Oracle PL/SQL’s DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT procedure is a part of the DBMS_XMLQUERY package, which is used for generating XML documents from SQL queries. This package provides a way to dynamically convert the results of SQL queries into XML format, offering a powerful tool for data interchange, web services, and application development where XML is a standard for data representation.

The DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT procedure is specifically used to release the resources associated with a context created by the DBMS_XMLQUERY.NEWCONTEXT function. When you generate XML using DBMS_XMLQUERY, a context is created that holds the configuration and state of your XML generation session. This includes information like the query being executed, any parameters set for the XML output, and the current state of the execution. It’s important to manage these contexts properly to avoid unnecessary consumption of system resources.


The basic syntax of the DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT procedure is as follows:


ctx: This is a context handle returned by DBMS_XMLQUERY.NEWCONTEXT. It uniquely identifies the XML query session and holds all the necessary information for generating XML from a SQL query.


When you’re done with generating XML from your SQL query and you’ve retrieved all the necessary data, you should close the context using DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT. This is a good practice to free up resources on the server that were being used by your XML query session.


  ctx DBMS_XMLQUERY.ctxHandle;
  result CLOB;
  ctx := DBMS_XMLQUERY.NEWCONTEXT('SELECT * FROM my_table'); -- Create a new context
  result := DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML(ctx); -- Generate XML from the query
  -- Do something with the result
  DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT(ctx); -- Close the context


Closing the context is crucial in resource management within the database. Not doing so can lead to resource leaks and potentially degrade the performance of the Oracle database server over time. It ensures that the memory and other resources allocated for the context are properly released back to the system.

In summary, DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT is a vital part of managing XML query sessions in Oracle PL/SQL, ensuring efficient resource usage and optimal database performance.