Skip to content

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.

Go to file


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

This is version 2.0

It is the currently stable PLJSON version.

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

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.

What's new (2018-09-22)

  • new api calls that match those of version 3.0 (mainly get_string(), get_clob(), get_...() by pair_name 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": {
  -- equivalent to print

  -- print compact way
  -- equivalent to print compact way

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

  -- count of direct members in json object

  -- 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
    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);
    -- empty list and nested lists are supported
  list := pljson_list('[1,2,3,[3, []]]');
  -- count of direct members in json list

  -- 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]'));

  -- 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);

  -- 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]'));
  -- fill the holes
  pljson_ext.put(obj, 'a[1]', 'filler1');
  pljson_ext.put(obj, 'a[2].data.value[1][1]', 'filler2');
  -- replace larger structures:
  pljson_ext.put(obj, 'a[2].data', 7913);

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

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

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

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

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'


0 Back 5 1 extra_1
0 Back 5 21 extra_21
2 Front 2 9 extra_9
2 Front 2 90 extra_90
3 Middle 9 5 extra_5
3 Middle 9 20 extra_20
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 sql*plus, or something capable of running sql*plus scripts, to run the install.sql script.
  4. To test the implementation, run the /testsuite/testall.sql script


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. JSON_LIST is synonym for PLJSON_LIST).

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 PLJSON_... instead of JSON_....


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


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.




You can’t perform that action at this time.