Oracle PL/SQL provides a powerful API for working with XML data directly from the database. One of the components of this API is the DBMS_XMLQUERY package, which enables the execution of SQL queries and returns the results as XML documents. A key procedure within this package is NEWCONTEXT, which is used to initialize a new context for an XML query operation.


DBMS_XMLQUERY.NEWCONTEXT is a function that creates a new context for an XML query operation in Oracle PL/SQL. This context acts as an environment or setting that holds the configuration for how the SQL query is executed and how the resulting XML is generated. The context created by NEWCONTEXT is used by other procedures and functions within the DBMS_XMLQUERY package to manipulate and retrieve XML data.


To use DBMS_XMLQUERY.NEWCONTEXT, you first need to call this function to create a context. The function returns a context handle, which is then used as a parameter in subsequent calls to other procedures and functions within the DBMS_XMLQUERY package.

Here is a basic example of how NEWCONTEXT might be used:

  ctx DBMS_XMLQUERY.ctxHandle;
  -- Create a new context for XML query

  -- Set any desired options for the context here
  -- For example, setting the row set tag

  -- Execute the query and fetch the XML
  DBMS_XMLQUERY.SETMAXROWS(ctx, 10); -- Limit to 10 rows for this example
  -- Other configurations can be set as needed

  -- Get the result as XML
  result CLOB;
  result := DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML(ctx);

  -- Process the XML result here
  -- For example, outputting the result

  -- Close the context when done

Key Points

Creating Context: The NEWCONTEXT function initializes a new XML query context based on a given SQL query string.

Configuration: After creating a context, you can configure it using other DBMS_XMLQUERY procedures, such as SETROWSETTAG to set the root element name for the resulting XML, or DBMS_XMLQUERY.SETMAXROWS to limit the number of rows returned.

Execution and Retrieval: Execute the query and retrieve the results as XML using DBMS_XMLQUERY.GETXML. The format and structure of the XML can be influenced by the context’s configuration.

Cleanup: Always remember to close the context using DBMS_XMLQUERY.CLOSECONTEXT to release resources allocated for the operation.

The DBMS_XMLQUERY.NEWCONTEXT function and the associated DBMS_XMLQUERY package provide a robust method for Oracle database users to interact with and manipulate XML data, enabling the integration of SQL data with XML-based applications and services efficiently.