This section will provide a basic understanding of PL/SQL. This document will briefly cover the main concepts behind PL/SQL and provide brief examples illustrating the important facets of the language. Most of the information contained in this section is DIRECTLY extracted from ``PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference'' and all credit should be given to ORACLE. If you require more detailed information than provided in this section, consult the above stated manual. PL/SQL is Oracle's procedural language extension to SQL, the relational database language. PL/SQL fully integrates modern software engineering features such as data encapsulation, information hiding, overloading, and exception handling, and so brings state-of-the-art programming to the ORACLE Server and a variety of ORACLE tools.

Overview of PL/SQL
With PL/SQL, you can use SQL statements to manipulate ORACLE data and flow-of-control statements to process the data. Moreover, you can declare constants and variables, define subprograms (procedures and functions), and trap runtime errors. Thus, PL/SQL combines the data manipulating power of SQL with the data processing power of procedural languages. PL/SQL is a block-structured language. That is, the basic units (procedures, functions, and anonymous blocks) that make up a PL/SQL program are logical blocks, which can contain any number of nested sub-blocks. Typically, each logical block corresponds to a problem or subproblem to be solved. A block (or sub-block) lets you group logically related declarations and statements. That way you can place declarations close to where they are used. The declarations are local to the block and cease to exist when the block completes. [DECLARE -- declarations] BEGIN -- statements [EXCEPTION -- handlers] END;

Lexical Units PL/SQL is not case-sensitive, so lower-case letters are equivalent to corresponding upper-case letters except within string and character literals. A line of PL/SQL text contains groups of characters known as lexical units, which can be classified as follows:

•delimiters (simple and compound symbols) •identifiers, which include reserved words •literals •comments


A delimiter is a simple or compound symbol that has a special meaning to PL/SQL. For example, you use delimiters to represent arithmetic operations such as addition and subtraction. You use identifiers to name PL/SQL program objects and units, which include constants, variables, exceptions, cursors, subprograms, and packages. Some identifiers called RESERVED WORDS, have a special syntactic meaning to PL/SQL and so cannot be redefined. For flexibility, PL/SQL lets you enclose identifiers within double quotes. Quoted identifiers are seldom needed, but occasionally they can be useful. A literal is an explicit numeric, character, string, or Boolean value not represented by an identifier. •Two kinds of numeric literals can be used in arithmetic expressions: integers and reals. •String literal is a sequence of zero or more characters enclosed by single quotes. All string literals except the null string (`') belong to type CHAR. PL/SQL is case-sensitive within string literals. •Boolean literals are the predefined values TRUE and FALSE and the non-value NULL (which stands for a missing, unknown, or inapplicable value). Keep in mind that Boolean literals are not strings. The PL/SQL compiler ignores comments but you should not. Adding comments to your program promotes readability and aids understanding. PL/SQL supports two comment styles: single-line and multiline. Single-line comments begin with a double hyphen (--) anywhere on a line and extend to the end of the line. Multiline comments begin with a slashasterisk (/*), end with an asterisk-slash (*/), and can span multiple lines. You cannot nest comments.

Datatypes Every constant and variable has a datatype, which specifies a storage format, constraints, and valid range of values. PL/SQL provides a variety of predefined scalar and composite datatypes. A scalar type has no internal components. A composite type has internal components that can be manipulated individually. PL/SQL Datatypes are similar to SQL's Datatypes but some of the common datatypes are discussed again. For more information on the PL/SQL Datatypes see Chapter 2 of ``PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference.'' •(NUMBER) You use the NUMBER datatype to store fixed or floating point numbers of virtually any size. You can specify precision, which is the total number of digits, and scale, which determines where rounding occurs. NUMBER[(precision, scale)] You cannot use constants or variables to specify precision and scale; you must use an integer literals. •(CHAR) You use the CHAR datatype to store fixed-length character data. The CHAR datatype takes an optional parameter that lets you specify a maximum length up to 32767 bytes.

CHAR[(maximum_length)] You cannot use a constant or variable to specify the maximum length; you must use an integer literal. If you do not specify the maximum length, it defaults to 1. •(VARCHAR2) You use the VARCHAR2 datatype to store variable-length character data. The VARCHAR2 datatype takes a required parameter that lets you specify a maximum length up to 32767 bytes.

VARCHAR2(maximum_length) You cannot use a constant or variable to specify the maximum length; you must use an integer literal.


•(BOOLEAN) You use the BOOLEAN datatype to store the values TRUE and FALSE and the non-value NULL. Recall that NULL stands for a missing, unknown, or inapplicable value. The BOOLEAN datatype takes no parameters. •(DATE) You use the DATE datatype to store fixed-length date values. The DATE datatype takes no parameters. Valid dates for DATE variables include January 1, 4712 BC to December 31, 4712 AD. When stored in the database column, date values include the time of day in seconds since midnight. The date portion defaults to the first day of the current month; the time portion defaults to midnight.

Datatype Conversion Sometimes it is necessary to convert a value from one datatype to another. PL/SQL supports both explicit and implicit (automatic) datatype conversions. To specify conversions explicitly, you use built-in functions that convert values from one datatype to another. PL/SQL conversion functions are similar to those in SQL. For more information on conversion functions see Chapter 2 of ``PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference.'' When it makes sense, PL/SQL can convert the datatype of a value implicitly. This allows you to use literals, variables, and parameters of one type where another type is expected. If PL/SQL cannot determine which implicit conversion is needed, you get a compilation error. It is your responsibility to ensure that values are convertible. For instance, PL/SQL can convert the CHAR value '02-JUN-92' to a DATE value, but PL/SQL cannot convert the CHAR value 'YESTERDAY' to a DATE value.

