Oracle PL/SQL’s DBMS_XMLPARSER.PARSEBUFFER function is part of the Oracle XML DB, which offers powerful tools for working with XML data within the Oracle database environment. This function is specifically designed to parse XML data that is stored in a buffer (a variable or a PL/SQL block), converting it into a DOM (Document Object Model) document that can be manipulated using various XML processing functions. The ability to parse XML data directly within the database allows for efficient data processing, transformation, and retrieval, making it a valuable tool for applications that need to work with XML data.

How It Works

DBMS_XMLPARSER.PARSEBUFFER takes an input parameter of XML data as a string and returns a parser object, which represents the parsed XML document in a DOM structure. This DOM structure enables you to navigate and manipulate the XML document programmatically, allowing for tasks such as element and attribute manipulation, document restructuring, and content extraction.


The basic syntax for DBMS_XMLPARSER.PARSEBUFFER is:


xmlString is the string variable that contains the XML data you want to parse.
parser is the variable that will hold the parser object returned by the function.


Here’s a simple example demonstrating how to use DBMS_XMLPARSER.PARSEBUFFER:

  xmlBuffer VARCHAR2(4000);
  parser    DBMS_XMLPARSER.parser;
  doc       DBMS_XMLDOM.DOMDocument;
  -- Assume xmlBuffer is initialized with XML content
  xmlBuffer := 'Example';

  -- Parse the XML buffer
  parser := DBMS_XMLPARSER.PARSEBUFFER(xmlBuffer);

  -- Get the DOM document from the parser

  -- Now, you can work with the doc variable to manipulate the XML document
  -- For example, you can use DBMS_XMLDOM and other packages to navigate and modify the DOM

  -- Always free the parser to avoid memory leaks


Memory Management: It’s important to free the parser object after use by calling DBMS_XMLPARSER.FREEPARSER to avoid memory leaks.

Error Handling: Proper error handling should be implemented to manage potential parsing errors, such as malformed XML.

Performance: Parsing large XML documents can be resource-intensive. Consider performance implications and optimize the XML handling logic as necessary.


DBMS_XMLPARSER.PARSEBUFFER is a powerful function for parsing XML data stored in strings within Oracle databases. By leveraging this function, developers can efficiently process and manipulate XML data directly within the database, facilitating the development of applications that require complex XML data handling capabilities.