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PL/JSON is a generic JSON object written in PL/SQL. Using PL/SQL object syntax, users instantiate a JSON object and then add members, arrays and additional JSON objects. This object type can store JSON data, in Oracle, persistently.

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PL/JSON provides packages and APIs for dealing with JSON formatted data within PL/SQL code. General information about JSON is available at

Latest release 2.5.3 (2021-03-06)

This is version 2.0 (maintenance only)

You are advised to use version 3.0 (see below)

This is a maintenance only PLJSON version (bugs will be fixed but you will not see new features and improvements).

There is a new version 3.0 (which you can find in branch develop_v3) which is a cleaner and faster version but may break up existing code. You should move to version 3.0.

PLJSON evolved from version 1.0 using sys.anydata and worked with early Oracle releases to version 2.0 where sys.anydata was removed and an object oriented design was used but the object design wasn't the most appropriate one and mirrored the objects of version 1.0 so that there was almost 100% compatibility with version 1.0 code.

Both PLJSON version 3.0 and version 2.0 are to be maintained together for quite a long time but only version 3.0 will see new features and improvements.

What's new (2018-09-22)

  • new api calls that match those of version 3.0 (mainly getstring(), getclob(), get...() by pairname for json objects and by position for json arrays)
  • minor code rewrite so code is cleaner, conforms better to today's accepted code standards and there is as much common code as possible between version 2.0 and version 3.0 (this is a continuing effort)
  • released 2.4.0

A demo of things you can do with PL/JSON

  obj pljson;
  list pljson_list;

obj := pljson(' { "a": null, "b": 12.243, "c": 2e-3, "d": [true, false, "abdc", [1,2,3]], "e": [3, {"e2":3}], "f": { "f2":true } }'); obj.print; -- equivalent to print dbms_output.put_line(obj.to_char);

-- print compact way obj.print(false); -- equivalent to print compact way dbms_output.put_line(obj.to_char(false));

-- add to json object obj.put('g', 'a little string'); -- remove from json object obj.remove('g');

-- count of direct members in json object dbms_output.put_line(obj.count);

-- test if an element exists if not obj.exist('json is good') then obj.put('json is good', 'Yes!'); if obj.exist('json is good') then obj.print; dbms_output.put_line(':-)'); end if; end if;

-- you can build lists (arrays) too -- however notice that we have to use the 'to_json_value' function on json objects list := pljson_list(); --fresh list; list.append(pljson('{"lazy construction": true}').to_json_value); list.append(pljson_list('[1,2,3,4,5]')); list.print; -- empty list and nested lists are supported list := pljson_list('[1,2,3,[3, []]]'); list.print; -- count of direct members in json list dbms_output.put_line(list.count);

-- you can also put json object or json lists as values obj.put('nested json', pljson('{"lazy construction": true}')); obj.put('an array', pljson_list('[1,2,3,4,5]')); obj.print;

-- support for dates obj.put('a date', pljson_ext.to_json_value(to_date('2017-10-21', 'YYYY-MM-DD'))); -- and convert it back dbms_output.put_line(pljson_ext.to_date(obj.get('a date')));

obj := pljson( '{ "a" : true, "b" : [1,2,"3"], "c" : { "d" : [["array of array"], null, { "e": 7913 }] } }');

-- get elements using a json path expression -- pljson supports a simple dot path expression and '[n]' for arrays -- it never raises an exception (null is returned instead) -- arrays are 1-indexed -- the empty string as path returns the entire json object -- can 'get_string', 'get_number', etc. dbms_output.put_line(pljson_ext.get_number(obj, 'c.d[3].e'));

-- all pljson_... objects are copies -- so modification in place is difficult -- but put with path can do it pljson_ext.put(obj, 'c.d[3].e', 123); obj.print;

-- if you provide an invalid path then an error is raised -- you can, however, specify a path that doesn't exists but should be created -- arrays are 1-indexed. -- gaps will be filled with json null(s) obj := pljson(); pljson_ext.put(obj, 'a[2].data.value[1][2].myarray', pljson_list('[1,2,3]')); obj.print; -- fill the holes pljson_ext.put(obj, 'a[1]', 'filler1'); pljson_ext.put(obj, 'a[2].data.value[1][1]', 'filler2'); obj.print; -- replace larger structures: pljson_ext.put(obj, 'a[2].data', 7913); obj.print;

obj := pljson( '{ "a" : true, "b" : [1,2,"3"], "c" : { "d" : [["array of array"], null, { "e": 7913 }] } }'); obj.print;