Declarations Your program stores values in variables and constants. As the program executes, the values of variables can change, but the values of constants cannot. You can declare variables and constants in the declarative part of any PL/SQL block, subprogram, or package. Declarations allocate storage space for a value, specify its datatype, and name the storage location so that the value can be referenced. They can also assign an initial value and specify the NOT NULL constraint. birthdate DATE; emp_count SMALLINT := 0; acct_id VARCHAR2 (5) NOT NULL := 'AP001'; The first declaration names a variable of type DATE. The second declaration names a variable of type SMALLINT and uses the assignment operator (:=) to assign an initial value of zero to the variable. The third declaration names a variable of type VARCHAR2, specifies the NOT NULL constraint, and assigns an initial value of 'AP001' to the variable. In constant declarations, the reserved word CONSTANT must precede the type specifier. credit_limit CONSTANT REAL := 5000.00; •Using DEFAULT. If you prefer, you can use the reserved word DEFAULT instead of the assignment operator to initialize variables and constants. You can also use DEFAULT to initialize subprogram parameters, cursor parameters, and fields in a user-defined record. tax_year SMALLINT DEFAULT 92; valid BOOLEAN DEFAULT FALSE;


To reference a field. the datatype of my_dname changes accordingly at run time. BEGIN . A %ROWTYPE declaration cannot include an initialization clause. END.. In addition.ename := 'JOHNSON'. First. PL/SQL treats debit like a REAL(7. You can reference a table and column. PL/SQL allows aggregate assignment between entire records if their declarations refer to the same table or cursor. constant.. BEGIN SELECT * INTO emp_rec FROM emp WHERE .. loc FROM dept. IF emp_rec.. you need not know the exact datatype of dname. .. you use the dot notation. Variables and constants declared using %TYPE are treated like those declared using a datatype name. The %ROWTYPE attribute provides a record type that represents a row in a table (or view). Using %TYPE to declare my_dname has two advantages. However. . dept_rec2 dept%ROWTYPE.deptno = 20 THEN . and column.. emp_rec. if the database definition of dname changes.. •Using %ROWTYPE. CURSOR c1 IS SELECT deptno. The %TYPE attribute provides the datatype of a variable. For example in the declaration below. credit REAL(7. The record can store an entire row of data selected from the table or fetched by a cursor. Second.... dname. dept_rec c1%ROWTYPE .2) variable. dept_rec3 c1%ROWTYPE. table.dept. CURSOR c1 is SELECT deptno. or you can reference an owner. Columns in a row and corresponding fields in a record have the same names and datatypes. DECLARE dept_rec1 dept%ROWTYPE. 4 .. dept_rec1 := dept_rec2. The column values returned by the SELECT statement are stored in fields. my_dname scott. dname.•Using %TYPE.. First. or database column.dname%TYPE. The %TYPE attribute is particularly useful when declaring variables that refer to database columns. debit credit%TYPE. there are two ways to assign values to all fields in a record at once. dept_rec4 := dept_rec3. loc FROM dept. dept_rec4 c1%ROWTYPE. you can assign the value of an expression to a specific field.2). DECLARE emp_rec emp%ROWTYPE.

. as the example below shows. loc INTO dept_rec FROM dept WHERE deptno = 30. IF my_rec.END. if they are expressions. In the following example. the following assignment is illegal: dept_rec2 := dept_rec3. CLOSE my_cursor. PL/SQL does not allow this. END. Although you can retrieve entire records. you can assign a list of column values to a record by using the SELECT and FETCH statement. The column names must appear in the order in which they were defined by the CREATE TABLE or CREATE VIEW statement.. k SMALLINT. -. the following statement is illegal: INSERT INTO dept VALUES (dept_rec). . EXIT WHEN my_cursor%NOTFOUND. DECLARE dept_rec dept%ROWTYPE.ename). LOOP FETCH my_cursor INTO my_rec. j. But. ename FROM emp. BEGIN OPEN my_cursor. For example. . my_rec. However. PL/SQL does not allow forward references. my_rec.wages. including other declarative statements. you use an alias called wages: DECLARE CURSOR my_cursor IS SELECT sal + NVL(comm. END IF. the following declaration is illegal: i. You must declare a variable or constant before referencing it in other statements.illegal 5 . because dept_rec2 is based on a table and dept_rec3 is based on a cursor. PL/SQL does allow the forward declaration of subprograms. -.. END.illegal Select-list items fetched by a cursor associated with %ROWTYPE must have simple names or.0) wages. you cannot assign a list of column values to a record by using an assignment statement. END LOOP. -.illegal Second. However.wages > 2000 THEN INSERT INTO temp VALUES (NULL. BEGIN SELECT deptno. dname.. must have aliases. you cannot insert them. Some languages allow you to declare a list of variables belonging to the same datatype. my_rec my_cursor%ROWTYPE. For example.

. you can prefix the table name with a username. variables and parameters cannot share the same name. cursors. .. . bonus OUT REAL) IS avg_sal REAL.. For example. to avoid ambiguity. In potentially ambiguous SQL statements. . the following SELECT statement fails because PL/SQL assumes that emp refers to the formal parameter: PROCEDURE calc_bonus (emp NUMBER. . all declared identifiers must be unique. prefix the names of local variables and formal parameters with my_ as follows: DECLARE my_ename CHAR(10) := 'KING'. BEGIN SELECT AVG(sal) INTO avg_sal FROM scott. the following DELETE statement removes all employees from the emp table. bonus OUT REAL) IS avg_sal REAL. In such cases.. the names of local variables and formal parameters take precedence over the names of database tables. BEGIN DELETE FROM emp WHERE ename = main. Within the same scope. and packages. For example. END. variables.. The names of database columns take precedence over the names of local variables and formal parameters... even if their datatypes differ. functions.emp WHERE . 6 .... Or... not just KING... BEGIN DELETE FROM emp WHERE ename = ename.. . In such cases. .Naming Conventions The same naming conventions apply to all PL/SQL program objects and units including constants. because ORACLE assumes that both enames in the WHERE clause refer to the database column: DECLARE ename CHAR(10) := 'KING'. So.. END. . as follows: PROECEDURE calc_bonus (emp NUMBER. END.ename.. BEGIN SELECT AVG(sal) INTO avg_sal FROM emp WHERE . procedures. as follows: <<main>> DECLARE ename CHAR(10) := 'KING'. use a block label to qualify references. exceptions.. END.

