Definition:

The BITAND function is used to determine whether a particular bit is set or not. It is most commonly used with the DECODE function. The function takes 2 arguments and performs these steps:

- Converts the 2 arguments to binary (n-bit two's complement binary integer value)

- Performs a standard bitwise AND operation on the two strings

- Converts the binary result back to a decimal format

The BITAND function essentially does a logical AND of two bit strings. If the values in any position are both '1', then the result will have a '1' in that position, otherwise the result will have a '0' in that position. This is a very fast, very efficient way of checking if a particular bit has been set. It's efficient because it makes use of a technique called 'bit masking'.

**Example Syntax:**

bitand( expr1, expr2 )

BITAND computes an AND operation on the bits of expr1 and expr2, both of which must resolve to non-negative integers. BITAND returns an integer value.

**NOTE:** The BITAND function does not determine the datatype of the value returned. Therefore, in SQL*Plus, you must specify BITAND in a wrapper, such as TO_NUMBER, which returns a datatype.

Related Links: