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Putting Methods to Work in Oracle

Oracle Tips by Mike Ault

Use of Other Built-in Methods for Collections

FIRST and LAST -- Return the smallest and largest index numbers for the collection referenced. Naturally, they return null if the collection is empty. For VARRAYS FIRST always returns 1, for nested tables FIRST returns the value of the first filled spot for that entry. LAST returns the last filled instance of a VARRAY and a nested table. For a VARRAY COUNT will always equal LAST. For a nested table they can be different but LAST should always be greater than COUNT if they are different for a nested table.

PRIOR and NEXT -- Return the prior or next value based on the input value for the collection index. PRIOR and NEXT ignore deleted instances in a collection.

EXTEND -- Appends instances to a collection. EXTEND has three forms, EXTEND, which adds one null instance, EXTEND(n) which adds "n" null instances and EXTEND(n,m) which appends N copies of instance "m" to the collection. For not null specified collections forms one and two cannot be used.

SEE CODE DEPOT FOR FULL SCRIPTS


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