you cannot reference the global identifier unless you use a qualified name... The qualifier can be the label of an enclosing block (or enclosing subprogram) as follows: <<outer>> DECLARE birthdate DATE. END outer. or package) from which you can reference the identifier. and any change in one does not affect the other. job CHAR(15) := 'SALESMAN'.The next example shows that you can use a subprogram name to qualify references to local variables and formal parameters: PROCEDURE calc_bonus (empno NUMBER... The two objects represented by the identifier are distinct. BEGIN . name CHAR(10). however. as the following example shows: 7 .refers to local variable SELECT ename INTO name FROM emp WHERE empno = calc_bonus. subprogram. Assignments Variables and constants are initialized every time a block or subprogram is entered.. END IF. bonus OUT REAL) IS avg_sal REAL. BEGIN SELECT AVG(sal) INTO avg_sal FROM emp WHERE job = calc_bonus... An identifier is visible only in the regions from which you can reference the identifier using an unqualified name. only the local identifier is visible because you must use a qualified name to reference the global identifier.birthdate THEN . If you redeclare a identifier in a sub-block. Within the sub-block. -. IF birthdate = outer.. The scope of an identifier is that region of a program unit (block. you can declare the same identifier in two different blocks. Note that a block cannot reference identifiers declared in other blocks nested at the same level because those identifiers are neither local nor global to the block. END. By default.job. END. If a global identifier is redeclared in a sub-block. variables are initialized to NULL. DECLARE birthdate DATE. -.empno. unless you expressly initialize a variable. So. Although you cannot declare an identifier twice in the same block.refers to parameter . BEGIN . identifiers declared in a PL/SQL block are considered local to that block and global to all its sub-blocks. For example. both identifiers remain in scope. its value is undefined. Scope and Visibility References to an identifier are resolved according to its scope and visibility.

For example. assuming the variable done belongs to type BOOLEAN. -. the relational operators return a Boolean value. Only the values TRUE and FALSE and the nonvalue NULL can be assigned to a Boolean variable. Some guidelines follow to help you prevent falling into common traps. So. you can use the SELECT or FETCH statement to have ORACLE assign values to a variable. In general. BEGIN count := count + 1.. do not compare real numbers for exact equality or inequality. Remember that a boolean variable is itself either true or false. It is also a good idea to use parentheses when doing comparisons. When applied to PL/SQL expressions. 8 . END. .assigns a null to count END. SELECT ename. Expressions and Comparisons All expressions and comparisons are the same as those explained in the SQL Reference section. BEGIN done := (count > 500). can be simplified as follows: IF done THEN . its associated sequence of statements is not executed Recall that applying the logical operator NULL to a null yields NULL.. there must be a corresponding variable in the INTO list. wages FROM emp WHERE empno = emp_id.DELCARE count INTEGER. the following assignment is legal: DECLARE done BOOLEAN. never reference a variable before you assign it a value. if the condition evaluates to NULL. Alternatively. For each item in the SELECT list.. sal + comm INTO last_name. Also. each item must return a value that is implicitly convertible to the datatype of its corresponding variable... Therefore. the IF statement IF done = TRUE THEN .. So comparisons with the boolean values TRUE and FALSE are redundant. You can avoid some common mistakes by keeping in mind the following rules: •comparisons involving nulls always yield NULL •applying the logical operator NOT to a null yields NULL •in conditional control statements.

NULL. 'B'. a null is returned except in the following cases: •(DECODE) The function DECODE compares its first argument to one or more search expressions. In addition. after the assignment: new_string := REPLACE(old_string. The built-in functions fall into the following categories: • error-reporting functions • number functions • character functions • conversion functions • data functions • miscellaneous functions You can use all the built-in functions in SQL statements except the error-reporting functions SQLCODE and SQLERRM. DECODE returns the value 1000: credit_limit := (rating. my_string). the function REPLACE returns the value of its first argument whether the optional third argument is present or not. NULL. Any search or result expression can be null. Most functions are the same as those discussed in SQL Reference section except the ones that are discussed below. Built-in Functions PL/SQL provides many powerful functions to help you manipulate data. give you information about PL/SQL execution errors. if the value of rating is null. otherwise. For internal exceptions. In the next example. if hire_date is null. 9 . 4000). •(SQLCODE) function SQLCODE return NUMBER Returns the number associated with the most recently raised exception. SQLCODE and SQLERRM. If its second argument is null. 'A'. 2000. For instance. Two functions. the corresponding result is returned. The NUMBER that SQLCODE returns is negative unless the ORACLE error is "no data found". NVL returns the value of hire_date: start_date := NVL(hire_date. SYSDATE). which are paired with result expressions. In the following example.If a null argument is passed to a function. the function NVL returns the value of its second argument. Outside a handler. in which case SQLCODE returns +100. Furthermore. •(NVL) If its first argument is null. 1000. If a search is successful. This function is meaningful only in an exception handler. •(REPLACE). NVL returns the value of SYSDATE. You can use them wherever expressions of the same type are allowed. you can nest them. SQLCODE returns the number of the associated ORACLE error. the values of old_string and new_string are the same. SQLCODE always returns zero. you can use all the functions in procedural statements except the miscellaneous function DECODE.

•(USERENV) function USERENV (str VARCHAR2) return VARCHAR2 Returns information about the current session. •(SQLERRM) function SQLERRM [(error_number NUMBER)] return CHAR Returns the error message associated with the current value of SQLCODE. the size of a PL/SQL table is unconstrained. successful completion. The PL/SQL table grows as new rows are added. SQLERRM is meaningful only in an exception handler. and database character set in use •'SESSIONID' returns the auditing session identifier •'TERMINAL' returns the operating system identifier for the session terminal You cannot specify the 'ENTRYID' or 'SESSIONID' option in SQL statements that access a remote database. UID takes no arguments. PL/SQL Tables PL/SQL provides two composite datatypes: TABLE and RECORD. Objects of type TABLE are called PL/SQL tables. Like the size of a database table. The following miscellaneous functions may be of use to you in PL/SQL coding.For user-defined exceptions.'' For internal exceptions. SQLERRM returns the message associated with the ORACLE error that occurred. SQLERRM with no argument always returns the message ``ORA-0000:normal. in which case SQLERRM returns the corresponding error message. SQLERRM returns the message ``User-Defined Exception'' unless you used the pragma EXCEPTION_INIT to associate the exception with an ORACLE error number. That is. You can pass the argument error_number to SQLERRM. •(UID) function UID return NUMBER Returns the unique identification number assigned to the current ORACLE user. which are modeled as (but not the same as) database tables. Outside a handler.\\ The string str can have any of the following values: •'ENTRYID' returns an auditing entry identifier •'LANGUAGE' returns the language. The message begins with the ORACLE error code. in which case SQLCODE returns that error number. territory. PL/SQL tables use a primary key to give you array-like access to rows. 10 . •(USER) function USER return VARCHAR2 Returns the username of the current ORACLE user. the number of rows in a PL/SQL table can increase dynamically. You can use the information to write an application audit trail table or to determine the language and character set are in use. USER takes no arguments. For user-defined exceptions. in which case SQLERRM returns the message associated with error_number. SQLCODE returns +1 unless you used the pragma EXCEPTION_INIT to associate the exception with an ORACLE error number.

