The %TYPE attribute provides an easy way to create a variable dependent upon the data type of a column. Using the %ROWTYPE attribute, you can define a record that contains fields that correspond to all columns of a given table. Each field takes on the data type of its corresponding column. The fields in the record do not inherit any other attributes of the columns such as the attributes that might be specified by using the NOT NULL clause or the DEFAULT clause.

A record is a named, ordered collection of fields. A field is similar to a variable. A field has an identifier and data type, but has the additional property of belonging to a record. A field must be referenced using dot notation with the record name as its qualifier.

You can use the %ROWTYPE attribute to declare a record. The %ROWTYPE attribute is prefixed by a table name. Each column in the named table defines an identically named field in the record with the same data type as the column.

record table%ROWTYPE;

record is an identifier assigned to the record. table is the name of a table (or view) whose columns are to define the fields in the record. The following example shows how the emp_sal_query procedure from the prior topic can be modified to use emp%ROWTYPE to create a record named r_emp instead of declaring individual variables for the columns in emp.

    p_empno         IN emp.empno%TYPE
    r_emp           emp%ROWTYPE;
    v_avgsal        emp.sal%TYPE;
    SELECT ename, job, hiredate, sal, deptno
        INTO r_emp.ename, r_emp.job, r_emp.hiredate, r_emp.sal, r_emp.deptno
        FROM emp WHERE empno = p_empno;
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Employee # : ' || p_empno);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Name       : ' || r_emp.ename);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Job        : ' || r_emp.job);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Hire Date  : ' || r_emp.hiredate);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Salary     : ' || r_emp.sal);
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Dept #     : ' || r_emp.deptno);
    SELECT AVG(sal) INTO v_avgsal
        FROM emp WHERE deptno = r_emp.deptno;
    IF r_emp.sal > v_avgsal THEN
        DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Employee''s salary is more than the '
            || 'department average of ' || v_avgsal);
        DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('Employee''s salary does not exceed the '
            || 'department average of ' || v_avgsal);
    END IF;