Declaring parameters v16

Declare parameters in the procedure or function definition, and enclose them in parentheses following the procedure or function name. Parameters declared in the procedure or function definition are known as formal parameters. When you invoke the procedure or function, the calling program supplies the actual data to use in the called program’s processing as well as the variables that receive the results of the called program’s processing. The data and variables supplied by the calling program when the procedure or function is called are referred to as the actual parameters.

The following is the general format of a formal parameter declaration:

(<name> [ IN | OUT | IN OUT ] <data_type> [ DEFAULT <value> ])
  • name is an identifier assigned to the formal parameter.
  • Whether a parameter is IN, OUT, or IN OUT is referred to as the parameter’s mode. If specified, IN defines the parameter for receiving input data into the procedure or function. An IN parameter can also be initialized to a default value. If specified, OUT defines the parameter for returning data from the procedure or function. If specified, IN OUT allows the parameter to be used for both input and output. If all of IN, OUT, and IN OUT are omitted, then the parameter acts as if it were defined as IN by default.
  • data_type defines the data type of the parameter.
  • value is a default value assigned to an IN parameter in the called program if you don't specify an actual parameter in the call.

This example shows a procedure that takes parameters:

    p_deptno        IN     NUMBER,
    p_empno         IN OUT NUMBER,
    p_ename         IN OUT VARCHAR2,
    p_job           OUT    VARCHAR2,
    p_hiredate      OUT    DATE,
    p_sal           OUT    NUMBER
    SELECT empno, ename, job, hiredate, sal
        INTO p_empno, p_ename, p_job, p_hiredate, p_sal
        FROM emp
        WHERE deptno = p_deptno
          AND (empno = p_empno
           OR  ename = UPPER(p_ename));

In this example, p_deptno is an IN formal parameter, p_empno and p_ename are IN OUT formal parameters, and p_job, p_hiredate and p_sal are OUT formal parameters.


In the example, no maximum length was specified on the VARCHAR2 parameters, and no precision and scale were specified on the NUMBER parameters. It's illegal to specify a length, precision, scale, or other constraints on parameter declarations. These constraints are inherited from the actual parameters that are used when the procedure or function is called.

The emp_query procedure can be called by another program, passing it the actual parameters. This example is another SPL program that calls emp_query:

    v_deptno        NUMBER(2);
    v_empno         NUMBER(4);
    v_ename         VARCHAR2(10);
    v_job           VARCHAR2(9);
    v_hiredate      DATE;
    v_sal           NUMBER;
    v_deptno := 30;
    v_empno  := 7900;
    v_ename  := '';
    emp_query(v_deptno, v_empno, v_ename, v_job, v_hiredate, v_sal);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Department : ' || v_deptno);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Employee No: ' || v_empno);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Name       : ' || v_ename);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Job        : ' || v_job);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Hire Date  : ' || v_hiredate);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Salary     : ' || v_sal);

In this example, v_deptno, v_empno, v_ename, v_job, v_hiredate, and v_sal are the actual parameters.

The output from the example is:

Department : 30
Employee No: 7900
Name       : JAMES
Job        : CLERK
Hire Date  : 03-DEC-81
Salary     : 950

positional_vs_named_parameter_notation parameter_modes using_default_values_in_parameters