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Oracle SQL "contains" clause tips

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

 

Oracle SQL has extensions for specialized features such as Oracle*Text and Oracle SQL has a "contains" clause for finding specific strings within an Oracle*Text index.

 

Oracle Text works with traditional data columns and also with XML, MS-Word docs and Adobe PDF files that are stored within Oracle.  Oracle Text has several index types:

 

  • CTXCAT Indexes - A CTXCAT index is best for smaller text fragments that must be indexed along with other standard relational data (VARCHAR2).

 

WHERE CATSEARCH(text_column, 'ipod')> 0;

 

  • CONTEXT Indexes - The CONTEXT index type is used to index large amounts of text such as Word, PDF, XML, HTML or plain text documents.

 

   WHERE CONTAINS(test_column, 'ipod', 1) > 0

 

  • CTXRULE Indexes - A CTXRULE index can be used to build document classification applications.

 

See my notes here on using Oracle Text indexes.
 

Using the CONTAINS clause

 

The Oracle documentation for the contains clause notes the basic syntax:

 

CONTAINS(
         [schema.]column,
         text_query    VARCHAR2
         [,label       NUMBER])
RETURN NUMBER;

Oracle gives this example of invoking the SQL contains clause:

CREATE TABLE accumtbl
   (id NUMBER, text VARCHAR2(4000) );
 
INSERT INTO accumtbl VALUES
   ( 1, 'the little dog played with the big dog
      while the other dog ate the dog food');
INSERT INTO accumtbl values
   (2, 'the cat played with the dog');
 
CREATE INDEX
   accumtbl_idx ON accumtbl (text)
   indextype is ctxsys.context;
 
PROMPT dog ACCUM cat

SELECT
   SCORE(10)
FROM
   accumtbl
WHERE
   CONTAINS (text, 'dog ACCUM cat', 10) > 0;

 

The Oracle Text SQL Operator documentation notes:

"The following example searches for all documents in the in the text column that contain the word oracle. The score for each row is selected with the SCORE operator using a label of 1:

SELECT
   SCORE(1),
   title
from
   newsindex
WHERE
   CONTAINS(text, 'oracle', 1) > 0;



The CONTAINS operator must be followed by an expression such as > 0, which specifies that the score value calculated must be greater than zero for the row to be selected.

When the SCORE operator is called (for example, in a SELECT clause), the CONTAINS clause must reference the score label value as in the following example:


SELECT
   SCORE(1),
   title
from
   newsindex
WHERE
   CONTAINS(text, 'oracle', 1) > 0
ORDER BY
   SCORE(1) DESC;


"
If you like Oracle tuning, see the book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", with 950 pages of tuning tips and scripts. 

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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.

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