Oracle8i Application Developer's Guide - Object-Relational Features
Release 2 (8.1.6)

Part Number A76976-01





Go to previous page Go to next page


Application Developer's Guide - Object-Relational Features describes how to write applications that use the object-relational features of the Oracle Server, Release 2 (8.1.6). Information in this guide applies to versions of the Oracle Server that run on all platforms, and does not include system-specific information.

The Preface includes the following sections:

Information in This Guide

As an application developer, you are probably interested in features that help to write reusable code and to accurately model the application domain in the database schema. This Guide describes a set of application development features that address these subjects. You should already understand how to develop database applications; it might help to have some background in an object-oriented language such as C++ or Java.


The Application Developer's Guide - Object-Relational Features is intended for programmers developing new applications or converting existing applications to run in the Oracle environment. The object-relational features are often used in multimedia, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and similar applications that deal with complex data. The object views feature can be valuable when writing new applications on top of an existing relational schema.

This guide assumes that you have a working knowledge of application programming, and that you are familiar with the use of Structured Query Language (SQL) to access information in relational database systems.

Feature Coverage and Availability

The Application Developer's Guide - Object-Relational Features contains information that describes the features and functionality of the Oracle8i and the Oracle8i Enterprise Edition products. Oracle8i and Oracle8i Enterprise Edition have the same basic features. The core object-relational features covered in this book are part of the Oracle8i server. Some other advanced features are available only with the Enterprise Edition, and some of these, such as the Data Cartridges, are optional.

For information about the differences between Oracle8i and the Oracle8i Enterprise Edition and the features and options that are available to you, see Getting to Know Oracle8i.

Other Guides

Use the PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference to learn PL/SQL and to get a complete description of this high-level programming language, which is Oracle Corporation's procedural extension to SQL.

For general information about developing applications, see the Oracle8i Application Developer's Guide - Fundamentals.

To use Oracle's object-relational features through Java, you should also refer to Oracle8i JDBC Developer's Guide and Reference and Oracle8i Java Stored Procedures Developer's Guide.

The Oracle Call Interface (OCI) is described in Oracle Call Interface Programmer's Guide

You can use the OCI to build third-generation language (3GL) applications that access the Oracle Server.

Oracle Corporation also provides the Pro* series of precompilers, which allow you to embed SQL and PL/SQL in your application programs. If you write 3GL application programs in Ada, C, C++, COBOL, or FORTRAN that incorporate embedded SQL, then refer to the corresponding precompiler manual. For example, if you program in C or C++, then refer to the Pro*C/C++ Precompiler Programmer's Guide.

Oracle Developer/2000 is a cooperative development environment that provides several tools including a form builder, reporting tools, and a debugging environment for PL/SQL. If you use Developer/2000, then refer to the appropriate Oracle Tools documentation.

For SQL information, see the Oracle8i SQL Reference and Oracle8i Administrator's Guide. For basic Oracle concepts, see Oracle8i Concepts.

How This Book Is Organized

The Application Developer's Guide - Object-Relational Features contains the following chapters. This section includes a brief summary of what you will find in each chapter.

Chapter 1, "Introduction to Oracle Objects"

Introduces the background concepts and terminology that you need to work with Oracle objects.

Chapter 2, "Managing Oracle Objects"

Explains how to perform essential operations with objects and object types.

Chapter 3, "Object Support in Oracle Programmatic Environments"

Summarizes the object-relational features in SQL and PL/SQL; Oracle Call Interface (OCI); Pro*C/C++; Oracle Objects For OLE; and Java, JDBC, and Oracle SQLJ. The information in this chapter is high level, for education and planning. The following chapters explain how to use the object-relational features in greater detail.

Chapter 4, "Applying an Object Model to Relational Data"

Explains object views, which allow you to develop object-oriented applications without changing the underlying relational schema.

Chapter 5, "Design Considerations for Oracle Objects"

Explains the implementation and performance characteristics of Oracle's object-relational model.

Chapter 6, "Advanced Topics for Oracle Objects"

Discusses features that you might need to manage storage and performance as you scale up an object-oriented application.

Chapter 7, "Frequently Asked Questions about Programming with Oracle Objects"

Provides helpful hints for people getting started with object-oriented programming, or coming to Oracle with a background in some other database system or object-oriented language.

Chapter 8, "A Sample Application using Object-Relational Features"

Demonstrates how a relational program can be rewritten as an object-oriented one, schema and all.

Conventions Used in This Guide

The following notational and text formatting conventions are used in this guide:

[ ]

Square brackets indicate that the enclosed item is optional. Do not type the brackets.

{ }

Braces enclose items of which only one is required.


A vertical bar separates items within braces, and may also be used to indicate that multiple values are passed to a function parameter.


In code fragments, an ellipsis means that code not relevant to the discussion has been omitted.

font change

SQL or C code examples are shown in monospaced font.


Italics are used for OCI parameters, OCI routines names, file names, and data fields.


Uppercase is used for SQL keywords, like SELECT or UPDATE.

This guide uses special text formatting to draw the reader's attention to some information. A paragraph that is indented and begins with a bold text label may have special meaning. The following paragraphs describe the different types of information that are flagged this way.

Your Comments Are Welcome

We value and appreciate your comment as an Oracle user and reader of our manuals. As we write, revise, and evaluate our documentation, your opinions are the most important feedback we receive.

You can send comments and suggestions about this manual to the Information Development department at the following e-mail address:

If you prefer, then you can send letters or faxes containing your comments to the following address:

Go to previous page Go to next page
Copyright © 1996-2000, Oracle Corporation.

All Rights Reserved.