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Oracle® Database PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference
10g Release 2 (10.2)

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FORALL Statement

The FORALL statement issues a series of static or dynamic DML statements, usually much faster than an equivalent FOR loop. It requires some setup code, because each iteration of the loop must use values from one or more collections in its VALUES or WHERE clauses. For more information, see "Reducing Loop Overhead for DML Statements and Queries with Bulk SQL".


for all statement ::=

Description of forall_statement.gif follows
Description of the illustration forall_statement.gif

bounds_clause ::=

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Description of the illustration bounds_clause.gif

Keyword and Parameter Description

INDICES OF collection_name

A clause specifying that the values of the index variable correspond to the subscripts of the elements of the specified collection. With this clause, you can use FORALL with nested tables where some elements have been deleted, or with associative arrays that have numeric subscripts.

BETWEEN lower_bound AND upper_bound

Limits the range of subscripts in the INDICES OF clause. If a subscript in the range does not exist in the collection, that subscript is skipped.

VALUES OF index_collection_name

A clause specifying that the subscripts for the FORALL index variable are taken from the values of the elements in another collection, specified by index_collection_name. This other collection acts as a set of pointers; FORALL can iterate through subscripts in arbitrary order, even using the same subscript more than once, depending on what elements you include in index_collection_name.

The index collection must be a nested table, or an associative array indexed by PLS_INTEGER or BINARY_INTEGER, whose elements are also PLS_INTEGER or BINARY_INTEGER. If the index collection is empty, an exception is raised and the FORALL statement is not executed.


An undeclared identifier that can be referenced only within the FORALL statement and only as a collection subscript.

The implicit declaration of index_name overrides any other declaration outside the loop. You cannot refer to another variable with the same name inside the statement. Inside a FORALL statement, index_name cannot appear in expressions and cannot be assigned a value.

lower_bound .. upper_bound

Numeric expressions that specify a valid range of consecutive index numbers. PL/SQL rounds them to the nearest integer, if necessary. The SQL engine executes the SQL statement once for each index number in the range. The expressions are evaluated once, when the FORALL statement is entered.


Optional keywords that cause the FORALL loop to continue even if some DML operations fail. Instead of raising an exception immediately, the program raises a single exception after the FORALL statement finishes. The details of the errors are available after the loop in SQL%BULK_EXCEPTIONS. The program can report or clean up all the errors after the FORALL loop, rather than handling each exception as it happens. See "Handling FORALL Exceptions with the %BULK_EXCEPTIONS Attribute".


A static, such as UPDATE or DELETE, or dynamic (EXECUTE IMMEDIATE) DML statement that references collection elements in the VALUES or WHERE clauses.

Usage Notes

Although the SQL statement can reference more than one collection, the performance benefits apply only to subscripted collections.

If a FORALL statement fails, database changes are rolled back to an implicit savepoint marked before each execution of the SQL statement. Changes made during previous iterations of the FORALL loop are not rolled back.


The following restrictions apply to the FORALL statement:


For examples, see the following:

Example 11-2, "Issuing DELETE Statements in a Loop"
Example 11-3, "Issuing INSERT Statements in a Loop"
Example 11-4, "Using FORALL with Part of a Collection"
Example 11-5, "Using FORALL with Non-Consecutive Index Values"
Example 11-9, "Bulk Operation That Continues Despite Exceptions"
Example 11-16, "Using FORALL With BULK COLLECT"

Related Topics

"Retrieving Query Results into Collections with the BULK COLLECT Clause"