-- remove element pljson_ext.remove(obj, 'c.d[3].e'); obj.print; -- remove array of array pljson_ext.remove(obj, 'c.d[1]'); obj.print; -- remove null element pljson_ext.remove(obj, 'c.d[1]'); obj.print;

-- you can ignore check for duplicate keys obj := pljson(); -- enables fast construction without checks for duplicate keys obj.check_duplicate(false); for i in 1 .. 10 loop obj.put('a'||i, i); end loop; obj.put('a'||5, 'tada'); obj.print; obj.check_duplicate(true); -- fix possible duplicates but does not preserve order obj.remove_duplicates(); obj.print;

-- create json objects and lists from sql statements list := pljson_dyn.executeList('select * from tab'); list.print; obj := pljson_dyn.executeObject('select * from tab'); obj.print; end; /

View json data as table (also works for json strings stored in table)

select * from table(pljson_table.json_table(
    { "id": 0, "displayname": "Back",  "qty": 5, "extras": [ { "xid": 1, "xtra": "extra_1" }, { "xid": 21, "xtra": "extra_21" } ] },
    { "id": 2, "displayname": "Front", "qty": 2, "extras": [ { "xid": 9, "xtra": "extra_9" }, { "xid": 90, "xtra": "extra_90" } ] },
    { "id": 3, "displayname": "Middle", "qty": 9, "extras": [ { "xid": 5, "xtra": "extra_5" }, { "xid": 20, "xtra": "extra_20" } ] }
  pljson_varray('[*].id', '[*].displayname', '[*].qty', '[*].extras[*].xid', '[*].extras[*].xtra'),
  pljson_varray('id', 'displayname', 'qty', 'xid', 'xtra'),
  table_mode => 'nested'


|ID | DISPLAYNAME|QTY|XID|XTRA| |:---|:---|:---|:---|:---| | 0 | Back | 5 | 1 | extra1 | | 0 | Back | 5 | 21| extra21| | 2 | Front | 2 | 9 | extra9 | | 2 | Front | 2 | 90| extra90| | 3 | Middle| 9 | 5 | extra5 | | 3 | Middle| 9 | 20| extra20|

and many other (automatic support for Double numbers or Oracle numbers, base64 encode/decode, XML to json, etc.)


  1. Download the latest release --
  2. Extract the zip file
  3. Use
    , or something capable of running
    scripts, to run the
  4. To test the implementation, run the


the default installation does not grant access to public

in order to grant access to public you need permission to create public synonyms and

uncomment a line in install.sql script (see note at end of install.sql)


All pljson types and packages start with 'PLJSON'. In earlier releases they started with 'JSON', but this conflicted with new native json support in Oracle 12c so they were renamed to start with PLJSON, However, during installation we create synonyms that start with JSON (e.g. JSONLIST is synonym for PLJSONLIST).

These synonyms can be dropped without affecting the software. They are there only for backward compatibility with earlier versions of PLJSON.

Most of the examples use the old naming starting with 'JSON'. These work with the synonyms but you are advised when you try the examples, and in your code, to use

instead of


Documentation is available in the docs directory, or online at PLDOC generated API documentation can be viewed at

Project folders and files

  • install.sql install the pljson packages and types in your schema
  • uininstall.sql completely uninstall packages and types
  • src/ source code in PL/SQL, it is accessed by the install and uninstall scripts
  • examples/ useful examples to learn how to use pljson
  • testsuite/ a set of testsuites to verify installation, just run testall.sql
  • testsuite-utplsql/ the same set of testsuites but utilizing the utplsql framework (which you must install separately), just run ut_testall.sql
  • docs/ the documentation
  • site_src/ source for the documentation, build-apidocs.bat, metalsmith.json, package.json are necessary for creating the documentation


Please follow the contributing guidelines to submit fixes or new features.


MIT License

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