This tip will answer two
questions I get very frequently. Definitely a FAQ. “How do I retrieve
and use the VARCHAR2 index of an associative array?” and “How can I
sort a PL/SQL table?” These questions pertain to PL/SQL functionality;
not SQL functionality.
I’ll answer the sort
first and I’ll kind of cheat. When I ask what kind of table they’re
using the answer is usually either an INDEX BY table with an integer
index or a nested table. The values of the table are usually a
key->value pair like this:
TYPE r_places_i_lived IS RECORD (
data_value VARCHAR2(50) );
TYPE a_places_i_lived IS TABLE OF r_places_i_lived
INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER;
NOTE: If the unique_key field is not really unique, my solution will not work. This only works when the key is unique in the PL/SQL table.
suggestion is to change the structure of the table from BINARY_INTEGER
to VARCHAR2 and make the unique_key the index variable.