Oracle PL/SQL’s DBMS_XMLSTORE package provides utilities for working with XML data within an Oracle database. The insertXML procedure within this package is particularly useful for inserting XML data directly into database tables. This process simplifies the task of parsing XML documents and inserting their contents into a relational database structure.

Overview of DBMS_XMLSTORE.insertXML

The DBMS_XMLSTORE.insertXML procedure allows you to insert XML data into a table by specifying the XML document as an argument. It automatically parses the XML document and maps the XML elements to the corresponding columns in the database table. This approach eliminates the need for manually extracting values from the XML and then inserting them into the table, thus streamlining the data import process.

Key Features

Automatic Mapping: Automatically maps XML elements to table columns based on the XML tags and the column names in the table.
Efficiency: Reduces the complexity and amount of code required to insert XML data into a database, making the process more efficient.
Flexibility: Offers flexibility in handling various XML schema designs, accommodating different types of XML data structures.


The basic syntax for DBMS_XMLSTORE.insertXML is as follows:

   ctx IN ctxHandle,
   xmldoc IN CLOB

ctx: A context handle that is previously created by DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext for the specific table into which the XML data will be inserted.
xmldoc: The XML document to be inserted, represented as a CLOB (Character Large Object).


Create Context: First, create a context for the target table. Assume you have a table named employees with columns employee_id, name, and department.

   l_ctx DBMS_XMLSTORE.ctxHandle;
   l_ctx := DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext('employees'); -- Table name
   -- Additional setup can be done here, such as setting date formats

Insert XML Data: Insert an XML document into the employees table.

  ctx_handle DBMS_XMLSTORE.ctxType;
  xml_doc VARCHAR2(4000);
  rows_inserted NUMBER;
  -- Create context handle
  ctx_handle := DBMS_XMLSTORE.newContext('my_table');

  -- Sample XML document
  xml_doc := '<employees>
                   <name>John Doe</name>

  -- Insert data from XML
  rows_inserted := DBMS_XMLSTORE.insertXML(ctx_handle, xml_doc);

  DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('Rows inserted: ' || rows_inserted);


This example inserts a new row into the employees table by parsing the provided XML document. The DBMS_XMLSTORE.insertXML call returns the number of rows inserted, which is then printed to the console.


Performance: For large XML documents or bulk inserts, consider performance implications and transaction management.
Error Handling: Implement error handling to manage issues related to XML parsing or data integrity constraints.
Security: Ensure that the XML data is properly validated to prevent SQL injection or other security vulnerabilities.

The DBMS_XMLSTORE.insertXML procedure is a powerful tool for integrating XML data into Oracle databases, simplifying data import processes, and ensuring data consistency across applications.