Why Oracle DBAs learn PL/SQL and how to apply it

Андрей Волков

Андрей Волков

Системное, сетевое администрирование +DBA. И немного программист!))  Профиль автора.

Oracle DBAs learning PL/SQL why?Oracle Database 12c is more than just a database management system - it’s also an engine for many programming languages. Not only does it serve as a Java engine with the built-in Java Virtual Machine (JVM), it’s a PL/SQL engine as well. This means that the code you write can be stored in a database and then run as required when it is needed.

The PL/SQL engine is bundled together with the database and is an integral part of the Oracle server, providing you with a powerful language to empower your logic and data. Let’s look at how PL/SQL fits into the Oracle server. Figure 1 shows you how PL/SQL works from both within and outside the Oracle database.

 PL/SQL architecture

FIGURE 1.   PL/SQL architecture

At the center of the Oracle Database 12c server in Figure 1 is the primary engine for the database, which serves as the coordinator for all calls to and from the database. This means that when a call is made from a program to the server to run a PL/SQL program, the Oracle server loads the compiled program into memory and then the PL/SQL engine and SQL engine execute the program. The PL/SQL engine will handle the program’s memory structures and logical program flow and then the SQL engine issues data requests to the database. It is a closed system and one that allows for very efficient programming.

PL/SQL is used in numerous Oracle products, including the following:

  •    Oracle Database Server
  •    Application Express
  •    Oracle Data Miner
  •    Oracle Warehouse Builder
  •    Oracle Data Integrator
  •    Oracle eBusiness Suite
  •    Oracle Portal

All of these programs use PL/SQL to some extent. If you look at the internals of Oracle applications, you’ll see that there can be as many as five million lines of PL/SQL code contained within it. PL/SQL interfaces can be developed and utilized from these Oracle development environments:

  •    SQL*Plus
  •    SQL*Developer
  •    Oracle Grid Control/Oracle Enterprise Manager
  •    Oracle Pre-compilers (such as Pro*C, Pro*COBOL, and so on)
  •    Oracle Call Interface (OCI)
  •    Server Manager
  •    Oracle Application Server 12c
  •    jDeveloper

As you can see, PL/SQL is well established within Oracle’s line of products. The reasons for using PL/SQL are primarily its tight integration with the database server and its ease of use. You will find that there are few tasks that PL/SQL cannot handle. 


Use PL/SQL to program complex tasks or for program elements that may be used over and over again.

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