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Oracle® Database SQL Language Reference
11g Release 1 (11.1)

Part Number B28286-01
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Description of nullif.gif follows
Description of the illustration nullif.gif


NULLIF compares expr1 and expr2. If they are equal, then the function returns null. If they are not equal, then the function returns expr1. You cannot specify the literal NULL for expr1.

If both arguments are numeric datatypes, then Oracle Database determines the argument with the higher numeric precedence, implicitly converts the other argument to that datatype, and returns that datatype. If the arguments are not numeric, then they must be of the same datatype, or Oracle returns an error.

The NULLIF function is logically equivalent to the following CASE expression:

CASE WHEN expr1 = expr 2 THEN NULL ELSE expr1 END


The following example selects those employees from the sample schema hr who have changed jobs since they were hired, as indicated by a job_id in the job_history table different from the current job_id in the employees table:

SELECT e.last_name, NULLIF(e.job_id, j.job_id) "Old Job ID"
   FROM employees e, job_history j
   WHERE e.employee_id = j.employee_id
   ORDER BY last_name, "Old Job ID";

LAST_NAME                 Old Job ID
------------------------- ----------
De Haan                   AD_VP
Hartstein                 MK_MAN
Kaufling                  ST_MAN
Kochhar                   AD_VP
Kochhar                   AD_VP
Raphaely                  PU_MAN
Taylor                    SA_REP
Whalen                    AD_ASST