Tip

Another way to initialize variables in SQL*PLUS

Everyone has some way to inititalize variables in SQL*PLUS. My favorite is to use the "col" directive with "new_val" option. This approach does not require a spoolfile making it somewhat easier to use in SQL*PLUS coding choirs.

-- Here is one way to set an ARCHIVE_KEY variable 
--=============================================== 

-- Clear the variable 
undefine ARCHIVE_KEY ; 

-- Set the column to define 
col ARCHIVE_KEYval new_val ARCHIVE_KEY 

-- Select and initialize the variable 
-- **** 
-- NOTE: This is my format of ARCHIVE_KEY. 
--       You can change the format as needed. 
select 
    to_char(sysdate 
           ,'YYYYMMDD_HH24MISS') ARCHIVE_KEYval 
from dual; 

-- This is just to display the value 
select 
 '&&ARCHIVE_KEY' ARCHIVE_KEY 
from dual ; 
--eof-- 

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This was first published in March 2002

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