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DML RETURNING INTO Clause

The RETURNING INTO clause allows us to return column values for rows affected by DML statements.

Setup

The following test table is used to demonstrate RETURNING INTO clause.

DROP TABLE t1;
DROP SEQUENCE t1_seq;

CREATE TABLE t1 (
  id NUMBER(10),
  description VARCHAR2(50),
  CONSTRAINT t1_pk PRIMARY KEY (id)
);

CREATE SEQUENCE t1_seq;

INSERT INTO t1 VALUES (t1_seq.nextval, 'ONE');
INSERT INTO t1 VALUES (t1_seq.nextval, 'TWO');
INSERT INTO t1 VALUES (t1_seq.nextval, 'THREE');
COMMIT;

Basic INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE

The RETURNING INTO clause allows us to return column values for rows affected by DML statements. The returned data could be a single column, multiple columns or expressions.

When we insert data using a sequence to generate our primary key value, we can return the primary key value as follows.

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
DECLARE
  l_id t1.id%TYPE;
BEGIN
  INSERT INTO t1 VALUES (t1_seq.nextval, 'FOUR')
  RETURNING id INTO l_id;
  COMMIT;

  DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('ID=' || l_id);
END;
/
ID=4

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL>

The syntax is also available for update and delete statements.

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
DECLARE
  l_id t1.id%TYPE;
BEGIN
  UPDATE t1
  SET    description = description
  WHERE  description = 'FOUR'
  RETURNING id INTO l_id;

  DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('UPDATE ID=' || l_id);

  DELETE FROM t1
  WHERE  description = 'FOUR'
  RETURNING id INTO l_id;

  DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('DELETE ID=' || l_id);

  COMMIT;
END;
/
UPDATE ID=4
DELETE ID=4

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL>

DML Affecting Multiple Rows - Returning Into Collections

When DML affects multiple rows we can still use the RETURNING INTO clause, but if we want values returned for all rows touched we must return the values into a collection using the BULK COLLECT clause.

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
DECLARE
  TYPE t_tab IS TABLE OF t1.id%TYPE;
  l_tab t_tab;
BEGIN
  UPDATE t1
  SET    description = description
  RETURNING id BULK COLLECT INTO l_tab;

  FOR i IN l_tab.first .. l_tab.last LOOP
    DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('UPDATE ID=' || l_tab(i));
  END LOOP;

  COMMIT;
END;
/
UPDATE ID=1
UPDATE ID=2
UPDATE ID=3

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL>

We can also use the RETURNING INTO clause in combination with bulk binds.

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
DECLARE
  TYPE t_desc_tab IS TABLE OF t1.description%TYPE;
  TYPE t_tab IS TABLE OF t1%ROWTYPE;
  l_desc_tab t_desc_tab := t_desc_tab('FIVE', 'SIX', 'SEVEN');
  l_tab   t_tab;
BEGIN
  
  FORALL i IN l_desc_tab.first .. l_desc_tab.last
    INSERT INTO t1 VALUES (t1_seq.nextval, l_desc_tab(i))
    RETURNING id, description BULK COLLECT INTO l_tab;

  FOR i IN l_tab.first .. l_tab.last LOOP
    DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('INSERT ID=' || l_tab(i).id || 
                         ' DESC=' || l_tab(i).description);
  END LOOP;

  COMMIT;
END;
/
INSERT ID=5 DESC=FIVE
INSERT ID=6 DESC=SIX
INSERT ID=7 DESC=SEVEN

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL>

This functionality is also available from dynamic SQL.

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
DECLARE
  TYPE t_tab IS TABLE OF t1.id%TYPE;
  l_tab t_tab;
BEGIN
  EXECUTE IMMEDIATE 'UPDATE t1
                     SET    description = description
                     RETURNING id INTO :l_tab'
  RETURNING BULK COLLECT INTO l_tab;

  FOR i IN l_tab.first .. l_tab.last LOOP
    DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('UPDATE ID=' || l_tab(i));
  END LOOP;

  COMMIT;
END;
/
UPDATE ID=1
UPDATE ID=2
UPDATE ID=3

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL>

DML Affecting Multiple Rows - Returning With Aggregations

We are not forced to use collections when using the RETURNING INTO clause with DML that affects multiple rows. If the output is aggregated, it can be placed into a regular variable. Thanks to Oren Nakdimon for making me aware of this.

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON
DECLARE
  l_max_id NUMBER;
BEGIN
  UPDATE t1
  SET    description = description
  RETURNING MAX(id) INTO l_max_id;

  DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line('l_max_id=' || l_max_id);

  COMMIT;
END;
/
l_max_id=3

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL>

For more information see:

Hope this helps. Regards Tim...

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