MacLochlainns Weblog

Michael McLaughlin's Technical Blog

Site Admin

Convert LONG to CLOB

without comments

A friend asked me how to get an Oracle view definition out of a LONG column and into a web application. I thought it was an interesting question because I ran into a similar problem when writing the Oracle Database 12c PL/SQL Programming book.

One of the new Oracle 12c features is the DBMS_UTILITY‘s new EXPAND_SQL_TEXT procedure. It lets you expand a view’s definition to include any views that the master view uses. It produces a single queries with all the base tables that support the view. Clearly, it’s an effective tool when it comes to understanding how those large ERP views work in the E-Business Suite.

LONG to CLOB Data Type

Here’s a version of the function that converts the LONG data type into a CLOB data type:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION long_to_clob
( pv_view_name      VARCHAR2
, pv_column_length  INTEGER )
RETURN CLOB AS
 
  /* Declare local variables. */
  lv_cursor    INTEGER := dbms_sql.open_cursor;
  lv_feedback  INTEGER;         -- Acknowledgement of dynamic execution
  lv_length    INTEGER;          -- Length of string
  lv_return    CLOB;            -- Function output
  lv_stmt      VARCHAR2(2000);  -- Dynamic SQL statement
  lv_string    VARCHAR2(32760); -- Maximum length of LONG data type
 
BEGIN
  /* Create dynamic statement. */
  lv_stmt := 'SELECT text'||CHR(10)
          || 'FROM user_views'||CHR(10)
          || 'WHERE view_name = '''||pv_view_name||'''';
 
  /* Parse and define a long column. */
  dbms_sql.parse(lv_cursor, lv_stmt, dbms_sql.native);
  dbms_sql.define_column_long(lv_cursor,1);
 
  /* Only attempt to process the return value when fetched. */
  IF dbms_sql.execute_and_fetch(lv_cursor) = 1 THEN
    dbms_sql.column_value_long(
        lv_cursor
      , 1
      , pv_column_length
      , 0
      , lv_string
      , lv_length);
  END IF;
 
  /* Check for an open cursor. */
  IF dbms_sql.is_open(lv_cursor) THEN
    dbms_sql.close_cursor(lv_cursor);
  END IF;
 
  /* Create a local temporary CLOB in memory:
     - It returns a constructed lv_return_result.
     - It disables a cached version.
     - It set the duration to 12 (the value of the dbms_lob.call
       package-level variable) when the default is 10. */
  dbms_lob.createtemporary(lv_return, FALSE, dbms_lob.CALL);
 
  /* Append the Long to the empty temporary CLOB. */
  dbms_lob.WRITE(lv_return, pv_column_length, 1, lv_string);
 
  RETURN lv_return;
END long_to_clob;
/

This wraps the conversion of a LONG to CLOB, which is necessary to pre-size the LONG data type. Pre-sizing avoids reading the LONG column’s value character-by-character.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION expand_view 
( pv_view_name  VARCHAR2 ) RETURN CLOB IS
 
  /* Declare containers for views. */
  lv_input_view   CLOB;
  lv_output_view  CLOB;
 
  /* Declare a target variable,  because of the limit of SELECT-INTO. */
  lv_long_view  LONG;
 
  /* Declare a dynamic cursor. */
  CURSOR c (cv_view_name VARCHAR2) IS
    SELECT   text
    FROM     user_views
    WHERE    view_name = cv_view_name;
 
BEGIN
  /* Open, fetch, and close cursor to capture view text. */
  OPEN c(pv_view_name);
  FETCH c INTO lv_long_view;
  CLOSE c;
 
  /* Convert a LONG return type to a CLOB. */
  lv_input_view := long_to_clob(pv_view_name, LENGTH(lv_long_view));
 
  /* Send in the view text and receive the complete text. */
  dbms_utility.expand_sql_text(lv_input_view, lv_output_view);
 
  /* Return the output CLOB value. */
  RETURN lv_output_view;
END;
/

LONG to VARCHAR2 Data Type

Here’s a version of the function that converts the LONG data type into a VARCHAR2 data type:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION long_to_varchar2
( pv_view_name      VARCHAR2
, pv_column_length  INTEGER )
RETURN VARCHAR2 AS
 
  /* Declare local variables. */
  lv_cursor    INTEGER := dbms_sql.open_cursor;
  lv_feedback  INTEGER;          -- Acknowledgement of dynamic execution
  lv_length    INTEGER;          -- Length of string
  lv_return    VARCHAR2(32767);  -- Function output
  lv_stmt      VARCHAR2(2000);   -- Dynamic SQL statement
  lv_string    VARCHAR2(32760);  -- Maximum length of LONG data type
 
BEGIN
  /* Create dynamic statement. */
  lv_stmt := 'SELECT text'||CHR(10)
          || 'FROM user_views'||CHR(10)
          || 'WHERE view_name = '''||pv_view_name||'''';
 
  /* Parse and define a long column. */
  dbms_sql.parse(lv_cursor, lv_stmt, dbms_sql.native);
  dbms_sql.define_column_long(lv_cursor,1);
 
  /* Only attempt to process the return value when fetched. */
  IF dbms_sql.execute_and_fetch(lv_cursor) = 1 THEN
    dbms_sql.column_value_long(
        lv_cursor
      , 1
      , pv_column_length
      , 0
      , lv_string
      , lv_length);
  END IF;
 
