Oracle – select a specific column from a ref cursor


I have a table named Table1. It has lots of columns, one of them is Column1. I don't know the other columns, they may even change sometimes. There is a strongly typed ref cursor type which returns Table1%rowtype, named cur_Table1. I have a stored procedure named SP1 which has an out parameter of type cur_Table1. I'm calling this SP1 stored procedure from another database that only sees this stored procedure, but not the table or the type itself. How do I select only Column1 from the returned cursor? I know I can fetch into a record or as many variables as the cursor has columns, but I only know of one column's existence so I can't declare the complete record or correct number of variables.

Best Solution

You can do this with DBMS_SQL, but it ain't pretty.

Table and sample data (COLUMN1 has the numbers 1 - 10):

create table table1(column1 number, column2 date, column3 varchar2(1000), column4 clob);

insert into table1
select level, sysdate, level, level from dual connect by level <= 10;

Package with a procedure that opens a ref cursor and selects everything:

create or replace package test_pkg is
    type cur_Table1 is ref cursor return table1%rowtype;
    procedure sp1(p_cursor in out cur_table1);

create or replace package body test_pkg is
    procedure sp1(p_cursor in out cur_table1) is
        open p_cursor for select column1, column2, column3, column4 from table1;

PL/SQL block that reads COLUMN1 data from the ref cursor:

--Basic steps are: call procedure, convert cursor, describe and find columns,
--then fetch rows and retrieve column values.
--Each possible data type for COLUMN1 needs to be added here.
--Currently only NUMBER is supported.
    v_cursor sys_refcursor;
    v_cursor_number number;

    v_columns number;
    v_desc_tab dbms_sql.desc_tab;
    v_position number;
    v_typecode number;
    v_number_value number;
    --Call procedure to open cursor
    --Convert cursor to DBMS_SQL cursor
    v_cursor_number := dbms_sql.to_cursor_number(rc => v_cursor);
    --Get information on the columns
    dbms_sql.describe_columns(v_cursor_number, v_columns, v_desc_tab);

    --Loop through all the columns, find COLUMN1 position and type
    for i in 1 .. v_desc_tab.count loop
        if v_desc_tab(i).col_name = 'COLUMN1' then
            v_position := i;
            v_typecode := v_desc_tab(i).col_type;

            --Pick COLUMN1 to be selected.
            if v_typecode = dbms_types.typecode_number then
                dbms_sql.define_column(v_cursor_number, i, v_number_value);
            --...repeat for every possible type.
            end if;
        end if;
    end loop;

    --Fetch all the rows, then get the relevant column value and print it
    while dbms_sql.fetch_rows(v_cursor_number) > 0 loop
        if v_typecode = dbms_types.typecode_number then
            dbms_sql.column_value(v_cursor_number, v_position, v_number_value);
            dbms_output.put_line('Value: '||v_number_value);
        --...repeat for every possible type
        end if;
    end loop;   
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