13 PL/SQL Language Elements

This chapter is a quick reference guide to PL/SQL syntax and semantics. It shows you how commands, parameters, and other language elements are combined to form PL/SQL statements. It also provides usage notes and links to examples.

To understand the syntax of a PL/SQL statement, trace through its syntax diagram, reading from left to right and top to bottom. The diagrams represent Backus-Naur Form (BNF) productions. Within the diagrams, keywords are enclosed in boxes, delimiters in circles, and identifiers in ovals. Each diagram defines a syntactic element. Every path through the diagram describes a possible form of that element. Follow in the direction of the arrows. If a line loops back on itself, you can repeat the element enclosed by the loop.

This chapter contains these topics: