Oracle PL/SQL’s DBMS_XMLSTORE package provides a set of procedures and functions that allow you to perform operations on XML data, facilitating the insertion, update, and deletion of XML content in relational tables. One of the key procedures within this package is closeContext, which is crucial for managing the lifecycle of operations when using DBMS_XMLSTORE.

What is DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext?

The DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext procedure is used to release the context acquired by a previous call to DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext. When you work with DBMS_XMLSTORE, you typically follow these steps:

Create a Context: Use DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext to create a new context based on a specified table. This context is used to keep track of the XML processing session.

Set Operations: Perform various operations like inserting, updating, or deleting XML data in the relational table.
Close the Context: Once operations are complete, DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext is called to release the context, freeing up resources allocated for the operations.


   ctx IN DBMS_XMLSTORE.ctxHandle

ctx: The context handle that was returned by DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext. This is the context you’re closing.


Closing the context is a critical step in the workflow. It ensures that resources are properly released after your operations, preventing memory leaks and ensuring that your application runs efficiently. Here’s a simple example of its usage:

  l_ctx  DBMS_XMLSTORE.ctxHandle;
  l_rows NUMBER;
  -- Create context for the target table
  l_ctx := DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext('YOUR_TABLE_NAME');

  -- (Perform insert/update/delete operations here)

  -- Close the context to free resources

Best Practices

Always close your context with DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext after you are done with your XML operations to avoid resource leaks.
Encapsulate the call to closeContext within a PL/SQL block to ensure it’s executed even if an exception occurs. This can be done using exception handling blocks in PL/SQL.


The DBMS_XMLSTORE.closeContext procedure is an essential part of working with the DBMS_XMLSTORE package in Oracle PL/SQL, ensuring that resources are properly managed and released after performing operations on XML data. By following the proper sequence of creating a context, performing operations, and then closing the context, developers can efficiently manipulate XML data within Oracle databases.