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Don Burleson Blog 







How to select a LONG table column?

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting
May 18, 2008

Question:  I need to select a LONG RAW column from a table.  How do you select a LONG or LONG RAW table column in SQL?

Answer:  First, the LONG and LONG RAW datatypes are superseded by the new LOB datatypes (CLOB, BLOB and BFILE), and I would consider re-defining the table to have a LOB column instead of raw.

Also see Insert into long raw column Tips.

Here is a simple way to display a long raw using utl_raw.cast_to_varchar2:

set long 32767

create table test (c1 long raw);

--insert into test values (utl_raw.cast_to_raw('hello world'));

a varchar(255);
b long raw;
cursor c1 is select c1 from test;
open c1;
fetch c1 into b ;
exit when c1%notfound;
end loop;


In SQL*Plus, you can use the "set long" command:

set long 32767
select long_column from mytable;

Outside of SQL*Plus, you need to write a PL/SQL function to convert the LONG column into standard text.  David Hunt has this example of a function to convert a LONG to a char datatype:

REM **********************************************************
REM Author: David Hunt
REM Date Created: July 18, 2007
REM Purpose: Creates function that returns contents of
REM         PART_COMNT:COMNT_TXT. (a LONG field)
REM    Warning: if the contents of COMNT_TXT exceed 32767 chrs, then
REM            none of the data from that row's LONG RETURN;
REM                     an error message results.
REM **********************************************************
create or replace function Get_Comnt_txt
    (RowID_of_Long in rowid)
    return varchar2
    Long_to_Varchar        varchar(32767);
    select comnt_txt into Long_to_Varchar
        from part_comnt
        where rowid = rowid_of_long;
    return long_to_varchar;
    when others then
        return 'Error occurred on rowid: '||rowid_of_long;
end; /

select replace(get_Comnt_txt(rowid),chr(10),null)comnt_txt
from part_comnt;

This is short text in a LONG column.
This is row 2; a <carriage return> is here ->This is row 2; a <carriage return> is here ->This is row 2; a <carriage return> is here ->


Laurent Schneider notes such a function to search a LONG column within a table:

create table rv_test (a number, b long)
insert into rv_test values (1, 'asdfjasraghavkjasdfdsafqafl;kasdfnbdsamnbfdasraghavasdfl')
insert into rv_test values (2, 'asdfjasdf;lkjadsflkjdasf;lkjasdflkjdsafl;kasdfnbdsamnbfdasraghavasdflkjasdf')
insert into rv_test values (3, & #39;asdfjasdf;lasdfa192387sfdsflkjdasf;lkjasdfdsafq3lkjdsafl;kasdfnbdsamnbfdasra

-- ************************
create or replace type rv_test_type as object(a number, b clob);

create or replace type rv_test_table as table of rv_test_type;

create or replace function rv_test_search(x varchar2)
return rv_test_table pipelined is
  r rv_test_type;
  for f in (select * from rv_test) loop
    if (f.b like x) then
      r:= rv_test_type(f.a,f.b);
      pipe row(r);
    end if;
  end loop;

select a from table(rv_test_search('%raghav%'));






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