you specify a primary key value using the array-like syntax plsql_table_name(primary_key_value) where primary_key_value belongs to type BINARY_INTEGER. . 'STUART'. A cursor FOR loop implicitly declares its loop index as a record. In the example below. As a result.ename%TYPE INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER.sal%TYPE INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER.PL/SQL tables can have one column and a primary key. repeatedly fetches rows of values from the cursor into fields in the record. neither of which can be named. you reference the third row in PL/SQL table ename_tab as follows: ename_tab(3) . You can declare TABLE types in the declarative part of any block. To reference rows in a PL/SQL table. or NUMBER. subprogram.. You can assign the value of a PL/SQL expression to a specific row using the following syntax: plsql_table_name(primary_key_value) := plsql_expression. you declare a TABLE type called EnameTabTyp: DECLARE TYPE EnameTabTyp IS TABLE OF emp. ename_tab EnameTabTyp. the following declaration is illegal: ename_tab EnameTabTyp := ('CASEY'.. you define a TABLE type. 2**31-1. The magnitude range of a BINARY_INTEGER value is -2**31-1 . then declare PL/SQL tables of that type. PL/SQL table is unconstrained because its primary key can assume any value in the range of values defined for BINARY_INTEGER.. For example. you use a cursor FOR loop to load two PL/SQL tables. TYPE SalTabTyp IS TABLE OF emp. then closes the cursor. 11 . opens the cursor associated with a given query. DATE. you cannot initialize a PL/SQL table in its declaration. you can declare PL/SQL tables of that type.. or package using the syntax: TYPE type_name IS TABLE OF { column_type | variable%TYPE | table. First. DECLARE TYPE EnameTabTyp IS TABLE OF emp. where type_name is a type specifier used in subsequent declarations of PL/SQL tables and column_type is any scalar (not composite) datatype such as CHAR. but the primary key must belong to type BINARY_INTEGER. as follows: ename_tab EnameTabTyp The identifier ename_tab represents an entire PL/SQL table. Once you define type EnameTabTyp. You can use the %TYPE attribute to specify a column datatype. For example.ename%TYPE INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER. 'CHU')... PL/SQL tables must be declared in two steps. In the following example.column%TYPE } [NOT NULL] INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER. sal_tab SalTabTyp. The column can belong to any scalar type.

. Unlike PL/SQL tables. and so on. However. objects of type RECORD are called records. declare another PL/SQL table of the same type and leave it empty.column%TYPE | table%ROWTYPE} [NOT NULL]. ename_tab(i) := emprec. Like PL/SQL tables. you must declare a variable for that purpose. 12 . Therefore. The composite datatype RECORD lifts those restrictions. END LOOP. Remember that the size of PL/SQL table is unconstrained so. and hire date of an employee would let you treat the data as a logical unit.load employee names and salaries into PL/SQL tables For emprec IN (SELECT ename. First. This data is dissimilar in type but logically related. suppose you have different kinds of data about an employee such as name. that if you want to maintain a row count. you cannot reference PL/SQL tables in the INTO clause of a SELECT statement. it does not exist. which can belong to different datatypes. then declare userdefined records of that type. salary. records must be declared in two steps... You must use a loop to INSERT values from a PL/SQL table into a database column. There is no straightforward way to delete rows from a PL/SQL table because the DELETE statement cannot specify PL/SQL tables. If you try to reference an uninitialized row. As you might expect. simply assign the empty table to them. sal_tab).sal. . When PL/SQL runs out of memory it raises the predefined exception STORAGE_ERROR. when you want to delete the original PL/SQL tables. (field_name2 {field_type | variable%TYPE | table. A PL/SQL table can grow large.column%TYPE | table%ROWTYPE} [NOT NULL]. A record that contains such fields as the name. Likewise. you cannot specify the datatypes of fields in the record or define fields of your own. you can use a simple workaround to delete entire PL/SQL tables. hire date. or package using the syntax 7 TYPE type_name IS RECORD (field_name1 {field_type | variable%TYPE | table. Although you cannot delete individual rows from a PL/SQL table. salary. You can declare RECORD types in the declarative part of any block.. constrained only by available memory. First. --process the tables process_sals(ename_tab. For example. PL/SQL raises the predefined exception NO_DATA_FOUND.i BINARY_INTEGER := 0. END. you define a RECORD type. . sal FROM emp) LOOP i := i + 1. Later. . sal_tab(i) := emprec.ename. you must use a loop to FETCH values from a database column into a PL/SQL table. BEGIN -. User-defined Records You can use the %ROWTYPE attribute to declare a record that represents a row in a table or a row fetched by a cursor. records have uniquely named fields. Until a row is assigned a value. subprogram.. ).. Setting a row to NULL does not work because the row remains and does not raise the exception NO_DATA_FOUND when referenced.

