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Oracle PL/SQL Language Pocket Reference, 4th Edition by Chip Dawes, Bill Pribyl, Steven Feuerstein

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Built-in Functions and Packages

Oracle Corporation supplies many built-in functions and packages. The following sections describe those used most often by PL/SQL developers.

Built-in Functions

The Oracle database provides dozens of built-in functions. Although most of these functions are available to both SQL and PLSQL, there are some notable exceptions. The DECODE function, for example, is not available to PL/SQL except within SQL statements included in your PL/SQL programs. The Oracle Database SQL Reference contains implementation details for the many functions defined to PL/SQL with the package STANDARD. You can view this package specification within the file stdspec.sql located in the ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin directory on the database server.

Conversion functions

Built-in function

Description

ASCIISTR(string)

Converts string in any character set to the ASCII version of string in the database character set.

CAST(expression AS datatype)

Converts expression to type datatype. (Use as a powerful substitute for TO_DATE.)

CHARTOROWID(string)

Converts string to a ROWID datatype.

CONVERT(string, destination_character_set, source_character_set)

Converts string from the source character set to the destination character set. (The default source character set is the database character set.)

FROM_TZ(timestamp_value, time_zone)

Adds time zone information to a TIMESTAMP value (converting it to a TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE value).

HEXTORAW(string)

Converts string containing hexadecimal characters to its raw equivalent. ...

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