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Oracle PL/SQL Tutorial - An Introduction to Using PL/SQL
This is the second of our PL/SQL tutorials designed to show you how to take full advantage of PL/SQL to
improve database performance, reduce application complexity and maintenance costs and make life easier
for yourself as an Oracle developer or DBA. This tutorial examines the pros and cons of using PLSQL.
Advantages of Oracle PLSQL
Tight coupling with the database
One advantage that PL/SQL has over other programming languages is its tight coupling with the Oracle
database which makes database access easier and very
efficient and allows PL/SQL code units to be stored in the
Of course, this tight coupling is only an advantage if your
application is only going to be used with Oracle databases!
Reduced Network Traffic
When PL/SQL programs are stored in the database, they
also have the advantage (along with Java Stored
Procedures) of running on the same physical computer as
the database, eliminating the need to send SQL and
PL/SQL statements from the client to the database and
intermediate results from the database back to the client,
thereby reducing network traffic and latency,
PLSQL is also fully portable - it can be used on any platform which runs Oracle and you can transfer
PLSQL programs from one platform to another without having to recompile them.
Disadvantages of Oracle PLSQL
Proprietary to Oracle
PL/SQL is proprietary to Oracle which means if you were to change database vendors then you would have
to re-write all your Oracle PL/SQL programs. Also if you use a mixture of databases or develop
applications to run on different databases, you will either have to support branches in your source code or
write your applications in a database-neutral language like Java, VB or C and use the APIs to access the
Poor I/O Features
One other limitation of Oracle PL/SQL is that there is very little support for i/o either to read/write files or
the user interface. The rationale behind this is that PLSQL is designed for manipulating information from
the database and not for processing files or communicating with users. These operations are possible - they
are just not very sophisticated.
See Oracle PLSQL tutorial #3 to learn which datatypes are supported and the language elements
If you want to learn PL/SQL quickly why not take advantage of one of our instructor-led training courses?
See the Oracle training page for details of our scheduled courses or contact us for more information.
For help on other aspects of Oracle see the oracle tips and tricks page and see our Oracle resources section
for recommended books and links to other excellent Oracle resources.
Looking to sky-rocket productivity, save time and reduce costs?
Training is a highly cost-effective and proven method of boosting productivity. Smartsoft offers instructor-
led training in Oracle and related technologies on or off site in cities across the UK as well as self-study
online training. See our scheduled Oracle training courses, or let us know your requirements.
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