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Auxiliary Methods

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

During the discussion of the connect and fetch methods, several other methods were used without explaining them; with the exception of the discussion of portability methods and the numRows method, now presented here in a systematic fashion:

int DB_Result::numRows()

This method returns the number of rows returned by the query. It is enabled by setting the DB_PORTABILITY_NUMROWS option, and can only be called before the first fetch. After that, the value is not defined.

array DB_Common::tableInfo($table)

This method returns the description for a table or result set in the variable $table.  Elements of the resulting descriptor array are associative arrays with the following elements:



Accessed By

Table name

Table being described


Column name

Column described by this descriptor


Column type

Type of the column


Column length

Length of the column (in bytes)


Column flags



Table 4.2: Elements for associative arrays.

The csr2html() function uses the tableInfo()method to obtain column names in order to use them as the headers for the HTML table.

int DB_Result::numCols()

This method is also used in the csr2html() function to get the number of columns in the query.

integer DB_Common::affectedRows()

This method returns the number of rows affected by the last DELETE, UPDATE or INSERT statement. It returns 0 for queries.

boolean DB_Result::free()

This method frees the memory associated with the result set/statement handle. In the OCI8 module, the analogous operation is oci_free_statement() or oci_free_descriptor(). Calling free does not delete the variable, it just closes the cursor and relinquishes its memory. The cursor can still be reopened.

mixed DB_Common::quoteSmart($in)

This is an interesting function in that different databases have different quoting conventions. The most frequent problem arises with the single quotes, the ANSI SQL delimiter for the VARCHARand the CHARdatabase types. Different databases have different conventions. For the string, E. A. Poe’s Raven, Oracle would need this: 'E.A. Poe's Raven'. The single quote is written twice so Oracle understands that it is not a string delimiter.

Other databases perform the same task by adding a backslash character (\). At any rate, the smart quoting function is advanced enough to know which database it is being used against and to use the corresponding quoting conventions. It has a sister function in Perl DBI, simply called “quote”.

boolean DB_Common::Commit()
boolean DB_Common

These two methods are self-explanatory. They implement commit and rollback database operations.

Methods belonging to the DB_Commonclass are accessed through a database connection descriptor.  Methods belonging to the DB_Result class are accessed through the result set/statement descriptors.


The above book excerpt is from  "Easy Oracle PHP: Creating Dynamic Web Pages with Oracle Data". 

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