. You can use the %TYPE or %ROWTYPE attribute to specify a field datatype. 13 . END.. you declare a RECORD type named DeptRecTyp: DECLARE TYPE DeptRecTyp is RECORD (deptno NUMBER(2) NOT NULL := 20. . dname dept. -. records cannot be tested for equality or inequality. To reference individual fields in a record. . Instead of assigning values separately to each field in a record. Furthermore. Second. as the example below shows. In the following example. a userdefined record and a %ROWTYPE record always belong to different types. loc INTO dept_rec FROM dept WHERE deptno = 30. value2. END IF. So.. .. You cannot assign a list of values to a record by using an assignment statement. you can assign values to all fields at once.illegal Also.field_name := plsql_expression. the following IF condition is illegal: IF dept_rec1 = dept_rec2 THEN -.dname%TYPE). Even if their fields match exactly. loc dept.field_name You can assign the value of a PL/SQL expression to a specific field by using the following syntax: record_name. you can assign one record to another if they belong to the same datatype. you can declare records of that type. First. records of different types cannot be assigned to each other..dname%TYPE. This can be done in two ways. dept_rec DeptRecTyp.dname%TYPE..where type_name is a type specifier used in subsequent declarations of records and field_type is any datatype including RECORD and TABLE.. . as follows: dept_rec DeptRecTyp. BEGIN SELECT deptno. DECLARE TYPE DeptRecTyp IS RECORD (deptno NUMBER(2) NOT NULL := 20.dname%TYPE).illegal . the following syntax is illegal: record_name := (value1. loc dept. value3. The identifier dept_rec represents an entire record. Just make sure the column names appear in the same order as the fields in your record. For instance.).. you use the dot notation and the following syntax: record_name. you can assign a list of column values to a record by using the SELECT or FETCH statement.. dname dept. dname.. Once you define type DeptRecTyp.

as follows: DECLARE TYPE TimeTyp IS RECORD (minute SMALLINT. The selection structure tests a condition. depending on whether the condition is true or false. meeting. any computer program can be written using the basic control structures which can be combined in any way necessary to deal with a given problem.time := meeting. as follows: IF condition1 THEN sequence_of_statements1. -. The sequence structure simply executes a sequence of statements in the order in which they occur. meeting MeetingTyp.nested record loc CHAR(15)). party. or NULL). CONTROL STRUCTURES According to the structure theorem. 14 . a record can be the component of another record.PL/SQL lets you declare and reference nested records. time TimeTyp. The third form of IF statement uses the keyword ELSIF (NOT ELSEIF) to introduce additional conditions. it is necessary to take alternative actions depending on circumstances. seminar. ELSE sequence_of_statements3.nested record place CHAR(20). TYPE PartyTyp IS RECORD (date DATE. There are three forms of IF statements: IF-THEN. You can assign one nested record to another if they belong to the same datatype. FALSE. The iteration structure executes a sequence of statements repeatedly as long as a condition holds true.hour := 10. BEGIN meeting.. IF-THEN-ELSE.time. END. ..time. seminar MeetingTyp. time TimeTyp. The IF statement lets you execute a sequence of statements conditionally.time := meeting. hour SMALLINT).time. then executes one sequence of statements instead of another. Conditional Control: IF Statements Often. That is. Such assignments are allowed even if the containing records belong to different datatypes. TYPE MeetingTyp IS RECORD (day DATE. meeting. whether the sequence is executed or not depends on the value of a condition. ELSIF condition2 THEN sequence_of_statements2. That is.. A condition is any variable or expression that returns a Boolean value (TRUE. . and IF-THEN-ELSIF. := '26-Jun-91'. party PartyTyp.. purpose CHAR(50)).time.minute := 45.

.. LOOP FETCH c1 INTO . IF . If further processing is undesirable or impossible. loops can be labeled. EXIT WHEN c1%NOTFOUND. When an EXIT statement is encountered. which encloses a sequence of statements between the keywords LOOP and END LOOP. CLOSE c1.. THEN . . There are two forms of EXIT statements: EXIT and EXIT-WHEN. you can use the EXIT statement to complete the loop.control resumes here The EXIT-WHEN statement allows a loop to complete conditionally. -.. the loop completes immediately and control passes to the next statement.. END LOOP. WHILE-LOOP.. as follows: <<label_name>> LOOP sequence_of_statements. With each iteration of the loop... the sequence of statements is executed.. the condition in the WHEN clause is evaluated. Iterative Control: LOOP and EXIT Statements LOOP statements let you execute a sequence of statements multiple times. the loop cannot complete.exit loop immediately END IF.. LOOP The simplest form of LOOP statement is the basic (or infinite) loop. The label. . The EXIT statement forces a loop to complete unconditionally.exit loop if condition is true .. If the condition evaluates to TRUE. LOOP . 15 . but nowhere outside a loop. an undeclared identifier enclosed by double angle brackets. -. the loop completes and control passes to the next statement after the loop.END IF. END LOOP. When the EXIT statement is encountered. There are three forms of LOOP statements: LOOP. then control resumes at the top of the loop. You can place one or more EXIT statements anywhere inside a loop.. Until the condition evaluates to TRUE.. Like PL/SQL blocks. statements within the loop must change the value of the condition. must appear at the beginning of the LOOP statement. END LOOP. EXIT.. as follows: LOOP sequence_of_statements3. -. So. and FOR-LOOP.

If the condition evaluates to FALSE or NULL. Before each iteration of the loop. . as follows: WHILE condition LOOP sequence_of_statements. END LOOP outer. The lower bound need not be 1.. the number of iterations through a FOR loop is known before the loop is entered.... the sequence of statements is executed. With either form of EXIT statement.. Optionally. WHILE-LOOP The WHILE-LOOP statement associates a condition with a sequence of statements enclosed by the keywords LOOP and END LOOP.. END LOOP. but any enclosing loop. EXIT outer WHEN . the loop counter increment (or decrement) must be 1. If the condition evaluates to TRUE. -.END LOOP [label_name]. the label name can also appear at the end of the LOOP statement. 16 . LOOP . as the following example shows: SELECT COUNT(empno) INTO emp_count FROM emp... FOR counter IN [REVERSE] lower_bound. FOR loops iterate over a specified range of integers. Since the condition is tested at the top of the loop. <<outer>> LOOP . END LOOP. the sequence might execute zero times. . the condition is evaluated..upper_bound LOOP sequence_of_statements. the loop is bypassed and control passes to the next statement. However. . END LOOP. PL/SQL lets you determine the loop range dynamically at run time. then use the label in an EXIT statement...emp_count LOOP .. then control resumes at the top of the loop. FOR-LOOP Whereas the number of iteration through a WHILE loop is unknown until the loop completes. you can complete not only the current loop. Simply label the enclosing loop that you want to complete. FOR i IN 1. which is enclosed by the keywords FOR and LOOP. The range is part of an iteration scheme...exit both loops END LOOP...

