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Get Length of a Row

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonSeptember 15, 2015

Question:  I need to get the length of a particular row in Oracle.  I am not aware of how to collect size(bytes) for a particular row. 

I know that I can use dbms_stats to get the avg_row_len, but I need to compute the actual row length for a specific row. 

I don't just need the data space used by a row, I want to know the actual space consumed, a real row length.  I need to actual row length, not a guess or an average.  

Answer:  For detailed row length internals, you must use BBED and look inside the block data structures, count the internal pointer and data space used by the row.  

Here is a working example of computing the row length in a case where the name and datatype of each row are known in advance:  

nvl(dbms_lob.getlength(CASE_DATA),0)+1 +
     nvl(vsize(CASE_NUMBER   ),0)+1 +
     nvl(vsize(CASE_DATA_NAME),0)+1 +
     "Total bytes per row"
    case = 123;

You will also see free-space at the end of a data block (as defined by PCTFREE or ASSM, and you may also need to dump multiple data blocks of the row is chained (fragmented) into multiple data blocks.  

Here is a PL/SQL procedure that sums individual row lengths to compute the average row length on demand.  

For any particular row, you can compute the row length by summing these values for each row column, and guess by simply looking at the datatype.

  1.  VARCHAR row size:  A VARCHAR2 you can use a length function, and you can also use instr and nvl(vsize) to see a string length:

    where emp_id = 123;  

        emp where emp_id = 123;
  2.  NUMBER row size:  For a number data type, you can see the precision, and guess the actual bytes used  
  3.  For a CLOB you can use the dbms_lob.get_length function

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