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Store emoticons in Oracle tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonMay 24, 2016

Question: What do I do to store emoticons in Oracle?  I have a column defined as VARCHAR2(255) and I want to store the emoticons in this column.  What do I do to represent emoticons in an Oracle table?

My application is  storing the emoji's correctly, but I getting a ????? when I try to display the emoticon values in SQL*Developer.  How do I see the actual values stored in the Oracle table?

Answer:  Oracle normally uses a CLOB column datatype for emoticons and uses the dbms_lob procedure to store the emoticons in the table.  However, the emoticons are interpreted as follows, so just store the values in a VARCHAR2 columns.

You can see the actual values stored in the Oracle table by using SQL*Plus.  For example, the string :) will be interpreted as a smiley face emoticon.  SQL*Developer will not perform this translation and you get the unknown string display of "???????".

You can also store strings as emoticons using these characters:

:)    :(      :P     D      ;)

As we see, the emoticons are stored as normal character strings and the images are translated automatically by the front-end application, changing the characters into the emoji images.

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