Call now: 252-767-6166  
Oracle Training Oracle Support Development Oracle Apps

 E-mail Us
 Oracle Articles

 Oracle Training
 Oracle Tips

 Oracle Forum
 Class Catalog

 Remote DBA
 Oracle Tuning
 Emergency 911
 RAC Support
 Apps Support
 Oracle Support

 SQL Tuning

 Oracle UNIX
 Oracle Linux
 Remote s
 Remote plans
 Application Server

 Oracle Forms
 Oracle Portal
 App Upgrades
 SQL Server
 Oracle Concepts
 Software Support

 Remote S


 Consulting Staff
 Consulting Prices
 Help Wanted!


 Oracle Posters
 Oracle Books

 Oracle Scripts

Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle INSTR

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

Oracle INSTR

The syntax for Oracle INSTR function is as follows:

instr (s1, s2, st, t)

The Oracle INSTR  function is similar to the SUBSTR, except instead of returning the sub string, Oracle INSTR returns the location of the string.

oracle instr

  INSTR('Now is the time for all good men',' ',1,3)

-----------------------------------------                                       11

1 row selected.

In the example above, I am using Oracle INSTR to look for the third occurrence of the string “ ” (a space) starting at the beginning.  According to the results of the Oracle INSTR function, the third space in the string is at character number 11.

Now for a little challenge.  Suppose that my boss wants to know what the first word of every book title is.  Think about the solution before looking at the answer below.


  SUBSTR(book_title,1,(INSTR(book_title,' ',1,1)-1)) "First Word"

Basically, I used the Oracle INSTR function and queried a substring of the book title starting at the first character, until the first space, minus one to remove the space from the results.  This type of Oracle INSTR query is actually very common on databases that are not properly normalized.  If the author names were stored in our PUBS database in one column, we would have to use this type of Oracle INSTR query to separate the first and last names when needed.

Oracle 10g Changes to Oracle INSTR

The Oracle INSTR function has been extended with the new function regexp_instr.

regexp_instr extends the functionality of the Oracle INSTR function by letting you search a string for a POSIX regular expression pattern. The function evaluates strings using characters, as defined by the input character set. It returns an integer indicating the beginning or ending position of the matched substring, depending on the value of the return_option argument. If no match is found, the function returns 0.

The Oracle documentation gives us the following example for the INSTR syntax:

Description of instr.gif follows

With the following description of the above illustration:

(string , substring [, position [, occurrence ] ])




oracle dba poster

Oracle performance tuning software 
Oracle Linux poster


Burleson is the American Team

Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  and include the URL for the page.


Burleson Consulting

The Oracle of Database Support

Oracle Performance Tuning

Remote DBA Services


Copyright ? 1996 -  2014

All rights reserved by Burleson

Oracle ? is the registered trademark of Oracle Corporation.