|Oracle® Database SQL Reference
10g Release 1 (10.1)
Part Number B10759-01
For each row in the database, the
ROWID pseudocolumn returns the address of the row. Oracle Database rowid values contain information necessary to locate a row:
The data object number of the object
The data block in the datafile in which the row resides
The position of the row in the data block (first row is 0)
The datafile in which the row resides (first file is 1). The file number is relative to the tablespace.
Usually, a rowid value uniquely identifies a row in the database. However, rows in different tables that are stored together in the same cluster can have the same rowid.
They are the fastest way to access a single row.
They can show you how the rows in a table are stored.
They are unique identifiers for rows in a table.
You should not use
ROWID as the primary key of a table. If you delete and reinsert a row with the Import and Export utilities, for example, then its rowid may change. If you delete a row, then Oracle may reassign its rowid to a new row inserted later.
Although you can use the
ROWID pseudocolumn in the
WHERE clause of a query, these pseudocolumn values are not actually stored in the database. You cannot insert, update, or delete a value of the
This statement selects the address of all rows that contain data for employees in department 20:
SELECT ROWID, last_name FROM employees WHERE department_id = 20;