Introduction

PL/SQL a procedural language that is combined with the SQL giving it some unique capabilities. PL/SQL along with Java and SQL are the three important programming languages that are embedded into the Oracle database. This PL/SQL tutorial will help you work with the Oracle Database and other concepts of RDBMS and help you learn PL/SQL in this context. In this PL/SQL tutorial, you will learn PL/SQL from the basics to get a clear understanding of this top programming language.

Want to know more about SQL? Read this extensive SQL Tutorial and enhance your knowledge!

Recommended Audience

This PL/SQL tutorial is beneficial for software developers, SQL developers, Oracle database administrators & architects, data analysts, and data scientists. You will learn PL/SQL fundamentals from this tutorial and then you can take your skills to the next level.

Prerequisites

This PL/SQL tutorial does not expect any prerequisites from the learners. But if you have a basic understanding of databases and SQL then it is beneficial.

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What is PL/SQL?

To understand and learn PL/SQL better, first let us compare PL/SQL with SQL in the below table:

Comparison criteriaSQLPL/SQL
What it is?Single query to perform data operationsBlock of codes to write entire program blocks
Mainly used forManipulate dataCreate applications
Interaction with the database serverYesNo
How they are related?Cannot contain PL/SQL blocks within itCan contain SQL code within it

PL/SQL stands for Procedural Language on Structured Query Language. It is a logical block of programs that can contain a number of sub-blocks. PL/SQL is extensively used with the Oracle database.

Thanks to the additional functionalities of PL/SQL, it extends the reach of the Oracle database. Though PL/SQL is closely related to the SQL, it still has some additional features which are not available in the SQL.

Why is PL/SQL so widely used?

PL/SQL is closely associated with the Oracle database and it is custom made to work with the Oracle. Due to this fact, PL/SQL owns a quarter of the market share for programming languages that work with a relational database thanks to the sheer size of the Oracle database in the RDBMS space.

PL/SQL takes all that is good with the SQL and makes it even better. This makes managing database tasks, optimizing database performance extremely easy. Since PL/SQL is the procedural language it tells how things need to be done rather than just what needs to be done.

Features of PL/SQL

In this section of the PL/SQL tutorial, we will discuss some of the top features of this Procedural language that extends the features of SQL.

  • PL/SQL has tight integration with SQL
  • There are a variety of programming structures offered
  • The functions and procedures offer structured programming benefits
  • You can even develop web applications and server pages
  • PL/SQL also has support for an object-oriented language
  • It offers a huge set of data types.

Advantages of PL/SQL

Here you will learn PL/SQL advantages that make it such a great programming language to work with a relational database like Oracle.

  • PL/SQL is a high-performance transaction processing language that is fully portable
  • It offers a programming environment that is independent of the Operating System
  • It can be directly called from the SQL*Plus command-line interface
  • With PL/SQL you can directly call the database through an external database
  • Along with Oracle database, PL/SQL can also work with IBM DB2 & some other databases

Come to Intellipaat’s PL/SQL Community if you have more queries on PL/SQL!

Applications of PL/SQL

Today a database like that of the Oracle drives the entire digital economy. More often than not, nobody knows how they are interacting with an Oracle database when they are accessing online banking, booking an airline ticket, buying products on an e-commerce site and so. All this means that PL/SQL is the language that is powering all these applications and more. The reason PL/SQL is so widely used is that it is much more than SQL.

It lets you query, transform and update the data within a database seamlessly. It lets you design and debugs thanks to its strong features like encapsulation, exception handling, data hiding and so on. All applications written in PL/SQL are completely portable. It also offers a high level of security and pre-defined SQL packages as well. All these features mean PL/SQL is currently the most popular programming language for working with a database.

Check out the top PL/SQL Interview Questions to learn what is expected from PL/SQL professionals!

Why should you learn PL/SQL?

If you want to make a career as a database developer, be a data analyst or even a data scientist then you need to learn PL/SQL. It opens a whole new bunch of opportunities for you thanks to the ubiquitous nature of this Procedural Language that is an extension of SQL. Once you get your fundamentals right with this PL/SQL tutorial, you can then go on to learn PL/SQL for masterly in this domain and apply for the best jobs in the industry.

