CASE Statement

The CASE statement chooses from a sequence of conditions, and executes a corresponding statement. The CASE statement evaluates a single expression and compares it against several potential values, or evaluates multiple Boolean expressions and chooses the first one that is TRUE.


searched case statement ::=

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simple case statement ::=

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Keyword and Parameter Description

The value of the CASE operand and WHEN operands in a simple CASE statement can be any PL/SQL type other than BLOB, BFILE, an object type, a PL/SQL record, an index-by table, a varray, or a nested table.

If the ELSE clause is omitted, the system substitutes a default action. For a CASE statement, the default when none of the conditions matches is to raise a CASE_NOT_FOUND exception. For a CASE expression, the default is to return NULL.

Usage Notes

The WHEN clauses are executed in order. Each WHEN clause is executed only once. After a matching WHEN clause is found, subsequent WHEN clauses are not executed. You can use multiple statements after a WHEN clause, and that the expression in the WHEN clause can be a literal, variable, function call, or any other kind of expression. The WHEN clauses can use different conditions rather than all testing the same variable or using the same operator.

The statements in a WHEN clause can modify the database and call non-deterministic functions. There is no fall-through mechanism as in the C switch statement. Once a WHEN clause is matched and its statements are executed, the CASE statement ends.

The CASE statement is appropriate when there is some different action to be taken for each alternative. If you just need to choose among several values to assign to a variable, you can code an assignment statement using a CASE expression instead.

You can include CASE expressions inside SQL queries, for example instead of a call to the DECODE function or some other function that translates from one value to another.


Example 13-2 shows the use of a simple CASE statement.

Example 13-2 Using a CASE Statement

   jobid      employees.job_id%TYPE;
   empid      employees.employee_id%TYPE := 115;
   sal_raise  NUMBER(3,2);
  SELECT job_id INTO jobid from employees WHERE employee_id = empid;
    WHEN jobid = 'PU_CLERK' THEN sal_raise := .09;
    WHEN jobid = 'SH_CLERK' THEN sal_raise := .08;
    WHEN jobid = 'ST_CLERK' THEN sal_raise := .07;
    ELSE sal_raise := 0;

For examples, see the following:

Example 1-7, "Using the IF-THEN_ELSE and CASE Statement for Conditional Control"
Example 4-6, "Using the CASE-WHEN Statement"
Example 4-7, "Using the Searched CASE Statement"

Related Topics

"Testing Conditions: IF and CASE Statements"
"CASE Expressions"
"Using CASE Statements"
NULLIF and COALESCE functions in Oracle Database SQL Reference