Introduction

P L/SQL (pronounced P-L-S-Q-L or P-L-see-quel) is a programming language that was created by Oracle as a procedural language fully integrated with SQL, to be used in working with Oracle databases. Anyone contemplating working in the Oracle environment needs to know PL/SQL.

In many ways, PL/SQL is a standard procedural programming language. It has functions, procedures, variable declarations, loops, recursion, and so on. If you’re familiar with the programming language Ada, you’ll find it’s similar to PL/SQL. If you’ve used any standard programming language, such as C or Pascal, you’ll find yourself quite at home with PL/SQL. If you’re an object- oriented (OO) programmer who is used to languages like C++ or Java, you can’t use your OO techniques as easily in PL/SQL, but all your procedural experience will transfer quite easily.

What makes PL/SQL special is that it is fully integrated with SQL. This makes it a wonderful language to use when programming applications that need to interact with an Oracle database.

About This Book

This book doesn’t include everything you need to know about PL/SQL. However, it does provide many examples of good coding practice, and it warns you about what to avoid when writing code. We are experienced Oracle professionals who have designed and built many working systems and have written many thousands of lines of PL/SQL code. The information we provide in this book should whet your appetite for discovering many of the ways in which you ...

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