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SQL*Plus Getting Started
Release 9.2 for Windows

Part Number A92157-01
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SQL*Plus Getting Started for Windows provides information about the SQL*Plus product specific to Windows XP Pro, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98 operating systems. In the remainder of this guide SQL*Plus for Windows is referred to as SQL*Plus.

This preface contains the following topics:


SQL*Plus Getting Started for Windows is intended for business and technical users and system administrators who want to use SQL*Plus in the Windows XP Pro, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98 operating system environments.

This guide assumes that you are familiar with:

To use this guide, you need a basic understanding of the SQL database language. If you do not have any familiarity with this database tool, you should refer to the Oracle9i SQL Reference. If you plan to use the PL/SQL database language in conjunction with SQL*Plus, refer to the PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference for information on using PL/SQL.


This guide contains:

Chapter 1, "Introducing SQL*Plus"

Provides introductory information to help you get started with SQL*Plus for Windows.

Chapter 2, "Installing SQL*Plus Help and Demonstration Tables"

Explains how to install and access SQL*Plus Help and Demonstration tables.

Chapter 3, "Using SQL*Plus"

Describes what user interfaces are available and explains how to start and use SQL*Plus from the command-line interface and the graphical user interface, and describes the graphical user interface menu options.

Chapter 4, "Operating System-Specific References"

Provides command information specific to the Windows XP/2000/NT/98 environments which are cross-referenced in SQL*Plus User's Guide and Reference.

Appendix A, "Customizing Operating System Parameters"

Explains how to customize your SQL*Plus configuration by changing Windows registry entries and by setting the SQLPLUS environment variable.

Related Documentation

SQL*Plus Getting Started for Windows provides information specific to SQL*Plus on Windows-based platforms only. For information about SQL*Plus cross-platform support, features, and commands, and for information about iSQL*Plus, the new web browser-based user interface to SQL*Plus, refer to the generic SQL*Plus documentation set on the product CD-ROM.

In addition to the complete documentation for the Oracle Enterprise Edition for Windows product, the following SQL*Plus documentation is available for online viewing:


Before installing SQL*Plus, refer to the generic SQL*Plus documentation on the CD-ROM, and to the Release Notes on the CD-ROM for late-breaking information.

Examples in this book use the HR sample schema which is installed by default when you install Oracle9i. Refer to the Oracle9i Sample Schemas document for information on how this schema was created and how you can use them.

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Customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) can purchase documentation from

Other customers can contact their Oracle representative to purchase printed documentation.

To download free release notes, installation documentation, white papers, or other collateral, please visit the Oracle Technology Network (OTN). You must register online before using OTN; registration is free and can be done at

If you already have a username and password for OTN, then you can go directly to the documentation section of the OTN Web site at

To access the database documentation search engine directly, please visit

Whitepapers, sample code, frequently asked questions and other useful information are regularly posted to the SQL*Plus section on OTN at


This section describes the conventions used in the text and code examples of this documentation. It describes:

Conventions in Text

We use various conventions in text to help you more quickly identify special terms. The following table describes those conventions and provides examples of their use.

Convention Meaning Example


Bold typeface indicates terms that are defined in the text or terms that appear in a glossary, or both.

When you specify this clause, you create an index-organized table.


Italic typeface indicates book titles or emphasis.

Oracle9i Database Concepts

Ensure that the recovery catalog and target database do not reside on the same disk.

UPPERCASE monospace (fixed-width font)

Uppercase monospace typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. Such elements include parameters, privileges, datatypes, RMAN keywords, SQL keywords, SQL*Plus or utility commands, packages and methods, as well as system-supplied column names, database objects and structures, usernames, and roles.

You can specify this clause only for a NUMBER column.

You can back up the database by using the BACKUP command.

Query the TABLE_NAME column in the USER_TABLES data dictionary view.


lowercase monospace (fixed-width font)

Lowercase monospace typeface indicates executables, filenames, directory names, and sample user-supplied elements. Such elements include computer and database names, net service names, and connect identifiers, as well as user-supplied database objects and structures, column names, packages and classes, usernames and roles, program units, and parameter values.

Note: Some programmatic elements use a mixture of UPPERCASE and lowercase. Enter these elements as shown.

Enter sqlplus to open SQL*Plus.

The password is specified in the orapwd file.

Back up the datafiles and control files in the /disk1/oracle/dbs directory.

The department_id, department_name, and location_id columns are in the hr.departments table.

Set the QUERY_REWRITE_ENABLED initialization parameter to true.

Connect as oe user.

The JRepUtil class implements these methods.

lowercase monospace (fixed-width font) italic

Lowercase monospace italic font represents placeholders or variables.

You can specify the managed_clause.

Run old_release.SQL where old_release refers to the release you installed prior to upgrading.

