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PL/SQL Parameters for Functions
Oracle Tips by Burleson

Parameters for functions are handled in the same way as parameters for procedures. Function parameters may be IN parameters, OUT parameters, or IN OUT parameters. Functions may accept no parameters, one parameter, or many parameters—this is decided by you, the application developer.


Functions are very much like procedures, and the parameters for functions follow the same rules as the parameters for procedures.

Using OUT and IN OUT Parameters

By definition, a PL/SQL function should return a value only through the use of the RETURN statement. However, Oracle allows you to define parameters for functions using the OUT and IN OUT definitions.

Using this approach allows you to have a function return more than one value; however, this is poor programming style and is not recommended. Also, consider that, at some point in the future, Oracle may not allow OUT and IN OUT parameters to be defined for functions. To be safe, it’s better to only return values from functions using the RETURN statement.


This is an excerpt from the book "High Performance Oracle Database Automation" by Jonathan Ingram and Donald K. Burleson, Series Editor.


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