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PL/SQL Tutorial - A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Introduction to PL/SQL

PL/SQL is 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!

What is PL/SQL?

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

Parameter SQL PL/SQL
What it is? Single query to perform data operations Block of codes to write entire program blocks
Mainly used for Manipulate data Create applications
Interaction with the database server Yes it interacts with database server No, it does not interacts with database server
How they are related? Cannot contain PL/SQL blocks within it Can 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 SQL, it still has some additional features that are not available in 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, and 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.

Let’s explore PL/SQL features in this PL/SQL Tutorial.

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 the 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.

Recommended Audience for this PL/SQL Tutorial

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 for PL/SQL Tutorial

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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About the Author

Data Engineer

As a skilled Data Engineer, Sahil excels in SQL, Business Intelligence, and database management. He has contributed to projects at companies like Bajaj and Tata. With a background in software engineering, he crafted efficient solutions for data pipelines, analytics, and software integration, driving insights and innovation.