Conventions in Code Examples

Code examples illustrate SQL, PL/SQL, SQL*Plus, or other command-line statements. They are displayed in a monospace (fixed-width) font and separated from normal text as shown in this example:

SELECT username FROM dba_users WHERE username = 'MIGRATE';

The following table describes typographic conventions used in code examples and provides examples of their use.

Convention Meaning Example

[ ]

Brackets enclose one or more optional items. Do not enter the brackets.

DECIMAL (digits [ , precision ])

{ }

Braces enclose two or more items, one of which is required. Do not enter the braces.



A vertical bar represents a choice of two or more options within brackets or braces. Enter one of the options. Do not enter the vertical bar.




Horizontal ellipsis points indicate either:

  • That we have omitted parts of the code that are not directly related to the example

  • That you can repeat a portion of the code

CREATE TABLE ... AS subquery;

SELECT col1, col2, ... , coln FROM employees;




Vertical ellipsis points indicate that we have omitted several lines of code not directly related to the example.


9 rows selected.

Other notation

You must enter symbols other than brackets, braces, vertical bars, and ellipsis points as shown.

acctbal NUMBER(11,2);

acct CONSTANT NUMBER(4) := 3;


Italicized text indicates placeholders or variables for which you must supply particular values.

CONNECT SYSTEM/system_password

DB_NAME = database_name


Uppercase typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. We show these terms in uppercase in order to distinguish them from terms you define. Unless terms appear in brackets, enter them in the order and with the spelling shown. However, because these terms are not case sensitive, you can enter them in lowercase.

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;


DROP TABLE hr.employees;


Lowercase typeface indicates programmatic elements that you supply. For example, lowercase indicates names of tables, columns, or files.

Note: Some programmatic elements use a mixture of UPPERCASE and lowercase. Enter these elements as shown.

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;

sqlplus hr/your_password

CREATE USER mjones IDENTIFIED BY your_password;

Conventions for Windows Operating Systems

The following table describes conventions for Windows operating systems and provides examples of their use.

Convention Meaning Example

Choose Start >

How to start a program.

To start the Database Configuration Assistant, choose Start > Programs > Oracle - HOME_NAME > Configurtion and Migration Tools > Database Configuration Assistant.

File and directory names

File and directory names are not case sensitive. The following special characters are not allowed: left angle bracket (<), right angle bracket (>), colon (:), double quotation marks ("), slash (/), pipe (|), and dash (-). The special character backslash (\) is treated as an element separator, even when it appears in quotes. If the file name begins with \\, then Windows assumes it uses the Universal Naming Convention.

c:\winnt"\"system32 is the same as C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32


Represents the Windows command prompt of the current hard disk drive. Your prompt reflects the subdirectory in which you are working. Referred to as the command prompt in this guide.


Special characters

The backslash special character (\) is sometimes required as an escape character for the double quote (") special character at the Windows command prompt. Parentheses and the single quote special character (') do not require an escape character. See your Windows operating system documentation for more information on escape and special characters.

C:\>exp scott/tiger TABLES=emp QUERY=\"WHERE job='SALESMAN' and sal<1600\"

C:\>imp SYSTEM/password FROMUSER=scott TABLES=(emp, dept)


Represents the Oracle home name.

The home name can be up to 16 alphanumeric characters. The only special character allowed in the home name is the underscore.

C:\> net start OracleHOME_NAMETNSListener


In releases prior to Oracle8i release 8.1.3, when you installed Oracle components, all subdirectories were located under a top level ORACLE_HOME directory that by default was:

  • C:\orant for Windows NT

  • C:\orawin98 for Windows 98

or whatever you called your Oracle home.

This release complies with Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA) guidelines. All subdirectories are not under a top level ORACLE_HOME directory. There is a top level directory called ORACLE_BASE that by default is C:\oracle. If you install the latest Oracle releaseon a computer with no other Oracle software installed, then the default setting for the first Oracle home directory is C:\oracle\orann. where nn is hte latest release number. The Oracle home directory is located directly under ORACLE_BASE.

All directory path examples in this guide follow OFA conventions.

See Oracle9i Database Getting Started for Windows for additional information on OFA compliances and for information on installing Oracle products in non-OFA compliant directories.

Go to the ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\rdbms\admin directory.

Documentation Accessibility

Our goal is to make Oracle products, services, and supporting documentation accessible, with good usability, to the disabled community. To that end, our documentation includes features that make information available to users of assistive technology. This documentation is available in HTML format, and contains markup to facilitate access by the disabled community. Standards will continue to evolve over time, and Oracle Corporation is actively engaged with other market-leading technology vendors to address technical obstacles so that our documentation can be accessible to all of our customers. For additional information, visit the Oracle Accessibility Program Web site at

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