DESC[RIBE] (SQL*Plus command)

Describe an Oracle Table, View, Synonym, package or Function.

Note that because this is a SQL*Plus command you don't need to terminate it with a semicolon.


   DESC table
   DESC table column

   DESC view
   DESC view column

   DESC synonym
   DESC synonym column

   DESC package*
   DESC package.procedure

   DESC function

   * some versions of PL/SQL only

It is also possible to describe objects in another schema or via a database link
DESCRIBE user.table@db_link

An alternative to the DESC command is selecting directly from the data dictionary -

DESC My_Table

is equivalent to

SELECT column_name, nullable, data_type
FROM user_tab_columns
WHERE table_name='MY_TABLE';

The DESCRIBE command allows you to describe objects recursively to the depth level set in the SET DESCRIBE command.

The description for functions and procedures contains the type of PL/SQL object (function or procedure) the name of the function or procedure, the type of value returned (for functions) the argument names, types, whether input or output, and default values, if any.

DESC user.object_name will always identify a distinct database object because a user's database objects must have unique names. e.g. you cannot create a FUNCTION with the same name as a TABLE in the same schema.

You know the great thing about TV? If something important happens anywhere at all in the world, no matter what time of the day or night, you can always change the channel. - Jim Ignatowski

Related Commands:

Related Packages:


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Simon Sheppard