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Question and Answer

Chris Saxon

Thanks for the question, Dinushi.

Asked: July 21, 2021 - 8:23 am UTC

Last updated: July 29, 2021 - 10:04 am UTC

Version: 10

Viewed 100+ times

You Asked


Oracle newbie here.

I am getting this error "Character reference "&#56256" is an invalid XML character" for XML data that is printed onto a report. The XML data that is causing the issue is from a VARCHAR2 data column in the database.
I have filtered out the column to a separate backup table I have created and I want to go through the records in order to find where this invalid character is in.
Then I need to write an update statement replacing the invalid character with a valid one.
I am not sure how to do this. Is there a regex I can write with a SELECT statement for this?

I tried below, but they didn't bring up any results:

select *
from tabname 
where instr(colname,chr(56256)) > 0;

select *
from tabname 
where colname like unistr('%\dbc0%'); 

Glad if someone one can help.

Thank you!

and we said...

In XML you can use codes in the form &#NNNN; to represent an entry in the ISO/IEC 10646 character set.

For example, &#65 is the character A, so XML processing can change this code to the letter A:
select xmltype ( '<test>&#65;</test>' ).extract ('test') x
from   dual;


&#56256 is an invalid code - it's a digit too long. So I think you need to search for the exact text &#56256, not the converting this to ascii/unicode. e.g.:
select *
from   tabname 
where  instr ( colname, '&#56256' ) > 0;


  (3 ratings)


Dinushi Liyanage, July 27, 2021 - 6:52 am UTC

Hello TOM,

Thank you for the answer!
I have tried the below query and it still doesn't fetch any results.
I have to add, I have posted the question with Oracle version as 10g by mistake. The version is 11g.

select *
from   tabname 
where  instr ( colname, '&#56256' ) > 0;

Is there any other suggestion that might help me resolve this?

Many thanks!
Chris Saxon
July 27, 2021 - 12:02 pm UTC

Please share an example of the XML document that's causing the error

Dinushi Liyanage, July 28, 2021 - 1:50 pm UTC


I have exported the column data into an XML and uploaded in below link (file size: 359KB):

Thank you!
Chris Saxon
July 28, 2021 - 3:24 pm UTC

Hmmm, I can't find the string &#56256 in that file.

I don't know what the issue is here. We'll need a lot more information to provide meaningful help here.

XML data that is printed onto a report

What report? How is it generated? Exactly what software throws the error?

Dinushi Liyanage, July 28, 2021 - 3:50 pm UTC


Additionally, I have exported ALL records with the related column data into an XML and uploaded in below link as well (file size: 31.2MB):

Thank you for the support!
Chris Saxon
July 29, 2021 - 10:04 am UTC

You still haven't explained how you're generating this report. Exactly what software are you using? What's the SQL statement that's throwing the error?

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