The DBMS_XMLDOM package in Oracle PL/SQL is a part of Oracle’s extensive support for working with XML data within the database. This package provides a set of PL/SQL interfaces to manipulate XML data through the Document Object Model (DOM) approach. The DOM is a platform- and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure, and style of XML documents.

The DBMS_XMLDOM package effectively bridges the gap between XML and relational data, allowing developers to perform complex XML operations directly from PL/SQL. This can include creating XML documents, navigating their structures, modifying elements and attributes, and deleting nodes. The package supports a wide range of operations that are essential for working with XML in a database environment, making it a powerful tool for developers who need to integrate XML data handling into their Oracle-based applications.

Key Features

DOM Manipulation: Provides functions and procedures to create and manipulate XML DOM trees. Developers can create new XML documents from scratch, or load existing XML data into a DOM structure for manipulation.

Node Operations: Supports operations on nodes, including creating, inserting, replacing, and removing nodes. It allows for the manipulation of elements, attributes, and text nodes within an XML document.

Document Handling: Functions to load XML documents into DOM structures, save DOM structures back to XML documents, and transform DOM documents using XSLT.

XPath Support: Offers the ability to query and navigate XML documents using XPath expressions. This is crucial for extracting specific data from XML documents efficiently.

Namespace Management: Provides mechanisms to handle XML namespaces within documents, ensuring that XML data is correctly interpreted and manipulated in the context of its defined namespaces.

Usage Examples

Creating an XML Document: Developers can use DBMS_XMLDOM to programmatically create an XML document, adding elements and attributes to build the desired structure.

Modifying an XML Document: It’s possible to open an existing XML document, navigate to specific elements or nodes, and update their content or attributes.

Extracting Information: By using XPath expressions, data can be extracted from deep within an XML document, enabling the retrieval of specific information for further processing or reporting.


Oracle’s DBMS_XMLDOM package is an essential tool for PL/SQL developers working with XML data. It offers a comprehensive set of features for XML document manipulation, adhering to the DOM standards. This package simplifies the process of integrating XML data handling into Oracle applications, providing a robust solution for managing complex XML data structures directly from PL/SQL code.