This chapter explores the iterative control structures of PL/SQL, otherwise known as loops, which let you execute the same code repeatedly. It also describes the CONTINUE statement, introduced for loops in Oracle Database 11g. PL/SQL provides three different kinds of loop constructs:
The simple or infinite loop
The FOR loop (numeric and cursor)
The WHILE loop
Each type of loop is designed for a specific purpose with its own nuances, rules for use, and guidelines for high-quality construction. As I explain each loop, I’ll provide a table describing the following properties of the loop:
How the loop is terminated
A loop executes code repetitively. How do you make the loop stop executing its body?
When the test for termination takes place
Does the test for termination take place at the beginning or end of the loop? What are the consequences?
Reason to use this loop
What are the special factors you should consider to determine if this loop is right for your situation?