I am making a report, and I am trying to do following: If the value of the field is NULL, output empty string. Another words, I don't need the word "null" to be output to the user, just empty string. Is that possible to write such a SQL query? How? I don't even know how to formulate a google search request for this case, so I am sorry for stupid question.

  • Search string: "oracle replace null with [whatever you feel like]" – Mat Jun 30 '14 at 8:01

Use the NVL function for this.


will substitute an empty string for a null value in columnName.

  • Right you are. Edited as such. – Andrew Brennan Jun 30 '14 at 11:37
  • 2
    There is practically no difference in Oracle between the empty string and the NULL value. How does this suggestion answer the question? – ypercubeᵀᴹ Jun 30 '14 at 12:46

In Oracle, empty string '' when assigned to a varchar2 type is NULL for all intents and purposes. In my SQLdeveloper, on a 12c database, the following query results in a (null) for every column. If you display to user a blank (a space, ' ') it would surely be displayed by all tools as a blank.

SELECT NULL, '', CAST('' as varchar2(1)), CAST('' as char(1)), NVL(null,'') FROM dual;

Why Oracle violates the SQL92 standard

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