In this chapter, I’ll explore all the native PL/SQL datatypes that have not yet been covered. These include the BOOLEAN, RAW, and UROWID/ROWID types, as well as the large object (LOB) family of types. I’ll also discuss some useful, predefined object types, including XMLType, which allow you to store XML data in a database column, the URI types, which allow you store Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) information, and the Any types, which allow you to store, well, just about anything.
The terminology for the LOB implementation has changed in Oracle Database 11g. Oracle has re-engineered the implementation of LOBs using a technology called SecureFiles; the older pre-Oracle Database 11g LOB technology is now known as BasicFiles. In this chapter I’ll also discuss SecureFiles and the performance benefits you can reap by using this updated technology.