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Java™ Oracle® Database Development by David J. Gallardo

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Getting Started with PL/SQL

To start, we'll be using anonymous blocks interactively using SQL*Plus. PL/SQL programs can provide output in one of three ways: by writing to the database, by returning a value (either as a return value or through an output parameter), or by writing to a buffer, using the DBMS_OUTPUT utility package. SQL*Plus can redirect the contents of this buffer to the screen, which makes it much easier to write and debug PL/SQL programs.

The DBMS_OUTPUT package is one of a large number of packages that Oracle provides to extend the functionality of the database, SQL, and PL/SQL. These packages are normally installed automatically when an Oracle database is created. Each package contains a number of related procedures or functions. ...

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