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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle drop table if exists

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJanuary 1, 2015

Question:  I need to write code to test if an Oracle table exists ands then drop and re-create the table:

if table1 exists
drop table1
create table1...

How do I write code this in PL/SQL?

Answer:  First, I'm concerned because tables are supposed to be permanent, and normally are not dropped and re-created frequently!

I would recommend checking-out the "truncate" command.  It serves the same purpose as dropping/recreating a table, and it is super-fast because all it does is set the table high water mark to zero. See these notes on using the truncate command.

 If you want to write this code in PL/SQL you have to check for the known error code from the existence check (zero).  This is PL/SQL pseudocode (not tested):

when others then  . . . -  exit with any non-zero status code

declare cursor tab_exists as select table_name from user_tables where table_name = 'FRED':


open cursor tab_exists

fetch tab_exists into :mytabname;

-- at this point you will have aborted if the fetch was not successful
drop table mytabname;

create table mytabname tablespace  . . . ;

close cursor tab_exists


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