BEGIN . two UPDATE statements might credit one bank account and debit another. transaction control commands. or the system control command ALTER SYSTEM. END. it does nothing other than pass control to the next statement. Hence. functions. It can. Transaction Control ORACLE is transaction oriented. A GOTO statement cannot branch out of a subprogram. the GOTO and NULL statements are not crucial to PL/SQL programming. improve readability..The loop counter is defined only within the loop. and operators. At the same instant. The EXIT statement allows a FOR loop to complete prematurely. a GOTO statement cannot branch from an exception handler into the current block. SELECT. A GOTO statement cannot branch from one IF statement clause to another. <<insert_row>> INSERT INTO emp VALUES . . Also.. DELETE. You need not explicitly declare the loop counter because it is implicitly declared as a local variable of type INTEGER. PL/SQL offers a unique combination of power and ease of use. The NULL statement explicitly specifies inaction. For example.. Occasionally. GOTO insert_row.. the NULL statement is a handy way to create stubs when designing applications from the top down.. Finally. You cannot reference it outside the loop. but any enclosing loop. A GOTO statement cannot branch into an IF statement. the database is restored to its former state automatically.. or sub-block. You can manipulate ORACLE data flexibly and safely because PL/SQL supports all SQL data manipulation commands (except EXPLAIN PLAN). ORACLE uses transactions to ensure data integrity. The NULL statement can make the meaning and action of conditional statements clear and so improve readability. Data Manipulation To manipulate ORACLE data. ORACLE makes permanent or undoes all database changes made by a transaction. session control commands such as SET ROLES. you use the INSERT. and LOCK TABLE commands. Interaction With ORACLE SQL Support By extending SQL. pseudocolumns. that is. A transaction is a series of SQL data manipulation statements that does a logical unit of work. ORACLE detects the error and rolls back the transaction. If your program fails in the middle of a transaction. You can complete not only the current loop. PL/SQL does not support data definition commands such as CREATE. Sequential Control: GOTO and NULL statements Unlike the IF and LOOP statements. however. LOOP statement. UPDATE. 17 . The structure of PL/SQL is such that the GOTO statement is seldom needed. it can simplify logic enough to warrant its use. However.

For example. Cursor Management PL/SQL uses two types of cursors: implicit and explicit. new_ename. set. you can specify its initial value and an increment. You specify the direction in which the query walks the tree (down from the root or up from the branches) with the PRIOR operator. and SET TRANSACTION commands to control transactions. CURRVAL returns the current value in a specified sequence. For instance. for queries that return more than one row. A sequence is a database object that generates sequential numbers. Furthermore.. including queries that return only one row. you must declare an explicit cursor or use a cursor FOR loop Explicit Cursors 18 . you can select values from a pseudocolumn. Assume that you have declared empno_seq as a database sequence. you specify a condition that identifies the root of the tree. LEVEL. you can reference pseudocolumns in SQL statements. They are called pseudocolumns because they are not actual columns in a table but behave like columns. NEXTVAL returns the next value in a database sequence. ROWID returns the rowid (binary address) of a row in a database table.. LEVEL is used with the SELECT CONNECT BY statement to organize rows from a database table into a tree structure. Used with ROLLBACK. other users cannot see them. In the START WITH clause. PL/SQL declares a cursor implicitly for all SQL data manipulation statements. SET TRANSACTION establishes a read-only transaction. SQL Functions PL/SQL lets you use all the SQL functions including group functions. SQL Pseudocolumns PL/SQL recognizes the following SQL pseudocolumns. and ROWNUM. or delete values from a pseudocolumn. which summarize entire columns of ORACLE data. which return specific data items: CURRVAL. LEVEL returns the level number of a node in a tree structure. .You use the COMMIT. Operators PL/SQL lets you use all the SQL comparison. ROWNUMs are assigned to the retrieved rows before the sort is done. children of the root are level 2 and so on. ROLLBACK. ROWNUM returns a number indicating the order in which a row was selected from a table. Until you commit your changes. The root is level 1. However. However. you cannot insert values into. SAVEPOINT marks the current point in the processing of a transaction.NEXTVAL. undoes part of a transaction. COMMIT makes permanent any database changes made during the current transaction. ROWID. SAVEPOINT. then the following statement inserts a new employee number into the emp table: INSERT INTO emp VALUES (empno_seq. update values in. ROLLBACK ends the current transaction and undoes any changes made since the transaction began.). NEXTVAL. When you create a sequence. and row operators in SQL statements. Before you can reference CURRVAL in a session. If a SELECT statement includes an ORDER BY clause. you must use NEXTVAL to generate a number.

you can explicitly define a cursor to process the rows. ename FROM emp WHERE sal > median. factor INTEGER := 2. their datatypes must be compatible. one. you must declare a cursor before referencing it in other statements. -. or multiple rows.job%TYPE. you use the syntax: CURSOR name [ (parameter [. the FETCH statement retrieves the rows. For cursors declared using the FOR UPDATE clause. END..]) ] IS where parameter stands for the following syntax: variable_name [IN] datatype [{:= | DEFAULT} value] OPENing the cursor executes the query and identifies the active set. To declare formal cursor parameters..The set of rows returned by a query can consist of zero.. parameter. OPEN c1. As the following example shows. the query can reference PL/SQL variables within its scope: DECLARE my_sal emp. For each column value returned by the query associated with the cursor. there must be a corresponding variable in the INTO list. the cursor advances to the next row in the active factor equals 2 LOOP FETCH c1 INTO my_sal..sal%TYPE. -. depending on how many rows meet your search criteria. CLOSE c1. A cursor parameter can appear in a query wherever a constant can appear. The FETCH statement retrieves the rows in the active set one at a time. When you declare a cursor. the OPEN statement also locks those rows. 19 . . The cursor name is an undeclared identifier. Cursors can take parameters. cursor c1 IS SELECT factor*sal FROM emp WHERE job = my_job. it is used only to reference a query. Each time FETCH is executed. . You define a cursor in a declarative part of a PL/SQL block. factor := factor + 1. which consists of all rows that meet the query search criteria. or package by naming it and specifying a query.does not affect FETCH END LOOP.. not a PL/SQL variable. as the example below shows. and CLOSE. subprogram. you name it and associate it with a specific query. Then. my_job emp. Any variables in the WHERE clause of the query associated with the cursor are evaluated only when the cursor is OPENed. The formal parameters of a cursor must be IN parameter. BEGIN . CURSOR c1 (median IN NUMBER) IS SELECT job.. When a query returns multiple rows. Forward references are not allowed in PL/SQL. Rather. EXIT WHEN c1%NOTFOUND. you use three commands to control the cursor: OPEN. Rows in the active set are not retrieved when the OPEN statement is executed. FETCH. So. Also.

