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Find All Tables In An Oracle Database By Column Name

I work with very large Oracle enterprise databases all the time. Consistently, I find myself trying to sift through schemas in the database to find relationships between tables. When tables aren’t named appropriately and you have a lot of them, this can be a long and painful process if you do it manually.

Lucky for us, there is a convenient way to search for the tables you’re looking for based on column information.

In your SQL tool of choice take the following command:

select table_name from all_tab_columns where column_name = 'PICK_COLUMN';

If you’ve got DBA privileges, you can try this command instead:

select table_name from dba_tab_columns where column_name = 'PICK_COLUMN';

Now if you’re like me, you may not even know what the column you’re searching for is really named. One can only hope the name is similar, which is why you can use the like clause and throw in a few wild cards.

When describing the structure of the all_tab_columns view, you get the following:

Column NameNull AllowedData Type
ownernot nullvarchar2(30)
table_namenot nullvarchar2(30)
column_namenot nullvarchar2(30)
data_typenullvarchar2(106)
data_type_modnullvarchar2(3)
data_type_ownernullvarchar(120)
data_lengthnot nullnumber
data_precisionnullnumber
data_scalenullnumber
nullablenullvarchar2(1)
column_idnullnumber
default_lengthnullnumber
data_defaultnulllong()
num_distinctnullnumber
low_valuenullraw(32)
high_valuenullraw(32)
densitynullnumber
num_nullsnullnumber
num_bucketsnullnumber
last_analyzednulldate
sample_sizenullnumber
character_set_namenullvarchar2(44)
char_col_decl_lengthnullnumber
global_statsnullvarchar2(3)
user_statsnullvarchar2(3)
avg_col_lennullnumber
char_lengthnullnumber
char_usednullvarchar2(1)
v80_fmt_imagnullvarchar2(3)
data_upgradednullvarchar2(3)
histogramnullvarchar2(15)

The column_name, table_name, and owner are the only fields I use, but you may find others of use. If you want to search for tables in a particular schema based on column information, you would set the owner to the name of your schema in the where clause.

Nic Raboy

Nic Raboy

Nic Raboy is an advocate of modern web and mobile development technologies. He has experience in Java, JavaScript, Golang and a variety of frameworks such as Angular, NativeScript, and Apache Cordova. Nic writes about his development experiences related to making web and mobile development easier to understand.

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