What Is PL/SQL Data Type?
PL/SQL data types are used to define the type of data that can be stored in variables, constants, and database columns in PL/SQL programs. They provide a way to categorize data and specify the operations that can be performed on that data.
Numeric Data Types
PL/SQL provides several numeric data types to handle different kinds of numbers:
- NUMBER: Used to store fixed-point or floating-point numbers.
- BINARY_INTEGER: Used for integer values within a specified range.
- PLS_INTEGER: Similar to BINARY_INTEGER but optimized for performance.
Character Data Types
To store text or character data, PL/SQL offers the following data types:
- CHAR: Fixed-length character strings.
- VARCHAR2: Variable-length character strings.
Date and Time Data Types
The date and time-related data types in PL/SQL include:
- DATE: Stores date and time values with a precision of seconds.
- TIMESTAMP: Stores date and time values with fractional seconds precision.
- TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE: Stores date, time, and time zone information.
Lob Data Types
Lob (large object) data types are used to store large amounts of unstructured binary or character data. The available lob data types in PL/SQL are:
- BLOB: Stores binary data such as images or documents.
- CLOB: Stores character data with a maximum size of 4 gigabytes.
Boolean Data Type
The boolean data type in PL/SQL is used to store logical values, either TRUE or FALSE. It is often used in conditional statements and expressions.
Composite Data Types
PL/SQL allows you to define composite data types that can hold multiple values. These include:
- RECORD: A composite data type that can hold multiple fields of different types.
- VARRAY: A variable-size array that can store elements of the same type.
- Nested Table: A collection type similar to an array but with dynamic size and no fixed upper limit.
In this article, we have covered the various data types available in PL/SQL. Understanding and correctly using these data types is essential for writing efficient and robust PL/SQL programs.