13 Package DBMS_XMLSTORE

This chapter introduces you to the PL/SQL package DBMS_XMLSTORE. This package is used to insert, update, and delete data from XML documents in object-relational tables.

This chapter contains these topics:

Overview of PL/SQL Package DBMS_XMLSTORE

The DBMS_XMLSTORE package enables DML operations to be performed on relational tables using XML. It takes a canonical XML mapping similar to that produced by package DBMS_XMLGEN; converts it to object-relational constructs; and inserts, updates or deletes the value from relational tables.

The functionality of the DBMS_XMLSTORE package is similar to that of the DBMS_XMLSAVE package, which is part of the Oracle XML SQL Utility (XSU). There are, however, several key differences:

  • DBMS_XMLSTORE is written in C and compiled into the kernel, so it provides higher performance.

  • DBMS_XMLSTORE uses SAX to parse the input XML document, so it has higher scalability and lower memory requirements. DBMS_XMLSTORE lets you input XMLType data, in addition to CLOB and VARCHAR.

  • PL/SQL functions insertXML, updateXML, and deleteXML, which are also present in package DBMS_XMLSAVE, have been enhanced in package DBMS_XMLSTORE to take XMLType instances in addition to CLOB values and strings. This provides for better integration with Oracle XML DB functionality.

Using Package DBMS_XMLSTORE

To use PL/SQL package DBMS_XMLSTORE, follow these steps:

  1. Create a context handle by calling function DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext and supplying it with the table name to use for the DML operations. For case sensitivity, double-quote the string that is passed to the function.

    By default, XML documents are expected to identify rows with the <ROW> tag. This is the same default used by package DBMS_XMLGEN when generating XML. This may be overridden by calling function setRowTag.

  2. For Inserts: You can set the list of columns to insert calling procedure DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn for each column. This is highly recommended, since it will improve performance. The default behavior is to insert values for all of the columns whose corresponding elements are present in the XML document.

  3. For Updates: You must specify one or more (pseudo-) key columns using function DBMS_XMLSTORE.setKeyColumn. These are used to specify which rows are to be updated. In SQL, you would do that using a WHERE clause in an UPDATE statement, specifying a combination of columns that uniquely identify the rows to be updated. The columns that you use with setKeyColumn need not be keys of the table — as long as they uniquely specify a row, they can be used.

    For example, in table employees, column employee_id uniquely identifies rows (it is a key of the table). If the XML document that you use to update the table contains element <EMPLOYEE_ID>2176</EMPLOYEE_ID>, then the rows where employee_id equals 2176 are updated.

    The list of update columns can also be specified, using DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn. This is recommended, for better performance. The default behavior is to update all of the columns in the row(s) identified by setKeyColumn whose corresponding elements are present in the XML document.

  4. For Deletions: As for updates, you specify (pseudo-) key columns to identify the row(s) to delete.

  5. Provide a document to PL/SQL function insertXML, updateXML, or deleteXML.

  6. This last step may be repeated multiple times, with several XML documents.

  7. Close the context with function DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext.

Inserting with DBMS_XMLSTORE

To insert an XML document into a table or view, you supply the table or view name and the document. DBMS_XMLSTORE parses the document and then creates an INSERT statement into which it binds all the values. By default, DBMS_XMLSTORE inserts values into all the columns represented by elements in the XML document.

Example 13-1 Inserting Data with Specified Columns

This example uses DBM_XMLSTORE to insert the information for two new employees into the employees table. The information is provided in the form of XML data.

SELECT employee_id AS EMP_ID, salary, hire_date, job_id, email, last_name
  FROM employees WHERE department_id = 30;

EMP_ID     SALARY HIRE_DATE JOB_ID     EMAIL       LAST_NAME
------ ---------- --------- ---------- ---------- ----------
   114      11000 07-DEC-94 PU_MAN     DRAPHEAL     Raphaely
   115       3100 18-MAY-95 PU_CLERK   AKHOO            Khoo
   116       2900 24-DEC-97 PU_CLERK   SBAIDA          Baida
   117       2800 24-JUL-97 PU_CLERK   STOBIAS        Tobias
   118       2600 15-NOV-98 PU_CLERK   GHIMURO        Himuro
   119       2500 10-AUG-99 PU_CLERK   KCOLMENA   Colmenares

6 rows selected.

DECLARE
  insCtx DBMS_XMLSTORE.ctxType;
  rows NUMBER;
  xmlDoc CLOB :=
    '<ROWSET>
       <ROW num="1">
         <EMPLOYEE_ID>920</EMPLOYEE_ID>
         <SALARY>1800</SALARY>
         <DEPARTMENT_ID>30</DEPARTMENT_ID>
         <HIRE_DATE>17-DEC-2002</HIRE_DATE>
         <LAST_NAME>Strauss</LAST_NAME>
         <EMAIL>JSTRAUSS</EMAIL>
         <JOB_ID>ST_CLERK</JOB_ID>
       </ROW>
       <ROW>
         <EMPLOYEE_ID>921</EMPLOYEE_ID>
         <SALARY>2000</SALARY>
         <DEPARTMENT_ID>30</DEPARTMENT_ID>
         <HIRE_DATE>31-DEC-2004</HIRE_DATE>
         <LAST_NAME>Jones</LAST_NAME>
         <EMAIL>EJONES</EMAIL>
         <JOB_ID>ST_CLERK</JOB_ID>
       </ROW>
     </ROWSET>';
BEGIN
  insCtx := DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext('HR.EMPLOYEES'); -- Get saved context
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.clearUpdateColumnList(insCtx); -- Clear the update settings
 
