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Don Burleson Blog 







Checking that table exists in Oracle

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting
May 5, 2008

Question:  How can I check that a table exists in Oracle?

Answer:   There are a few ways to verify whether a table exists within Oracle.

One way is to describe it to check if the table exists:

SQL> desc mytable

Another is to select the first row to check that the table exists (hey it may have millions of rows!):

SQL> select * from mytable where rownum=1;

At bare minimum, you will get a response of "0 rows selected" which means the table exists, but there is no data in the table.

You can also check the data dictionary to see if a table exists:

SQL> select table_name from user_tables where table_name='MYTABLE';

Another way to test if a table exists is to try to drop the table and catch the exception if it does not exist.

execute immediate 'drop table TABLE1';
exception when others then null;

You can also check to see if a table exists by using PL/SQL:


    INTO l_cnt
    FROM dba_tables
   WHERE owner = <<table owner>>
     AND table_name = <<table name>>;
  IF( l_cnt > 0 )
        BULK COLLECT INTO some_collection;
    SELECT 'table X does not exist'
      INTO some_variable
      FROM dual;



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