Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

Getting a ref cursor from a PL/SQL table

Is there a way to get a ref cursor from a PL/SQL table? I mean, I need to return a ref cursor from my Oracle function in order to see it as a recordset into VB. It is not a problem when the data I'm passing to the VB application comes from a query, even if the query has many tables involved. The problem appears when the data I need to pass is stored into a PL/SQL table in the form of a table of records.

Yes. The trick is to use a collection constructor and the TABLE() function. Let's start by defining the types we need for our PL/SQL table:

create type FullName is object
( FirstName varchar2(30),
  LastName varchar2(30)

create type NameList is table of FullName;
Next, we build our function:
create or replace function GetRefCursor 
return sys_refcursor
  myList NameList := NameList( FullName('Eric','Clapton'),
                               FullName('Robert','Plant') );
  Result sys_refcursor;
  open Result for select * from table(myList);
  return Result;
end GetRefCursor;
By the way, this will work in Oracle 9i just fine, however, SYS_REFCURSOR is not defined in 8i. If you are using 8i, you will have to declare a type of REF CURSOR in a package specification and substitute that type in the place of SYS_REFCURSOR.

For More Information

  • What do you think about this answer? E-mail the edtiors at [email protected] with your feedback.
  • The Best SQL Web Links: tips, tutorials, scripts, and more.
  • Have an SQL tip to offer your fellow DBAs and developers? The best tips submitted will receive a cool prize. Submit your tip today!
  • Ask your technical SQL questions -- or help out your peers by answering them -- in our live discussion forums.
  • Ask the Experts yourself: Our SQL, database design, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, metadata, object-oriented and data warehousing gurus are waiting to answer your toughest questions.

Dig Deeper on Using Oracle PL-SQL