  -- Set the columns to be updated as a list of values 
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn(insCtx, 'EMPLOYEE_ID'); 
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn(insCtx, 'SALARY'); 
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn(insCtx, 'HIRE_DATE');
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn(insCtx, 'DEPARTMENT_ID'); 
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn(insCtx, 'JOB_ID');
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn(insCtx, 'EMAIL');
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setUpdateColumn(insCtx, 'LAST_NAME');

  -- Insert the doc. 
  rows := DBMS_XMLSTORE.insertXML(insCtx, xmlDoc);
  DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line(rows || ' rows inserted.');

  -- Close the context
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext(insCtx); 
END;
/

2 rows inserted.
 
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SELECT employee_id AS EMP_ID, salary, hire_date, job_id, email, last_name
  FROM employees WHERE department_id = 30;

EMP_ID     SALARY HIRE_DATE JOB_ID     EMAIL       LAST_NAME
------ ---------- --------- ---------- ---------- ----------
   114      11000 07-DEC-94 PU_MAN     DRAPHEAL     Raphaely
   115       3100 18-MAY-95 PU_CLERK   AKHOO            Khoo
   116       2900 24-DEC-97 PU_CLERK   SBAIDA          Baida
   117       2800 24-JUL-97 PU_CLERK   STOBIAS        Tobias
   118       2600 15-NOV-98 PU_CLERK   GHIMURO        Himuro
   119       2500 10-AUG-99 PU_CLERK   KCOLMENA   Colmenares
   920       1800 17-DEC-02 ST_CLERK   STRAUSS       Strauss
   921       2000 31-DEC-04 ST_CLERK   EJONES          Jones

8 rows selected.

Updating with DBMS_XMLSTORE

To update (modify) existing data using package DBMS_XMLSTORE, you must specify which rows to update. In SQL, you would do that using a WHERE clause in an UPDATE statement. With DBMS_XMLSTORE, you do it by calling procedure setKeyColumn once for each of the columns that are used collectively to identify the row.

You can think of this set of columns as acting like a set of key columns: together, they specify a unique row to be updated. However, the columns that you use (with setKeyColumn) need not be keys of the table — as long as they uniquely specify a row, they can be used with calls to setKeyColumn.

Example 13-2 Updating Data With Key Columns

This example uses DBM_XMLSTORE to update information. Assuming that the first name for employee number 188 is incorrectly recorded as Kelly, this example corrects that first name to Pat. Since column employee_id is a primary key for table employees, a single call to setKeyColumn specifying column employee_id is sufficient to identify a unique row for updating.

SELECT employee_id, first_name FROM employees WHERE employee_id = 188;

EMPLOYEE_ID FIRST_NAME
----------- ----------
        188 Kelly
 
1 row selected.

DECLARE
  updCtx DBMS_XMLSTORE.ctxType; 
  rows NUMBER;
  xmlDoc CLOB :=
    '<ROWSET>
       <ROW>
         <EMPLOYEE_ID>188</EMPLOYEE_ID>
         <FIRST_NAME>Pat</FIRST_NAME>
       </ROW>
     </ROWSET>';
BEGIN
   updCtx := DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext('HR.EMPLOYEES'); -- get the context
   DBMS_XMLSTORE.clearUpdateColumnList(updCtx);        -- clear update settings

   -- Specify that column employee_id is a "key" to identify the row to update.
   DBMS_XMLSTORE.setKeyColumn(updCtx, 'EMPLOYEE_ID'); 
   rows := DBMS_XMLSTORE.updateXML(updCtx, xmlDoc);    -- update the table
   DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext(updCtx);                 -- close the context
END;
/

SELECT employee_id, first_name FROM employees WHERE employee_id = 188;

EMPLOYEE_ID FIRST_NAME
----------- ----------
        188 Pat
 
1 row selected.

This UPDATE statement is equivalent to the use of DBM_XMLSTORE in this example:

UPDATE hr.employees SET first_name = 'Pat' WHERE employee_id = 188; 

Deleting with DBMS_XMLSTORE

Deletions are treated similarly to updates: you specify the key or pseudo-key columns that identify the rows to delete.

Example 13-3 DBMS_XMLSTORE.DELETEXML Example

SELECT employee_id FROM employees WHERE employee_id = 188;
 
EMPLOYEE_ID
-----------
        188
 
1 row selected.
 
DECLARE
  delCtx DBMS_XMLSTORE.ctxType;
  rows NUMBER;
  xmlDoc CLOB :=
    '<ROWSET>
       <ROW>
         <EMPLOYEE_ID>188</EMPLOYEE_ID>
         <DEPARTMENT_ID>50</DEPARTMENT_ID>
       </ROW>
     </ROWSET>';
BEGIN
  delCtx  := DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext('HR.EMPLOYEES');
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.setKeyColumn(delCtx, 'EMPLOYEE_ID');
  rows := DBMS_XMLSTORE.deleteXML(delCtx, xmlDoc);
  DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext(delCtx);
END;
/
 
SELECT employee_id FROM employees WHERE employee_id = 188;
 
no rows selected.