Working with XMLTYPE


cx_Oracle has a major new release under a new name and homepage python-oracledb.

New projects should install python-oracledb instead of cx_Oracle.

Oracle XMLType columns are fetched as strings by default. This is currently limited to the maximum length of a VARCHAR2 column. To return longer XML values, they must be queried as LOB values instead.

The examples below demonstrate using XMLType data with cx_Oracle. The following table will be used in these examples:

CREATE TABLE xml_table (
    id NUMBER,
    xml_data SYS.XMLTYPE

Inserting into the table can be done by simply binding a string as shown:

xml_data = """<?xml version="1.0"?>
            <name>John Smith</name>
cursor.execute("insert into xml_table values (:id, :xml)",
               id=1, xml=xml_data)

This approach works with XML strings up to 1 GB in size. For longer strings, a temporary CLOB must be created using Connection.createlob() and bound as shown:

clob = connection.createlob(cx_Oracle.DB_TYPE_CLOB)
cursor.execute("insert into xml_table values (:id, sys.xmltype(:xml))",
               id=2, xml=clob)

Fetching XML data can be done simply for values that are shorter than the length of a VARCHAR2 column, as shown:

cursor.execute("select xml_data from xml_table where id = :id", id=1)
xml_data, = cursor.fetchone()
print(xml_data)          # will print the string that was originally stored

For values that exceed the length of a VARCHAR2 column, a CLOB must be returned instead by using the function XMLTYPE.GETCLOBVAL() as shown:

        select xmltype.getclobval(xml_data)
        from xml_table
        where id = :id""", id=1)
clob, = cursor.fetchone()

The LOB that is returned can be streamed or a string can be returned instead of a CLOB. See Using CLOB and BLOB Data for more information about processing LOBs.