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Nested tables and varrays can also be attributes of object types.

Within the database, nested tables can be considered one-column database tables.

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That gives you array-like access to individual rows.

PL/SQL nested tables are like one-dimensional arrays.

To use collections in an application, you define one or more PL/SQL types, then define variables of those types.

You can define collection types in a procedure, function, or package.

Varrays are a good choice when the number of elements is known in advance, and when the elements are usually all accessed in sequence.

When stored in the database, varrays retain their ordering and subscripts.

Nested tables are appropriate for important data relationships that must be stored persistently.

Associative arrays are appropriate for relatively small lookup tables where the collection can be constructed in memory each time a procedure is called or a package is initialized.

Oracle stores the rows of a nested table in no particular order.

But, when you retrieve the nested table into a PL/SQL variable, the rows are given consecutive subscripts starting at 1.

Both nested tables and associative arrays (formerly known as index-by tables) use similar subscript notation, but they have different characteristics when it comes to persistence and ease of parameter passing.

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