Oracle Text Application Developer's Guide
Release 9.0.1

Part Number A90122-01
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This guide explains how to build query applications with Oracle Text. This preface contains these topics:


Oracle Text Application Developer's Guide is intended for users who perform the following tasks:

To use this document, you need to have experience with the Oracle object relational database management system, SQL, SQL*Plus, and PL/SQL.


This document contains:

Chapter 1, "Introduction to Oracle Text"

This chapter introduces the basic features of Oracle Text. It also explains how to build a basic query application using Oracle Text.

Chapter 2, "Indexing"

This chapter describes how to index your document set. It discusses considerations for indexing as well as how to create CONTEXT, CTXCAT, and CTXRULE indexes.

Chapter 3, "Querying"

This chapter describes how to query your document set. It gives examples for using the CONTAINS, CATSEARCH, and MATCHES operators.

Chapter 4, "Document Presentation"

This chapter describes how to present documents to the user of your query application.

Chapter 5, "Query Tuning"

This chapter describes how to tune your queries to improve response time and throughput.

Chapter 6, "Document Section Searching"

This chapter describes how to enable section searching in HTML and XML.

Chapter 7, "Working With a Thesaurus"

This chapter describes how to work with a thesaurus in your application. It also describes how to augment your knowledge with a thesaurus.

Chapter 8, "Administration"

This chapter describes Oracle Text administration.

Appendix A, "CONTEXT Query Application"

This chapter describes an Oracle Text example web application.

Related Documentation

For more information about Oracle Text, see:

For more information about Oracle9i, see:

For more information about PL/SQL, see:

In North America, printed documentation is available for sale in the Oracle Store at

Customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) can purchase documentation from

Other customers can contact their Oracle representative to purchase printed documentation.

To download free release notes, installation documentation, code samples, white papers, or other collateral, please visit the Oracle Technology Network (OTN). You must register online before using OTN; registration is free and can be done at

If you already have a username and password for OTN, then you can go directly to the documentation section of the OTN Web site at

You can obtain Oracle Text technical information, collateral, code samples, training slides and other material at:


This section describes the conventions used in the text and code examples of the this documentation set. It describes:

Conventions in Text

We use various conventions in text to help you more quickly identify special terms. The following table describes those conventions and provides examples of their use.

Convention  Meaning  Example 


Bold typeface indicates terms that are defined in the text or terms that appear in a glossary, or both. 

The C datatypes such as ub4, sword, or OCINumber are valid.

When you specify this clause, you create an index-organized table.  


Italic typeface indicates query terms, book titles, emphasis, syntax clauses, or placeholders. 

Oracle9i Database Concepts

You can specify the parallel_clause.

Run Uold_release.SQL where old_release refers to the release you installed prior to upgrading. 

UPPERCASE monospace (fixed-width font) 

Uppercase monospace typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. Such elements include parameters, privileges, datatypes, RMAN keywords, SQL keywords, SQL*Plus or utility commands, packages and methods, as well as system-supplied column names, database objects and structures, user names, and roles. 

You can specify this clause only for a NUMBER column.

You can back up the database using the BACKUP command.

Query the TABLE_NAME column in the USER_TABLES table in the data dictionary view.

Specify the ROLLBACK_SEGMENTS parameter.


lowercase monospace (fixed-width font) 

Lowercase monospace typeface indicates executables and sample user-supplied elements. Such elements include computer and database names, net service names, and connect identifiers, as well as user-supplied database objects and structures, column names, packages and classes, user names and roles, program units, and parameter values. 

Enter sqlplus to open SQL*Plus.

The department_id, department_name, and location_id columns are in the hr.departments table.

Set the QUERY_REWRITE_ENABLED initialization parameter to true.

Connect as oe user. 

Conventions in Code Examples

Code examples illustrate SQL, PL/SQL, SQL*Plus, or other command-line statements. They are displayed in a monospace (fixed-width) font and separated from normal text as shown in this example:

SELECT username FROM dba_users WHERE username = 'MIGRATE';

The following table describes typographic conventions used in code examples and provides examples of their use.

Convention  Meaning  Example 

[ ] 

Brackets enclose one or more optional items. Do not enter the brackets. 

DECIMAL (digits [ , precision ]) 

{ } 

Braces enclose two or more items, one of which is required. Do not enter the braces. 


A vertical bar represents a choice of two or more options within brackets or braces. Enter one of the options. Do not enter the vertical bar. 




Horizontal ellipsis points indicate either:

  • That we have omitted parts of the code that are not directly related to the example

  • That you can repeat a portion of the code


CREATE TABLE ... AS subquery;

SELECT col1, col2, ... , coln FROM employees; 




Vertical ellipsis points indicate that we have omitted several lines of code not directly related to the example. 


Other notation 

You must enter symbols other than brackets, braces, vertical bars, and ellipsis points as it is shown. 

acctbal NUMBER(11,2);

acct CONSTANT NUMBER(4) := 3; 


Italicized text indicates variables for which you must supply particular values. 

CONNECT SYSTEM/system_password 


Uppercase typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. We show these terms in uppercase in order to distinguish them from terms you define. Unless terms appear in brackets, enter them in the order and with the spelling shown. However, because these terms are not case sensitive, you can enter them in lowercase. 

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;


DROP TABLE hr.employees; 


Lowercase typeface indicates programmatic elements that you supply. For example, lowercase indicates names of tables, columns, or files. 

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;

sqlplus hr/hr 

Documentation Accessibility

Oracle's goal is to make our products, services, and supporting documentation accessible to the disabled community with good usability. To that end, our documentation includes features that make information available to users of assistive technology. This documentation is available in HTML format, and contains markup to facilitate access by the disabled community. Standards will continue to evolve over time, and Oracle is actively engaged with other market-leading technology vendors to address technical obstacles so that our documentation can be accessible to all of our customers. For additional information, visit the Oracle Accessibility Program Web site at

JAWS, a Windows screen reader, may not always correctly read the code examples in this document. The conventions for writing code require that closing braces should appear on an otherwise empty line; however, JAWS may not always read a line of text that consists solely of a bracket or brace.

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