|PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference||
Designed to meet the practical needs of software developers, this guide explains all the concepts behind PL/SQL and illustrates every facet of the language. Good programming style is stressed throughout and supported by numerous examples. Here is all the information you need to understand PL/SQL and use it effectively to solve your information management problems.
Chapter 1: Overview This chapter surveys the main features of PL/SQL and points out the advantages they offer. It also acquaints you with the basic concepts behind PL/SQL and the general appearance of PL/SQL programs.
Chapter 2: Fundamentals This chapter focuses on the small-scale aspects of PL/SQL. It discusses lexical units, scalar datatypes, user-defined subtypes, expressions, assignments, block structure, declarations, scope, and built-in functions.
Chapter 3: Control Structures This chapter shows you how to structure the flow of control through a PL/SQL program. It describes conditional, iterative, and sequential control. You learn how to apply simple but powerful control structures such as IF-THEN-ELSE and WHILE-LOOP.
Chapter 4: PL/SQL Tables and User-Defined Records This chapter focuses on the composite datatypes TABLE and RECORD, which can store collections of data. You learn how to reference and manipulate these collections as whole objects.
Chapter 5: Interaction with Oracle This chapter shows you how PL/SQL supports the SQL commands, functions, and operators that let you manipulate Oracle data. You also learn how to manage cursors, process transactions, and safeguard the consistency of your database.
Chapter 6: Error Handling This chapter provides an in-depth discussion of error reporting and recovery. You learn how to detect and handle errors using PL/SQL exceptions.
Chapter 7: Subprograms This chapter shows you how to write and use subprograms, which aid application development by isolating operations. It discusses procedures, functions, forward declarations, actual versus formal parameters, positional and named notation, parameter modes, parameter default values, aliasing, overloading, and recursion.
Chapter 8: Packages This chapter shows you how to bundle related PL/SQL types, objects, and subprograms into a package. Once written, your general-purpose package is compiled, then stored in an Oracle database, where its contents can be shared by many applications.
Chapter 9: Execution Environments This chapter shows you how to use PL/SQL in the SQL*Plus, Oracle Precompiler, and Oracle Call Interface (OCI) environments.
Chapter 10: Language Elements This chapter uses BNF-style syntax definitions to show how commands, parameters, and other language elements are sequenced to form PL/SQL statements. Also, it provides usage notes and short examples to help you become fluent in PL/SQL quickly.
Appendix A: New Features This appendix looks at the array of new features offered by release 2.3 of PL/SQL.
Appendix B: Sample Programs This appendix provides several PL/SQL programs to guide you in writing your own. The sample programs illustrate important PL/SQL concepts and features.
Appendix C: CHAR versus VARCHAR2 Semantics This appendix explains the subtle but important semantic differences between the CHAR and VARCHAR2 base types.
Appendix D: PL/SQL Wrapper This appendix shows you how to run the PL/SQL Wrapper, a standalone utility that enables you to deliver PL/SQL applications without exposing your source code.
Appendix E: Reserved Words This appendix lists those words reserved for use by PL/SQL.
Angle brackets enclose the name of a syntactic element.
A double hyphen begins a single-line comment, which extends to the end of a line.
/* and */
A slash-asterisk and an asterisk-slash delimit a multi-line comment, which can span multiple lines.
A dot separates an object name from a component name and so qualifies a reference.
An ellipsis shows that statements or clauses irrelevant to the discussion were left out.
Uppercase denotes PL/SQL keywords.
Lowercase denotes user-defined items such as variables, parameters, and exceptions.
The syntax of PL/SQL is described using a simple variant of Backus-Naur Form (BNF). See "Reading Syntax Definitions" on page 10 - 3.
Terms being defined for the first time, words being emphasized, error messages, and book titles are italicized.
CREATE TABLE dept
(deptno NUMBER(2) NOT NULL,
CREATE TABLE emp
(empno NUMBER(4) NOT NULL,
DEPTNO DNAME LOC
------- ---------- ---------
10 ACCOUNTING NEW YORK
20 RESEARCH DALLAS
30 SALES CHICAGO
40 OPERATIONS BOSTON
EMPNO ENAME JOB MGR HIREDATE SAL COMM DEPTNO
----- ------- --------- ------ --------- ------ ------ -------
7369 SMITH CLERK 7902 17-DEC-80 800 20
7499 ALLEN SALESMAN 7698 20-FEB-81 1600 300 30
7521 WARD SALESMAN 7698 22-FEB-81 1250 500 30
7566 JONES MANAGER 7839 02-APR-81 2975 20
7654 MARTIN SALESMAN 7698 28-SEP-81 1250 1400 30
7698 BLAKE MANAGER 7839 01-MAY-81 2850 30
7782 CLARK MANAGER 7839 09-JUN-81 2450 10
7788 SCOTT ANALYST 7566 19-APR-87 3000 20
7839 KING PRESIDENT 17-NOV-81 5000 10
7844 TURNER SALESMAN 7698 08-SEP-81 1500 30
7876 ADAMS CLERK 7788 23-MAY-87 1100 20
7900 JAMES CLERK 7698 03-DEC-81 950 30
7902 FORD ANALYST 7566 03-DEC-81 3000 20
7934 MILLER CLERK 7782 23-JAN-82 1300 10
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