the loop is never exited unless your EXIT WHEN statement is as follows: EXIT WHEN c1%NOTFOUND OR c1%NOTFOUND IS NULL. these attributes let you access useful information about the execution of a multirow query. the rows that satisfy the associated query are identified and form the active set. if FETCH never executes successfully. UPDATE. •Using %NOTFOUND. the predefined exception NO_DATA_FOUND is raised whether you check %NOTFOUND on the next line or not. •Using %FOUND. normal execution stops and control transfers to the exception-handling part of the block. you find out if that exception was raised by checking %NOTFOUND. you can still use cursor attributes to access information about the most recently executed SQL statement. So. The check for %NOTFOUND on the next line would be useless because when NO_DATA_FOUND is raised. Implicit Cursors ORACLE implicitly opens a cursor to process each SQL statement not associated with an explicitly declared cursor. so when that happens. So. You can use explicit cursor attributes in procedural statements but not in SQL statements. and SELECT INTO statements. and %ISOPEN. 20 . Thereafter. %ROWCOUNT returns a zero. no exception is raised. %ROWCOUNT is zeroed. %FOUND evaluates to NULL. it returns the number of rows fetched so far. Implicit Cursor Attributes The SQL cursor has four attributes: %NOTFOUND. If the last fetch returned a row. In this situation %NOTFOUND is useful in the OTHERS exception handler. then use %NOTFOUND to tell which cursors have rows left to fetch. it evaluates to TRUE if the last fetch returned a row or to FALSE if no row was returned. %FOUND.Explicit Cursor Attributes Each cursor that you explicitly define has four attributes: %NOTFOUND. DECLARE my_sal NUMBER(7. When appended to the cursor name.2). %ISOPEN evaluates to FALSE. these attributes let you access information about the execution of INSERT. FETCH. and %ISOPEN. %ROWCOUNT. %ISOPEN evaluates to TRUE if its cursor is open. After an explicit cursor is open but before the first fetch. •Using %ISOPEN. When you open its cursor. DELETE. •Using %NOTFOUND. otherwise. The features of %NOTFOUND are similar to those of the explicit cursor attributes but you must bear in mind the following: if a SELECT INTO fails to return a row. FETCH is expected to fail eventually. PL/SQL lets you refer to the most recent implicit cursor as the ``SQL'' cursor. When appended to the cursor name (SQL). Before the first fetch. You can use implicit cursor attributes in procedural statements but not in SQL statements. %NOTFOUND evaluates to TRUE. %ROWCOUNT. When a cursor is OPENed. my_empno NUMBER(4). %NOTFOUND evaluates to NULL. %NOTFOUND evaluates to FALSE. although you cannot use the OPEN. Thereafter. If the last fetch failed to return a row (because the active set was empty). The number is incremented if the latest fetch returned a row. •Using %ROWCOUNT. %FOUND. Instead of coding a NO_DATA_FOUND handler. You can open multiple cursors. Before the first fetch. %FOUND is the logical opposite of %NOTFOUND. Rows are FETCHed from the active set one at a time. and CLOSE statements to control an implicit cursor.

In the following example.. Cursor FOR Loops You can use a cursor FOR loop to simplify coding. However. Also. opens a cursor. 21 .. END IF. END emp_action. %ROWCOUNT and %ISOPEN. Packaged Cursors You can separate a cursor specification from its body for placement in a package by using the RETURN clause: CREATE PACKAGE emp_actions AS /* Declare cursor specification */ CURSOR c1 RETURN emp%ROWTYPE . a SELECT INTO that calls a SQL group function never raises the exception NO_DATA_FOUND. you determine how many employees have salaries higher than $2000 and how many have commissions larger than their salaries. This way. You can pass parameters to a cursor used in a cursor FOR loop...might raise NO_DATA_FOUND EXCEPTION WHEN OTHERS THEN IF SQL%NOTFOUND THEN -.. These attributes are similar in use to those of explicit cursor attributes. A cursor body must have a SELECT statement and the same RETURN clause as its corresponding cursor specification. Furthermore. you can change the cursor body without changing the cursor specification.. Then. you pass a department number.. CREATE PACKAGE BODY emp_actions AS /* Define cursor body */ CURSOR c1 RETURN emp%ROWTYPE SELECT * FROM emp WHERE sal > 3000. . A cursor FOR loop implicitly declares its loop index as a record of type %ROWTYPE. the number and datatypes of select-list items in the SELECT statement must match the RETURN clause. END. . -. That is because group functions such as AVG and SUM always return a value or a null.. you compute the total wages paid to employees in that department.. repeatedly fetches rows of values from the active set into fields in the record. SELECT sal INTO my_sal FROM emp WHERE empno = my_empno..check for 'no data found' .BEGIN . END emp_actions. A cursor specification has no SELECT statement because the RETURN clause defines the datatype of the result value. then closes the cursor when all rows have been processed or when you exit the loop. •Using %FOUND.

