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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle PL/SQL: The evolution and features of PL/SQL

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting


We begin our theme with a discussion of the evolution and features of PL/SQL by investigating programming within database applications. We will introduce how PL/SQL allows for stored programming and the ability of PL/SQL to be executed independently from a client-side application. We also introduce the origins of the PL/SQL language and take a look at how the PL/SQL language has evolved over the past decade into a robust database programming language. We also introduce the concepts of modular construction of PL/SQL code and look at support for the object-oriented model with than PL/SQL.

We will also describe how PL/SQL can be placed into anonymous code snippets, stored procedures, and functions within the domain of the database engine. We also then take a look at how PL/SQL stored procedures and functions can be encapsulated into PL/SQL packages, which can then be cached inside the database and executed at very high speeds.

Oracle has a commitment to continually improve the functionality, and PL/SQL has become a very powerful procedural language. Of all of the features of PL/SQL, the most important are:

1 Tight coupling with the database Unlike other procedural languages such as C++, PL/SQL has direct interfaces into the database. In PL/SQL, you can place SQL directly inside the PL/SQL program without the burden of working with an Application Programming Interface (API).

2 Code is stored inside the database Because PL/SQL is stored inside the Oracle data dictionary, the code can be cached inside Oracle for very fast execution.

3 Code independence Oracle PL/SQL code can be encapsulated into stored procedures and functions that can be easily invoked from external programs.

4 Package constructs PL/SQL stored procedures and functions can be placed directly inside packages.


For a complete overview of Oracle PL/SQL, see the book "Easy Oracle PL/SQL Programming".  It's only $9.95 and has a downloadable code depot:

Note: These exercises may use the pubsdb.sql script that can be downloaded at this link.



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