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  Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson

Why Use Functions and Procedures?

The benefits of functions and procedures are numerous. Functions and procedures provide a consistent means of accessing, altering, and deleting database information. They allow enhanced security by giving the DBA the ability to grant access to the procedures and functions instead of to the actual tables or views. The procedure or functions can have elevated privileges that are in effect while the procedure or function is active but are disabled when it completes.      

Functions and procedures enhance productivity by allowing a given process to be coded once and then referenced by all developers. Instead of each form requiring coded triggers for data access, the stored procedures and functions can be referenced instead. This drives consistency down to the database level instead of requiring it from each developer.

Performance is enhanced by allowing multiple users to access the same shared image. Since the procedures and functions are loaded into the cached memory area, only one I/O is required for each procedure or function to be available to all users. In network situations, a function or procedure can be called with a single network call; the function or procedure can then trigger a multitude of database actions and then return, via another single call, the results, thus greatly reducing network traffic. 


If a function or procedure affects only one table, then, in Oracle8 and Oracle8i, perhaps it should be made into a method. Methods should be used for any internal PL/SQL objects that affect only one table or are used to obtain values from only one table. Using a method instead of a procedure or function will implement the concept of encapsulation in these cases.

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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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