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Oracle Database PL/SQL Program Constructs
This tutorial introduces the architecture of the PL/SQL language as describes how PL/SQL shares common language structure with other procedural languages. The use of PL/SQL as an internal Oracle language will also be introduced, and the use of interpreted and compiled PL/SQL will be discussed.
This tutorial begins with a discussion of PL/SQL encapsulation and shows anonymous code snippets, stored procedures, functions and packages.  The student will learn how to create and de-bug PL/SQL and how to use the SHOW ERRORS command to display PL/SQL parsing errors.  The student will also be exposed to run-time PL/SQL errors, and learn how to use the EXCEPTIONS clause to trap expected database errors.
The student will also see how to implement PL/SQL looping structures and see how to use PL/SQL to create FOR loops, WHILE loops and REPEAT-UNTIL loop structures. The student will also learn the DECLARE sections of PL/SQL and understand how to create program variables and array variables.  The student will also learn how to assign database values to variables.
This tutorial is heavy or reading, but it is necessary for you to get the overall concepts before we start coding PL/SQL programs.
Special Note:
The next three tutorials will focus on PL/SQL coding, and the use of PL/SQL to solve business problems.  To get the most from your readings, you are highly encouraged to work-along with the Feuerstein book, writing PL/SQL snippets.  The best way to learn any computer language is to use it, and the more hands-on practice you get, the better you will internalize the concepts.
You may wish to subscribe to the Feuerstein book online so that you can cut and paste PL/SQL directly into your Oracle system.  You can subscribe to Oracle PL/SQL by going to
I like to use the analogy of a swimming class. You can attend lectures on swimming, but you learn to swim by diving into the pool.  So, let’s dive into the pool and start coding with PL/SQL.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Learn basic PL/SQL structure
  • Describe Boolean logic in PL/SQL
  • Declare and use program variables
  • Define and use cursors
  • Use looping constructs in PL/SQL
  • Perform assignment statements in PL/SQL

Note: These exercises may use the pubsdb.sql script that can be downloaded at this link.

For a complete overview of Oracle SQL, see the book "Easy Oracle SQL".  It's only $9.95 and has a downloadable code depot:


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