:OLD and :NEW values in PL/SQL

Posted on 2009-04-13
Last Modified: 2013-12-18
Hi... I saw some lines in pl/sql, that were using this sintax below:

(in the first line it has REFERENCING NEW AS NEW AND OLD AS OLD)

and then:

So, what this sintax means? What means the column name and old.column_name?
Question by:Thiago_corporative
LVL 57

Accepted Solution

Raja Jegan R earned 500 total points
ID: 24132733
Hope you have provided the Trigger code above.
In a trigger, You have two states of data one before the code is executed and the other after the code is executed.
Earlier is called as OLD value and the later is called as :NEW value.

To initiate that , NEW AS NEW AND OLD AS OLD
Below is the syntax of a trigger.

Hope that clarifies.


    [REFERENCING [NEW AS <new_row_name>] [OLD AS <old_row_name>]]

    [FOR EACH ROW [WHEN (<trigger_condition>)]]


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Expert Comment

ID: 24132825
It is a propoerty in Pl/SQL that you can create a trigger that works on both new values and old values (In update trigger for example)

You can use this property to create a log file of changes(or table),auidit the changes or just output purposes.

Let me give you a simple example of code:
When you try to update id field in below table it will output such text:
update employee set id='01' where id='02'; 01 02

I hope this will help.

 create table Employee(

      ID                 VARCHAR2(4 BYTE)         NOT NULL




CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER employee_before_update


         ON employee

         FOR EACH ROW



      dbms_output.put_line(' '||;

      dbms_output.put_line(' '||;


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