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8.8 NO_DATA_FOUND: Multipurpose Exception

The NO_DATA_FOUND exception is raised under three different circumstances:

  • An implicit query returns no data.

  • You attempt to reference a row in a PL/SQL table which has not been defined. (PL/SQL tables are covered in Chapter 10, PL/SQL Tables .)

  • You attempt to read past the end of an operating system file (using TEXT_IO in the Oracle Developer 2000 environment or UTL_FILE in PL/SQL Release 2.3).

This overlapping use of the same exception could cause some confusion and difficulty in your program. Suppose that in a single PL/SQL block I query from an implicit cursor and also make references to a PL/SQL table's rows. The NO_DATA_FOUND exception could be raised from either source, but the actual problem that caused the exception would be very different: bad data in the database (raised by the implicit cursor) versus an illegal memory reference (raised by the table access).

I want to be able to distinguish between the two situations. I can accomplish this by nesting the SELECT statement (the implicit cursor) inside its own PL/SQL block and thus trapping the NO_DATA_FOUND exception distinct from the PL/SQL table exception.

In the version of company_name shown in the following example, I have added a parameter to specify two types of access: from database (access type = DBMS) or from a PL/SQL table (access type = MEMORY). I want to check for NO_DATA_FOUND for each particular instance:

FUNCTION company_name
   (id_in IN NUMBER, access_type_in IN VARCHAR2)
RETURN VARCHAR2
IS
   /* Return value of the function */
   return_value VARCHAR2 (60);

   /* My own exception - used to represent bad data NO_DATA_FOUND. */
   bad_data_in_select EXCEPTION;

BEGIN
   /* Retrieve company name from the database */
   IF access_type_in = 'DBMS'
   THEN
      /* Place the SELECT inside its own BEGIN-END. */
      BEGIN
         SELECT name INTO return_value
           FROM company
          WHERE company_id = id_in;
         RETURN return_value;

      /* Now it can have its OWN exception section too ! */
      EXCEPTION
         /* This NO_DATA_FOUND is only from the SELECT. */
         WHEN NO_DATA_FOUND
         THEN
            /*
            || Raise my exception to propagate to
            || the main body of the function.
            */
            RAISE bad_data_in_select;
      END;

   /* Retrieve company name from an in-memory PL/SQL table */
   ELSIF access_type_in = 'MEMORY'
   THEN
      /*
      || Direct access from table. If this ID is not defined
      || then the NO_DATA_FOUND exception is raised.
      */
      RETURN company_name_table (id_in);
   END IF;
EXCEPTION
   /*
   || This exception occurs only when NO_DATA_FOUND was raised by
   || the implicit cursor inside its own BEGIN-END.
   */
   WHEN bad_data_in_select
   THEN
      DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE
         (' Unable to locate company in database!');
   /*
   || This exception occurs only when I have not previously placed
   || the company name for company id id_in in the table.
   */
   WHEN NO_DATA_FOUND
   THEN
      DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE
         (' Unable to locate company in memorized table!');
END;

You can see how the scoping rules for exceptions provide a great deal of flexibility in managing the impact of exceptions. Whenever you want to isolate the effect of a raised exception, just nest the statements inside their own BEGIN-END, give them their own exception section, and then decide what you want to do when the problem occurs. You are guaranteed to trap it there first.


Previous: 8.7 Client-Server Error Communication Oracle PL/SQL Programming, 2nd Edition Next: 8.9 Exception Handler as IF Statement
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