Oracle PL/SQL’s DBMS_XMLGEN package is a powerful tool for converting the results of SQL queries into XML format. The NEWCONTEXT function within this package is particularly useful for initiating this conversion process. Below is an overview of how DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT works and its significance in Oracle database environments.


DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT is a function that creates a new context for the DBMS_XMLGEN package to generate XML from a given SQL query. The context is essentially an environment or a setting that holds the information necessary for the conversion process. Once you have a context, you can manipulate it in various ways before finally converting your SQL query results into XML.


The basic syntax for creating a new context with DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT is as follows:

ctx := DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT('your SQL query here');

Here, ctx is a variable that will hold the context generated by NEWCONTEXT. The function takes a string argument, which is the SQL query you want to convert into XML.

Key Features

Customizability: You can customize the XML output through various attributes and methods available in the DBMS_XMLGEN package after you have created a context.

Parameter Binding: DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT allows for parameter binding in the SQL query, enhancing security by preventing SQL injection attacks.

Performance: It is optimized for performance, making it a good choice for generating XML data from large datasets.


Here’s a basic example of how to use DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT:

  ctx  DBMS_XMLGEN.ctxHandle;
  xml  CLOB;
  -- Create a new context for the query
  ctx := DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT('SELECT * FROM employees WHERE department_id = 10');

  -- Get the XML result
  xml := DBMS_XMLGEN.GETXML(ctx);

  -- Output the XML

  -- Close the context

In this example, a new context is created for a query that selects all rows from the employees table where the department_id is 10. The DBMS_XMLGEN.GETXML function is then used to convert the query result set into XML format, and the XML data is output using DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE. Finally, the context is closed with DBMS_XMLGEN.CLOSECONTEXT.


The DBMS_XMLGEN.NEWCONTEXT function is a cornerstone for developers working with Oracle databases who need to generate XML data from SQL queries. Its simplicity, combined with the powerful features of the DBMS_XMLGEN package, makes it an invaluable tool for modern database applications that require XML output.