, Oracle will use a default precision of 38 and a default scale of 0.


Let’s look at some examples to understand how to use the NUMBER data type:

Example 1:

CREATE TABLE employees (
    employee_id   NUMBER(6),
    salary        NUMBER(9, 2)

In this example, we create a table called employees. It has two columns: employee_id, which can store up to 6 digits, and salary, which can store up to 9 digits with 2 decimal places.

Example 2:

INSERT INTO employees (employee_id, salary)
VALUES (100001, 5000.50);

In this example, we insert a new row into the employees table. We provide values for both the employee_id and salary.

The value for employee_id, which has a precision of 6, is within range. The value for salary, which has a precision of 9 and scale of 2, represents $5000.50.

In Conclusion

The NUMBER data type is a powerful and versatile data type offered by Oracle. It allows you to store numeric values with high precision and flexibility, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

By understanding the benefits and syntax of the NUMBER data type, you can effectively use it in your Oracle database designs and queries.

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