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Don Burleson Blog 







Execute Immediate on Large Insert Strings

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson

Question:  I've run into a snag where I am executing an insert statement that has a particularly large field requiring some dynamic SQL. I've declared my string variable being executed as a VARCHAR2(32767). I've done quite a bit of searching on the web and there sure are a lot of people suggesting fixes to this that don't work.

I've tried a few things including using a bind variable for my very large value. The last suggested fix I haven't tried is breaking down the large value into a varchar2s and passing it into DBMS_SQL.PARSE, which seems very dated and unnecessary.   The basic problem is the following:

   v_query VARCHAR2(32767);
   FOR ... LOOP
      --populate v_query with necessary data

This code returns the error "ORA-01704: string literal too long".

I have tentatively solved this problem by issuing an update statement and simply updating my field in the table (it is a CLOB) with the data necessary after the EXECUTE IMMEDIATE and leaving it null in the initial insert. However, I would like to try and keep this all within my insert statement if possible. The code above works just fine so long as v_query < 4000 characters (I know this based on the fact that the largest values being inserted are 3998 characters).

 Answer:  You may want to use a CLOB datatype for this.

String literals in SQL are limited to 4000 characters. Your dynamic SQL is trying to concatenate the CLOB as part of the SQL statement, turning it into a string literal. If dynamic SQL were required, you'd need to use bind variables.

 See here for complete details on converting a long datatype to a CLOB. 

EXECUTE IMMEDIATE 'INSERT INTO some_table( clob_column ) VALUES( :1 )' USING p_clob_parameter

Follow the link for more information on Late Binding and Runtime Binding in PL/SQL  

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