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Passing Oracle variables to a Shell Script 

Oracle Database Tips by Burleson Consulting

January 14, 2016

Question:  Within SQL*Plus is there a way to get this value into a shell script environment variable?

How do I pass a variable to SQL*Plus in a ksh shell script?

Answer:  Passing variables to shell scripts is tricky!  Jon Emmons as a great book "Oracle Shell Scripting" with lots of working examples of passing user defined variables to Oracle in a shell script.  Working scripts exist in the books code download.

Also see passing variables to SQL*Plus.

 I used numbered variables, like &1 and &2, but as long as they are defined and exported in the shell script, they will be resolved in SQL*Plus (unless they contain special characters).  

In cases where a variable contains special characters ($owner), you have to "escape" variables in sqlplus when they contain dollar signs . . .

 If you do it all one line (a requirement in Windows shell scripting), it's easy to pass a ksh shell script variable into sqlplus:

#!/bin/ksh
$min_snap=421
export $min_snap

$max_snap=426
export $max_snap

$ORACLE_HOME/bin/sqlplus -S perfstat/perf$ORACLE_SID@$ORACLE_SID @sppurge $min_snap $max_snap

Here are some working examples using the C shell:

#!/bin/sh
lookup=$1
sqlplus -S system/manager << EOF
SELECT username, account_status, expiry_date
FROM dba_users WHERE lower(username)=lower('$lookup');
exit;
EOF

Shell Variables and Embedded SQL

Earlier in this chapter, we saw how SQL can be embedded in a shell script.  One side benefit to this method is that we can use shell variables to represent values within the embedded SQL.  In the following user_info.sh script we pass a username to the script as an argument, it is transferred to a variable named lookup for better readability and the variable lookup is used in the WHERE clause within the SQL.

#!/bin/sh
lookup=$1
sqlplus -S system/manager << EOF
SELECT username, account_status, expiry_date
FROM dba_users WHERE lower(username)=lower('$lookup');
exit;
EOF

The result is a single script which can take an argument and execute SQL using the value of that argument.  This can be a very efficient way to load data into Oracle tables without the need for a load file or other intermediate step.

Here is another example where the entire SQL*Plus session is passed as a single variable called invalid_count:

invalid_count=`sqlplus -L -s / as sysdba <<.eof.  
set pages 0 feed off heading off echo off verify off termout off  
select count(*) from dba_objects where status != 'VALID';  
exit  
.eof.` 
echo $invalid_count

In the code above, note that the shell script accepts the SQL*Plus output via the use of the "grave (`)" symbol.

Again, for complete examples of passing complex variable to SQL*Plus from  a shell script, get the code download in "Oracle Shell Scripting".

 

   
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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.


                    









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