  /* Check for an open cursor. */
  IF dbms_sql.is_open(lv_cursor) THEN
    dbms_sql.close_cursor(lv_cursor);
  END IF;
 
  /* Convert the long length string to a maximum size length. */
  lv_return := lv_string;
 
  RETURN lv_return;
END long_to_varchar2;
/

This wraps the conversion of a LONG to VARCHAR2, which is necessary to pre-size the LONG data type. Pre-sizing avoids reading the LONG column’s value character-by-character.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION return_view_text 
( pv_view_name  VARCHAR2 ) RETURN VARCHAR2 IS
 
  /* Declare a target variable,  because of the limit of SELECT-INTO. */
  lv_long_view  LONG;
 
  /* Declare a dynamic cursor. */
  CURSOR c (cv_view_name VARCHAR2) IS
    SELECT   text
    FROM     user_views
    WHERE    view_name = cv_view_name;
 
BEGIN
  /* Open, fetch, and close cursor to capture view text. */
  OPEN c(pv_view_name);
  FETCH c INTO lv_long_view;
  CLOSE c;
 
  /* Return the output CLOB value. */
  RETURN long_to_varchar2(pv_view_name, LENGTH(lv_long_view));
END;
/

Wrapper to DBMS_UTILITY‘s EXPAND_SQL_TEXT Procedure

As a response to somebody who simply wants a wrapper to the new dbms_utility‘s expand_sql_text procedure, I wrote the wrapper. Although, my reflection on this is why does a new procedure require a new wrapper to be useful? Did the use case get stated incorrectly. Anyway, here’s the wrapper:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
-- Converts a long column to a CLOB data type.
CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION expand_sql_text
( pv_view_name      VARCHAR2 )
RETURN CLOB AS
 
  /* Declare containers for views. */
  lv_input_view   CLOB;
  lv_output_view  CLOB;
 
  /* Declare a target variable,  because of the limit of SELECT-INTO. */
  lv_long_view  LONG;
 
  /* Declare local variables for dynamic SQL. */
  lv_cursor    INTEGER := dbms_sql.open_cursor;
  lv_feedback  INTEGER;         -- Acknowledgement of dynamic execution
  lv_length    INTEGER;          -- Length of string
  lv_return    CLOB;            -- Function output
  lv_stmt      VARCHAR2(2000);  -- Dynamic SQL statement
  lv_string    VARCHAR2(32760); -- Maximum length of LONG data type
 
  /* Declare user-defined exception. */
  invalid_view_name  EXCEPTION;
  PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT(invalid_view_name, -20001);
 
  /* Declare a dynamic cursor. */
  CURSOR c (cv_view_name VARCHAR2) IS
    SELECT   text
    FROM     user_views
    WHERE    view_name = cv_view_name;
 
  FUNCTION verify_view_name
  ( pv_view_name      VARCHAR2 )
  RETURN BOOLEAN AS
    /* Default return value. */
    lv_return_result  BOOLEAN := FALSE;
 
    /* Declare cursor to check view name. */
    CURSOR c (cv_view_name  VARCHAR2) IS
      SELECT   NULL
      FROM     user_views
      WHERE    view_name = cv_view_name;
  BEGIN
    FOR i IN c (pv_view_name) LOOP
      lv_return_result := TRUE;
    END LOOP;
 
    RETURN lv_return_result;
  END verify_view_name;
BEGIN
  /* Throw exception when invalid view name. */
  IF NOT verify_view_name(pv_view_name) THEN
     RAISE invalid_view_name;
  END IF;
 
  /* Open, fetch, and close cursor to capture view text. */
  OPEN c(pv_view_name);
  FETCH c INTO lv_long_view;
  CLOSE c;
 
  /* Create dynamic statement. */
  lv_stmt := 'SELECT text'||CHR(10)
          || 'FROM user_views'||CHR(10)
          || 'WHERE view_name = '''||pv_view_name||'''';
 
  /* Parse and define a long column. */
  dbms_sql.parse(lv_cursor, lv_stmt, dbms_sql.native);
  dbms_sql.define_column_long(lv_cursor,1);
 
  /* Only attempt to process the return value when fetched. */
  IF dbms_sql.execute_and_fetch(lv_cursor) = 1 THEN
    dbms_sql.column_value_long(
        lv_cursor
      , 1
      , LENGTH(lv_long_view)
      , 0
      , lv_string
      , lv_length);
  END IF;
 
  /* Check for an open cursor. */
  IF dbms_sql.is_open(lv_cursor) THEN
    dbms_sql.close_cursor(lv_cursor);
  END IF;
 
  /* Create a local temporary CLOB in memory:
     - It returns a constructed lv_return_result.
     - It disables a cached version.
     - It set the duration to 12 (the value of the dbms_lob.call
       package-level variable) when the default is 10. */
  dbms_lob.createtemporary(lv_input_view, FALSE, dbms_lob.CALL);
 
  /* Append the Long to the empty temporary CLOB. */
  dbms_lob.WRITE(lv_input_view, LENGTH(lv_long_view), 1, lv_string);
 
  /* Send in the view text and receive the complete text. */
  dbms_utility.expand_sql_text(lv_input_view, lv_output_view);
 
  /* Return the output CLOB value. */
  RETURN lv_output_view;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN invalid_view_name THEN
    RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR(-20001,'Invalid View Name.');
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    RETURN NULL;
END expand_sql_text;
/

As always, I hope this provides folks with a leg up on tricky syntax.

Written by maclochlainn

August 6th, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Leave a Reply