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What is PL/SQL?

PL/SQL is an extension of SQL which is the acronym for Structured Query Language that is utilized in Oracle. Unlike SQL, PL/SQL lets the software programmer write their code in a procedural format. The full form of PL/SQL is "Procedural Language extensions to SQL".

PL/SQL joins together the data manipulation power that is present in SQL with the processing power that is made possible with procedural language to create a super-powerful SQL query. PL/SQL involves instructing the compiler on 'what to do' with SQL and 'how to do' through its procedural design way. Similar to other database languages, PL/SQL offers more control to the software programmers by the use of conditions, loops and object-oriented concepts.

PL/SQL consists of SQL alongside the procedural techniques of programming languages. It was made by Oracle Corporation in the '90s to boost the current capabilities of SQL. PL/SQL is one of the three main programming languages placed in the Oracle Database, including SQL itself and Java. This certification course will give you a great understanding of PL/SQL to proceed with the Oracle database and other advanced RDBMS concepts.

All the statements that are in a statement block are transferred to the oracle engine all at the same time which further increases the speed of processing and takes down the traffic load on the server.

PL/SQL is a mixture of SQL together with the procedural features of software programming languages. It was developed by the Oracle Corporation in the early '90s to improve the features and capabilities of SQL. PL/SQL is one of three fundamental programming languages that are embedded in the Oracle Database, along with SQL itself and Java.

Features of PL/SQL

There are many features of PL/SQL, and some of them are:

1. PL/SQL is essentially a procedural language, which equips you with the functionality of iteration, decision making, and many more features that are present in procedural software programming languages.

2. PL/SQL can run a number of database queries in one statement block by using a single command.

3. One can design a PL/SQL unit such as functions, procedures, triggers, packages, and types, that are stored in the database to be reused by other applications.

4. PL/SQL presents you with a feature to handle the exception that occurs in PL/SQL block known as the exception handling block.

5. Applications that are written in PL/SQL are manageable and portable to computer hardware or operating system wherever Oracle is operational.

Notable Facts on PL/SQL

1. PL/SQL is a very portable, high-performing, Querying, transaction-processing language.

2. PL/SQL gives a built-in interpreted and platform-independent programming IDE.

3. PL/SQL can also mainly be called from the command-line SQL*Plus interface.

4. The direct request can also be made from external programming language calls to the database.

5.PL/SQL's syntax, in general, is inspired by that of ADA and Pascal programming language.

6. Asides Oracle, PL/SQL is available in TimesTen in-memory database and IBM DB2.

Benefits of PL/SQL

There are many benefits of PL/SQL, and some of them are:

1. SQL is the conventional database language and PL/SQL is fully integrated with SQL. PL/SQL offers support for both static and dynamic SQL operations. Static SQL offers support for DML operations and transaction control from the PL/SQL block. In Dynamic SQL, SQL lets you embed DDL statements into your PL/SQL blocks.

2. PL/SQL allows you to send an entire block of statements to the database at one time. This takes down the network traffic and gives you a very high-performance ratio for your applications.

3. PL/SQL provides high productivity to software programmers as they can transform, query, and update data in a database.

4. PL/SQL saves you the time that is spent on designing and debugging by implementing powerful features, such as encapsulation, exception handling, data binding, and object-oriented data types.

5. Applications that are written in PL/SQL are completely modular and portable.

6. PL/SQL offers you a high-security level for your application.

7. Learning PL/SQL helps get a high paying Job as PL/SQL skilled individuals are highly sorted after.

8. Much Better Performance

9. PL/SQL has pretty tight integration with SQL

10. PL/SQL offers full portability

11. PL/SQL has high support for Object-oriented programming.

PL/SQL block:

• This is the component that has the main PL/SQL code.

• This compromises of various parts to separate the code logically (declarative section for declaring purpose, execution section for processing statements, exception handling section for handling errors)

• It also houses the SQL guide that used to communicate with the database server.

• All the PL/SQL units are taken as PL/SQL blocks, and this is the initial stage of the architecture which operates as the primary input.

The following are the various types of PL/SQL sections.

   ◦ Anonymous Block

   ◦ Function

   ◦ Library

   ◦ Procedure

   ◦ Package Body

   ◦ Package Specification

   ◦ Trigger

   ◦ Type

   ◦ Type Body

PL/SQL Engine

• PL/SQL engine demarcates PL/SQL units and the SQL section in the input.

• The demarcated PL/SQL units will be worked on by the PL/SQL main engine itself.

• The SQL part will be sent to the database server where the actual interaction with the database takes place.

• It can be installed in both the database servers and in the application server.

Database Server:

• This is the most significant component of the PL/SQL unit which stores the data.

• The PL/SQL engine makes use of the SQL from PL/SQL units to communicate with the main database server.

• It consists of SQL executor which parses the input SQL statements and executes the same.

PL/SQL Special Characters / Delimiters

A delimiter is a very simple or compound Character that has a unique and special meaning to a particular programming language. In PL/SQL, they include:

Delimiter Description
+, -, *, / Addition, subtraction/negation, multiplication, division
% Attribute indicator
' Character string delimiter
. Component selector
(,) Expression or list delimiter
: Host variable indicator
, Item separator
" Quoted identifier delimiter
= Relational operator
@ Remote access indicator
; Statement terminator
:= Assignment operator
=> Association operator
|| Concatenation operator
** Exponentiation operator
<<, >> Label delimiter (begin and end)
/*, */ Multi-line comment delimiter (begin and end)
-- Single-line comment indicator
.. Range operator
<, >, <=, >= Relational operators
<>, '=, ~=, ^= A different version of NOT EQUAL

 Why Study PL/SQL

1. PL/SQL lets you send an entire block of statements to the database once. This helps to reduce network traffic thereby making you develop applications that are much faster.

2. PL/SQL has high support for object-oriented programming.

3. Knowledge of PL/SQL helps get to get a high paying Job as PL/SQL skilled individuals are highly sorted after.

4. Job opportunities and career advancement. 

PL/SQL Course Outline

PL/SQL - Introduction

PL/SQL - Overview

PL/SQL - Environment

PL/SQL - Basic Syntax

PL/SQL - Data Types

PL/SQL - Variables

PL/SQL - Constants and Literals

PL/SQL - Operators

PL/SQL - Conditions

PL/SQL - Loops

PL/SQL - Strings

PL/SQL - Arrays

PL/SQL - Procedures

PL/SQL - Functions

PL/SQL - Cursors

PL/SQL - Records

PL/SQL - Exceptions

PL/SQL - Triggers

PL/SQL - Packages

PL/SQL - Collections

PL/SQL - Transactions

PL/SQL - Date & Time

PL/SQL - DBMS Output

PL/SQL - Object Oriented

PL/SQL - Video Lectures 

PL/SQL - Exams and Certification

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