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Oracle® Database Application Express User's Guide
Release 2.2

Part Number B28550-01
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19 Using SQL Commands

This section provides information on how to use SQL Commands to create, edit, view, run, and delete SQL commands.

This section contains the following topics:

See Also:

What is SQL Commands?

You can use SQL Commands to create, edit, view, run, and delete SQL commands. A SQL command can contain SQL statements or PL/SQL blocks.

When using SQL Commands, remember the following:

Accessing SQL Commands

To access SQL Commands:

  1. Log in to the Workspace home page.

    The Workspace home page appears.

  2. To view the SQL Commands home page you can either:

    • Click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands to drill-down to the SQL Commands home page.

    • Click the down arrow on the right side of the SQL Workshop icon to view a drop down menu. Then select the SQL Commands menu option.

    Description of sql_commands.gif follows
    Description of the illustration sql_commands.gif

    Note:

    For the purposes of consistency, this document uses the primary navigation path (or drill-down approach) when explaining navigation.

About the SQL Commands Home Page

The SQL Commands home page contains a command editor and a display pane. You enter and edit SQL commands in the editor and view output, saved command lists, and history lists in the display pane.

Description of proc_home.gif follows
Description of the illustration proc_home.gif

On the SQL Commands home page you can:

Executing a SQL Command

You use SQL Commands to execute SQL commands within Application Express.

Topics in this section include:

Running a SQL Command

To execute a SQL Command:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands.

    The SQL Commands page appears.

  2. Enter the SQL command you want to run in the SQL editor pane.

  3. Click Run (Ctrl+Enter) to execute the command.

    The results appear in the Results pane.

  4. To export the resulting report as a comma-delimited file (.csv) file, click the Download link.

About Transactions in SQL Commands

To disable transactional SQL commands in SQL Commands, check the Autocommit check box. Attempting to use any transactional SQL commands such as COMMIT or ROLLBACK when transactional mode is disabled returns an error message.

To enable transactional SQL commands, clear the Autocommit check box. Oracle Application Express verifies that the necessary system resources are available before entering the transactional mode. If resources are unavailable, an error message is displayed.

Transactional mode is a stateful transaction mode where you can, for example, perform an update, select data for review, and COMMIT or ROLLBACK changes. It is implemented using DBMS_JOBS.

Consider the following behavior in transactional mode:

  • Actions are not committed to the database until you enter an explicit COMMIT command.

  • Exiting SQL Commands terminates and rolls back the current transaction.

  • A session timeout terminates and rolls back the current transaction.

    Note that the Environment Setting, SQL Commands Maximum Inactivity in minutes, sets the time before an inactive session times out. The default timeout is 60 minutes. See "Configuring SQL Workshop".

  • The CSV Export option is not available.

About Unsupported SQL*Plus Commands

SQL Commands does not support SQL*Plus commands. If you attempt to enter a SQL Command Line command such as SET ECHO or DEFINE in SQL Commands, an error message displays.

About Command Termination

You can terminate a command in SQL Commands using a semicolon (;), a forward slash (/), or with nothing. Consider the following valid alternatives:

SELECT * from emp;

SELECT * from emp
/

SELECT * from emp

The first example demonstrates the use of a semicolon (;), the second example demonstrates the use of forward slash (/), and the final example demonstrates a command with no termination.

Using Bind Variables

Bind variables are supported. You are prompted to enter values for bind variables during command execution. Bind variables are prefixed with a colon.

For example

SELECT * from emp where deptno = :dept

In earlier versions of Oracle Application Express, you could check your Workspace ID by running the command:

SELECT :WORKSPACE_ID FROM dual

In this release, run the following SQL command to check your Workspace ID:

SELECT v('WORKSPACE_ID') FROM dual

Saving a SQL Command

You can save commands you enter in SQL Commands.

To save a SQL command:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands.

    The SQL Commands page appears.

  2. Enter the command in the command editor.

  3. Click Save to save the command.

    You are prompted to enter a name and description for the command.

  4. Click Save, or click Cancel to return to the command editor without saving.

    The saved command is listed in the display area.

Copying a Command

To copy a SQL command:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands.

    The SQL Commands page appears.

  2. Click the Saved SQL tab, located between the command editor and the display pane.

    The Saved SQL list of commands appears in the display pane.

  3. Click the title of the command to load it into the command editor

  4. Click Save to save the command.

  5. Enter a new name for the command in the Name field and click Save.

    The command is copied to the new name.

