Skip Headers
Oracle® Database PL/SQL Language Reference
12c Release 1 (12.1)

E17622-21
Go to Documentation Home
Home
Go to Book List
Book List
Go to Table of Contents
Contents
Go to Index
Index
Go to Master Index
Master Index
Go to Feedback page
Contact Us

Go to previous page
Previous
Go to next page
Next
PDF · Mobi · ePub

Formal Parameter Declaration

A formal parameter declaration can appear in the following:

Topics

Semantics

parameter

Name of the formal parameter that you are declaring, which you can reference in the executable part of the subprogram.

IN, OUT, IN OUT

Mode that determines the behavior of the parameter, explained in "Subprogram Parameter Modes". Default: IN.

Note:

Avoid using OUT and IN OUT for function parameters. The purpose of a function is to take zero or more parameters and return a single value. Functions must be free from side effects, which change the values of variables not local to the subprogram.

NOCOPY

Requests that the compiler pass the corresponding actual parameter by reference instead of value (for the difference, see "Subprogram Parameter Passing Methods"). Each time the subprogram is invoked, the optimizer decides, silently, whether to obey or disregard NOCOPY.

Caution:

NOCOPY increases the likelihood of aliasing. For details, see "Subprogram Parameter Aliasing with Parameters Passed by Reference".

The compiler ignores NOCOPY in these cases:

  • The actual parameter must be implicitly converted to the data type of the formal parameter.

  • The actual parameter is the element of a collection.

  • The actual parameter is a scalar variable with the NOT NULL constraint.

  • The actual parameter is a scalar numeric variable with a range, size, scale, or precision constraint.

  • The actual and formal parameters are records, one or both was declared with %ROWTYPE or %TYPE, and constraints on corresponding fields differ.

  • The actual and formal parameters are records, the actual parameter was declared (implicitly) as the index of a cursor FOR LOOP statement, and constraints on corresponding fields differ.

  • The subprogram is invoked through a database link or as an external subprogram.

Note:

The preceding list might change in a subsequent release.

datatype

Data type of the formal parameter that you are declaring. The data type can be a constrained subtype, but cannot include a constraint (for example, NUMBER(2) or VARCHAR2(20).

If datatype is a constrained subtype, the corresponding actual parameter inherits the NOT NULL constraint of the subtype (if it has one), but not the size (see Example 8-10).

Caution:

The data type REF CURSOR increases the likelihood of subprogram parameter aliasing, which can have unintended results. For more information, see "Subprogram Parameter Aliasing with Cursor Variable Parameters".

expression

Default value of the formal parameter that you are declaring. The data type of expression must be compatible with datatype.

If a subprogram invocation does not specify an actual parameter for the formal parameter, then that invocation evaluates expression and assigns its value to the formal parameter.

If a subprogram invocation does specify an actual parameter for the formal parameter, then that invocation assigns the value of the actual parameter to the formal parameter and does not evaluate expression.