Oracle’s PL/SQL DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML function is part of the Oracle Database’s extensive support for working with XML data. This particular function is a component of the DBMS_XMLQUERY package, which is designed to facilitate the conversion of SQL query results into XML format. By leveraging this function, developers can easily generate XML documents from Oracle database queries, enabling seamless data interchange and integration with XML-based applications or web services.


XML Generation: Converts the results of a SQL query into an XML document. This feature is incredibly useful for web-based applications that require XML for data exchange or for applications that consume XML as part of their processing logic.

Customization: Allows for various levels of customization in the resulting XML document. You can specify the root element, row elements, and even customize the tags for each column in the SQL result set. This means that the XML output can be tailored to meet the requirements of different consumers or standards.

Parameter Binding: Supports the binding of parameters within the SQL query. This enhances the security and flexibility of the function, allowing for dynamic query generation based on user input or application context, without the risk associated with SQL injection.

Performance: Designed to efficiently handle large result sets, making it suitable for enterprise-level applications that need to process significant amounts of data.

Integration with PL/SQL: As a PL/SQL package, DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML integrates seamlessly with other Oracle database features and PL/SQL code, allowing for powerful and flexible database applications.


Using DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML involves a few steps:

Initialize a Context: First, you create a context for the XML query using DBMS_XMLQUERY.NEWCONTEXT(sqlQuery), where sqlQuery is your SQL statement.

Set Any Desired Options: Before generating the XML, you can set various options like the root element name or whether to include the metadata schema using functions like DBMS_XMLQUERY.setRowTag or DBMS_XMLQUERY.setRowSetTag.

Generate XML: Finally, you call DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML with the context you’ve prepared to generate the XML document. The function returns the XML as a CLOB (Character Large Object), which can then be manipulated or sent as needed.

Close the Context: To release the resources, you should close the context using DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT.


  queryCtx DBMS_XMLQUERY.ctxHandle;
  resultXml CLOB;
  queryCtx := DBMS_XMLQUERY.newContext('SELECT * FROM employees'); -- Example query
  DBMS_XMLQUERY.setRowTag(queryCtx, 'employee');
  DBMS_XMLQUERY.setRowSetTag(queryCtx, 'employees');
  resultXml := DBMS_XMLQUERY.getXML(queryCtx);
  -- resultXml now contains the XML representation of the query result

This example demonstrates how to generate an XML document from a query selecting all rows from an employees table, with customization for the row and rowset tags.


Oracle’s DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML function is a powerful tool for Oracle database developers, offering a straightforward way to convert SQL query results into XML. Its flexibility, performance, and deep integration with PL/SQL make it an essential feature for applications that rely on XML for data exchange or processing.