Chapter 12

Beginning PL/SQL: Anonymous Blocks, Procedures, Functions, and Packages

PL/SQL stands for Procedural Language SQL (also called Programming Language SQL, although the consensus seems to be “Procedural”). PL/SQL is a limited programming language that allows us to go beyond the relational database/SQL bounds by performing procedural (row-level) commands. In this chapter we offer examples of PL/SQL code, which for a programmer is easily extendable. This chapter is not meant to be an exhaustive PL/SQL primer.

SQL is a set-at-a-time operation — you SELECT from a table, CREATE a table, and so on. You can address sets of rows with SQL, but you do not ordinarily address individual rows. With PL/SQL, you can treat a table as a flat file that ...

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