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Using Object IDs (OIDs) in Oracle

Oracle Tips by Mike Ault

Using REFs

A REF value is the OID (Object Identifier) for an Object instance. An object identifier is a unique identifier (supposedly global, but how this is guaranteed is not clear) that uniquely identifies the object being REFed. Another thing to notice is the rebirth of the DUAL table. Dual is a single column single value table that was used by triggers and procedures in late version 6 and some version 7 but then fell out of use. Now with OIDs it is being used again. Be sure to watch out for duplicate values getting into DUAL as this will break your code if DUAL is used. Even though a method is capable of reading another objects data, a method should use messaging to other methods. In a true object oriented environment a method will only affect data inside its own object. Therefore two methods will be required to establish an association, one to request the REF and one to pass it. An example of this use of types and OID is shown in listing 1.

street     VARCHAR2(30),
city        VARCHAR2(30),
state      CHAR(2),
zip         CHAR(5))
employee_id                      INTEGER ,
name                                  name_t,
birthdate                             DATE,
hiredate                              DATE,
address                              address_t,
dependents                        dependent_list,


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