Using Saved Commands

You can access the commands you save and commands saved by other users in the same workspace. You can also access SQL commands you and other users of the same workspace saved from the Query Builder.

Topics in this section include:

Accessing Saved Commands

To access saved SQL commands:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands.

    The SQL Commands page appears.

  2. Click the Saved SQL tab which is located between the command editor and the display pane.

    The Saved SQL list of commands appears in the display pane.

  3. Click the title of the command to load it into the command editor.

    The command appears in the editor.

  4. Click Run to execute the command.

About the Saved SQL Pane

The Saved SQL pane displays a list of all commands saved under the current workspace. The list displays commands saved from SQL Commands and SQL commands saved from Query Builder. Saved SQL commands must have unique names in the current workspace. The same name cannot be used in the Query Builder and SQL Commands.

Each command entry shows the owner name, the command name, the first characters of the SQL command, a description if it exists, who last updated the command and when.

Description of proc_savedsql.gif follows
Description of the illustration proc_savedsql.gif

On the Saved SQL pane you can:

  • Show commands by owner. Make a selection from the Owner list to specify the user whose commands you want to display. To view all scripts select -All Users-.

  • Search for a command. Enter a command name or partial name, or enter a code snippet in the Find field and click Go. To view all scripts, leave the Find field blank and click Go. You control how many rows display by making a selection from the Rows list.

  • Set the Number of Output Rows. Make a selection from the Display list to specify the number of Saved SQL commands to display at one time.

  • Delete a command. Click the check box associated with each command you want to delete, and click Delete Checked.

  • Sort commands. Click a column heading to sort the listed commands by that column.

Using SQL Command History

Commands you have executed are stored in the command history regardless of whether you explicitly save them. You use SQL Command History to access commands you have executed in SQL Commands.

Topics in this section include:

Accessing a Command from Command History

To access history commands:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands.

    The SQL Commands page appears.

  2. Click the History tab, located between the command editor and the display pane.

    The list of commands in History appears in the display pane.

  3. Click the partial command displayed in the SQL column.

    The command appears in the editor.

About the History Pane

The History pane displays a list of commands you have executed.

Description of proc_history.gif follows
Description of the illustration proc_history.gif

Each history entry shows the time the command was last executed, the first characters of the command, and the schema in which it was executed.

On the History pane you can:

  • Load a command. Click the partial command displayed in the SQL column to load the command into the command editor. When the command loads, it also sets the schema in which it was last executed.

  • Sort by time. Click the Time column heading to sort the command history by least recent or most recent.

Viewing Results

When you execute a SQL command, the results are displayed. The results of the last executed command are available until you execute another SQL command, or leave SQL Commands.

Topics in this section include:

Accessing the Results Pane

To display SQL command results:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands.

    The SQL Commands page appears.

  2. Click the Results tab, located between the command editor and the display pane.

    Description of proc_results.gif follows
    Description of the illustration proc_results.gif

    The HTML formatted results appear in the display pane.

  3. Click DBMS Output to display plain text DBMS output results.

    The DBMS Output control only appears if there is DBMS output in addition to HTML formatted results. It does not appear if there is only DBMS output, or if there is only HTML formatted output.

About the Results Pane

The Results pane displays SQL command results as HTML formatted table. The number of rows returned appears at the end of the output, and the time taken. DBMS output appears as plain text after the HTML formatted results.

On the Results pane you can:

  • Display DBMS output. Click DBMS Output at the bottom of the displayed results to display lines of DBMS output. This control only appears when there is DBMS output to display.

  • Export results. Click CSV Export to export results to a comma separated file on your local file system. You are prompted to enter a name and directory for the file.

Using Explain Plan

You can view the explain plan the Oracle Optimizer uses to run your SQL command. You do not need to execute the command to view the explain plan.

Description of explaintab.gif follows
Description of the illustration explaintab.gif

Topics in this section include:

Viewing an Explain Plan

To view the Explain Plan:

  1. On the Workspace home page, click SQL Workshop and then SQL Commands.

    The SQL Commands page appears.

  2. Enter or load the command whose plan you want to view.

  3. Click Explain which is located between the command editor and the display pane.

    The explain plan used by the optimizer appears in the display pane.

About Explain Plan Pane

The Explain Plan pane shows the plan used by the Oracle Optimizer to run your SQL command. It typically displays the Query Plan, Index Columns and Table Columns used.

On the Explain Plan pane you can:

  • View object definitions. Click the object name in Query Plan to display the object definition in the Object Browser.

  • View index definitions. Click the index name in Table Columns to display the index definition in the Object Browser.