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Avoiding ORA-04068: existing state of packages has been discarded

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Mark Hoxey

If you’re trying to run your database as close to 24×7 as possible, with no downtime for updates, then one thing you will need to avoid is the following error:

ORA-04068: existing state of packages has been discarded

Package state comes about when a package has variables or cursors defined at the package level, as opposed to local variables within procedures and functions. According to the PL/SQL documentation for Oracle 11.2:

The values of the variables, constants, and cursors that a package declares (in either its specification or body) comprise its package state. If a PL/SQL package declares at least one variable, constant, or cursor, then the package is stateful; otherwise, it is stateless.

Whenever a package is recompiled any package state held by a current session is invalidated and ORA-04068 occurs the next time the session tries to use the package again. Subsequent calls to the package by…

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