|Oracle® Database PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference
10g Release 2 (10.2)
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RETURN statement immediately completes the execution of a subprogram and returns control to the caller. Execution resumes with the statement following the subprogram call. In a function, the
RETURN statement also sets the function identifier to the return value. See "Using the RETURN Statement".
return statement ::=
A combination of variables, constants, literals, operators, and function calls. The simplest expression consists of a single variable. When the
RETURN statement is executed, the value of
expression is assigned to the function identifier.
RETURN statement is different than the
RETURN clause in a function spec, which specifies the datatype of the return value.
A subprogram can contain several
RETURN statements. Executing any of them completes the subprogram immediately. The
RETURN statement might not be positioned as the last statement in the subprogram. The
RETURN statement can be used in an anonymous block to exit the block and all enclosing blocks, but the
RETURN statement cannot contain an expression.
In procedures, a
RETURN statement cannot contain an expression. The statement just returns control to the caller before the normal end of the procedure is reached. In functions, a
RETURN statement must contain an expression, which is evaluated when the
RETURN statement is executed. The resulting value is assigned to the function identifier. In functions, there must be at least one execution path that leads to a
RETURN statement. Otherwise, PL/SQL raises an exception at run time.
For examples, see the following: