Which Data Type Is Supported in Oracle DBMS to Store XML?


Heather Bennett

In Oracle DBMS, the XML data type provides a powerful way to store and manipulate XML documents. This data type allows for efficient storage and retrieval of XML content, making it a preferred choice for applications dealing with XML data.

Supported Data Types

Oracle supports the XMLType data type for storing XML data. This data type can store both structured and unstructured XML content. The XMLType data type provides various methods and functions that can be used to manipulate the stored XML data.

Benefits of Using XMLType

The XMLType data type offers several advantages over traditional storage methods when dealing with XML content:

  • Structured Storage: With the XMLType data type, you can define a structure for your XML documents using XML Schema or Document Type Definitions (DTD). This allows you to enforce constraints on the stored XML content and ensures consistency.
  • Efficient Querying: Oracle provides specialized operators and functions for querying and manipulating XML content stored in the database.

    These optimizations allow for faster retrieval of specific elements or attributes within an XML document.

  • Indexing Support: Oracle supports indexing on the XMLType columns, which improves query performance when searching for specific values within an XML document.
  • XQuery Support: XQuery is a powerful language for querying and transforming XML documents. Oracle DBMS provides comprehensive support for XQuery, allowing you to perform complex operations on your stored XML content.

Working with the XMLType Data Type

To store an XML document in an Oracle database, you need to define a column of type ‘XMLType’ in your table schema. You can then insert or update rows with valid XML content.

Here’s an example of creating a table with an XMLType column:

CREATE TABLE xml_data (
  id NUMBER,
  xml_content XMLType

Once the table is created, you can insert XML data using SQL statements:

INSERT INTO xml_data (id, xml_content)
VALUES (1, XMLType('Value 1Value 2'));

To query and manipulate the stored XML content, Oracle provides a range of functions and methods. For example, you can use the EXTRACTVALUE function to retrieve specific values from an XML document:

SELECT EXTRACTVALUE(xml_content, '/root/element1') AS element1_value
FROM xml_data;

The above query retrieves the value of the ‘element1’ element from the stored XML document.


In Oracle DBMS, the XMLType data type offers powerful capabilities for storing and manipulating XML content. With support for structured storage, efficient querying, indexing, and XQuery operations, it provides a comprehensive solution for applications dealing with XML data.

If your application requires handling complex XML structures and performing advanced operations on them, consider utilizing the XMLType data type in Oracle DBMS to leverage its full potential.

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