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Details of varchar2 in the DBMS vs. PL/SQL

Why there is difference of datatype varchar2 in objects like tables and in PL/SQL code like procedures or functions? As you know, the size of varchar2 is 4000 for objects like tables, and it is 32767 in PL/SQL.

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It is simply a feature of PL/SQL that allows you to datatype variables to a maximum value of 32767, while RDBMS character maximums are set much lower. Since PL/SQL would be using a varchar2 to type a variable which will only have scope for the life of the PL/SQL block in which it is declared, we are allowed to create a much larger "memory type" than if we were creating a column in a table which will require permanent storage.

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This was first published in March 2002

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