Table of Contents

PL/SQL Language Elements

Assignment Statement: An assignment statement sets the current value of a variable, field, parameter, or element. The statement consists of an assignment target followed by the assignment operator and an expression. When the statement is executed, the expression is evaluated and the resulting value is stored in the target. Syntax:-  Kick-start your career in PL/SQL with the perfect PL/SQL Training Read More

Handling PL/SQL Errors

Handling Errors in PL/SQL: In PL/SQL, an error condition is called an exception. Exceptions can be internally defined (by the runtime system) or user-defined. Examples of internally defined exceptions include division by zero and out of memory. When an error occurs, an exception is raised. That is normal execution stops and control transfers to the exception-handling part of your PL/SQL Read More

PL/SQL with Object Types

OPPs concepts in PL/SQL: Object-oriented programming is especially suited for building reusable components and complex applications. In PL/SQL, object-oriented programming is based on object types. They let you model real-world objects, separate interfaces and implementation details, and store object-oriented data persistently in the database. Declaring and Initializing Objects in PL/SQL An object type can represent any real-world entity. For example, Read More

PL/SQL Packages

What is PL/SQL Packages?: A package is a schema object that groups logically related PL/SQL types, variables, and subprograms. Packages usually have two parts, a specification (spec) and a body; sometimes the body is unnecessary. The specification is the interface to the package. It declares the types, variables, constants, exceptions, cursors, and subprograms that can be referenced from outside the package. Read More

PL/SQL Subprograms

What is PL/SQL Subprograms?: Subprograms are named PL/SQL blocks that can be called with a set of parameters. PL/SQL has two types of subprograms, procedures, and functions. Subprograms have: ■ A declarative part, with declarations of types, cursors, constants, variables, exceptions, and nested subprograms. These items are local and cease to exist when the subprogram ends. ■ An executable part, Read More

Performing SQL Operations from PL/SQL

Overview of SQL Support in PL/SQL: By extending SQL, PL/SQL offers a unique combination of power and ease of use. You can manipulate Oracle data flexibly and safely because PL/SQL fully supports all SQL data manipulation statements (except EXPLAIN PLAN), transaction control statements, functions, pseudo columns, and operators. PL/SQL also conforms to the current ANSI/ISO SQL standard. Data Manipulation To Read More

Fundamentals of the PL/SQL Language

PL/SQL Language Basics: Like other programming languages, PL/SQL has a character set, reserved words, punctuation, datatypes, and fixed syntax rules. Character Sets and Lexical Units PL/SQL programs are written as lines of text using a specific set of characters: ■ Upper- and lower-case letters A .. Z and a .. z ■ Numerals 0 .. 9 ■ Symbols ( ) Read More

PL/SQL Datatypes

Predefined PL/SQL Datatypes: Predefined PL/SQL data types are grouped into composite, LOB, reference, and scalar type categories. A composite type has internal components that can be manipulated individually, such as the elements of an array, record, or table. A LOB type holds values, called lob locators, that specify the location of large objects, such as text blocks or graphic images, Read More

PL/SQL Control Structures

Control Structures in PL/SQL: Procedural computer programs use the basic control structures. The selection structure tests a condition, then executes one sequence of statements instead of another, depending on whether the condition is true or false. A condition is any variable or expression that returns a BOOLEAN value (TRUE or FALSE). The iteration structure executes a sequence of statements repeatedly as Read More

PL/SQL Collections and Records

Collections and Records in PL/SQL: Collections and records are composite types that have internal components that can be manipulated individually, such as the elements of an array, record, or table. PL/SQL Collections A collection is an ordered group of elements, all of the same type. It is a general concept that encompasses lists, arrays, and other data types used in Read More

Overview of PL/SQL

What is PL/SQL?: PL/SQL stands for Procedural Language/Structured Query Language. It is a combination of SQL with procedural features of programming language. It stored and compiled in the database, runs within the Oracle executable and inherits the security, robustness, and portability of the Oracle Database. 1.1 Advantages of PL/SQL PL/SQL is a completely portable, high-performance transaction processing language that offers Read More

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