total_wages := total_wages + emp_record. dname FROM emp.sal > 2000 THEN high_paid := high_paid + 1. However. The FOR UPDATE clause indicates that rows will be updated or deleted and locks all rows in the active set. •Using a LOCK TABLE statement lets you lock entire database tables in a specified lock mode so that you can share or deny access to tables while maintaining their integrity. you can request specific data locks on rows or tables when it is to your advantage to override default locking. higher_comm. INSERT INTO temp VALUES (high_paid. END. So. dept WHERE emp. All rows in the active set are locked when you OPEN the cursor.DECLARE CURSOR emp_cursor(dnum NUMBER) IS SELECT sal. 22 . you must use the FOR UPDATE clause to acquire exclusive row locks. as the following example shows.0).sal + emp_record. COMMIT. Overriding Default Locking By default ORACLE locks data structures for you automatically. sal FROM emp WHERE job = 'SALESMAN' AND comm > sal FOR UPDATE. END IF.deptno = dept. you can use the FOR UPDATE OF clause to confine row locking to particular tables. END LOOP. The rows are unlocked when you COMMIT the transaction. the FOR UPDATE clause must appear at the end of the cursor declaration. higher_comm NUMBER(4) := 0. 'Total Wages: ' || TO_CHAR(total_wages)).deptno AND job = 'MANAGER' FOR UPDATE OF sal. high_paid NUMBER(4) := 0. •Using FOR UPDATE. BEGIN /* the number of iterations will equal the number of rows * * returned by emp_cursor */ FOR emp_record IN emp_cursor(20) LOOP emp_record. total_wages NUMBER(11. When querying multiple tables. DECLARE CURSOR c1 IS SELECT ename. IF emp_record.2) := 0. comm FROM emp WHERE deptno = dnum. When declaring a cursor that will be referenced in the WHERE CURRENT OF clause of an UPDATE or DELETE statement. DECLARE CURSOR c1 IS SELECT empno.comm. Table locks are released when your transaction issues a COMMIT or ROLLBACK. LOCK TABLE emp IN ROW SHARE MODE NOWAIT. you cannot FETCH from a FOR UPDATE cursor after a COMMIT.comm. If present.comm := NVL(emp_record.

Notice that the colon is not used in the WHEN clause.. it is rolled back. So. The keyword AFTER specifies that the database trigger fires after the update is done.END block. By default.Database Triggers A database trigger is a stored PL/SQL program unit associated with a specific database table. The database trigger named reorder ensures that a part is reordered when its quantity on hand drops below the reorder point. A database trigger has three parts: a triggering event.part_no. :new. The triggering event specifies the SQL data manipulation statement that affects the table. A database trigger can also have DECLARE and EXCEPTION sections. When the event occurs. the statement is UPDATE. however.reorder_qty. and a trigger action. SYSDATE). can appear in the BEGIN. Within a database trigger.qty_on_hand < :new. including subprogram calls. database triggers are invoked implicitly.table FOR EACH ROW /* trigger constraint */ WHEN (new. any SQL or procedural statement. unlike subprograms.. If the trigger statement fails. which must be invoked explicitly. The prefix :new is a correlation name that refers to the newly updated column value. CREATE TRIGGER reorder /* triggering event */ AFTER UPDATE OF qty_on_hand ON inventory -. The name in the ON clause identifies the database table associated with the database trigger. not the current user. The example below illustrates transparent event logging. END. Database triggers fire with the privileges of the owner.reorderable = 'T') BEGIN /* trigger action */ IF :new. 23 . Except for transaction control statements such as COMMIT and ROLLBACK. the database trigger fires and an anonymous PL/SQL block performs the action. you can use database triggers to •audit data modification •log events transparently •enforce complex business rules •derive column values automatically •implement complex security authorizations •maintain replicate tables You can associate up to 12 database triggers with a give table. a database trigger fires once per table. You can use the REFERENCING clause (not shown) to replace :new and :old with other correlation names. the owner must have appropriate access to all objects referenced by the trigger action. Among other things. an optional trigger constraint. So. The FOR EACH ROW option specifies that the trigger fires once per row. For the trigger to fire. you can reference :new and :old values of changing rows. ORACLE executes (fires) the database trigger automatically whenever a given SQL operation affects the table.reorder_point THEN INSERT INTO pending_orders VALUES (:new. In this case. END IF. the Boolean expression in the WHEN clause must evaluate to TRUE.

ELSIF (:new. which can also raise predefined exceptions. subprogram. * * or increase exceeds 10%. or package. More information on built-in procedures is provided later in this chapter. such as ZERO_DIVIDE and STORAGE_ERROR. 24 .sal < :old. To handle raised exceptions. raise an exception.sal > maxsal) THEN raise_application_error(-20225.1 * :old. increase is negative. maxsal NUMBER. user-defined exceptions must be given names. 'Increase exceeds 10%'). you might define an exception named insufficient_funds to flag an overdrawn bank accounts. maxsal FROM sals WHERE job = :new.sal) THEN raise_application_error(-20320. Examples of internally defined exceptions include division by zero and out of memory. an exception is raised. When an error occurs. normal execution stops and control transfers to the exception handling part of your PL/SQL block or subprogram. */ IF (:new. For a full discussion of database triggers.job != 'PRESIDENT') DECLARE minsal NUMBER. */ SELECT losal. For example. That is. job ON emp FOR EACH ROW WHEN (new. control returns to the host environment. User-defined exceptions must be raised explicitly by RAISE statements. Some common internal exceptions have predefined names. Internal exceptions are raised implicitly (automatically) by the runtime system.sal) THEN raise_application_error(-20325. If there is no enclosing block. After an exception handler runs. Error Handling Overview In PL/SQL a warning or error condition is called an exception. BEGIN /* Get salary range for a given job from table sals. the current block stops executing and the enclosing block resumes with the next statement. /* If salary is out of range. 'Negative increase').job.sal < minsal OR :new. END IF: END. hisal INTO minsal. see ``ORACLE7 Server Application Developer's Guide''. Unlike internal exceptions. which lets you issue user-defined error messages: CREATE TRIGGER check_salary BEFORE INSERT OR UPDATE OF sal. ELSIF (:new. You can define exceptions of your own in the declarative part of any PL/SQL block. Exceptions can be internally defined (by the runtime system) or user-defined. 'Salary out of range'). you write separate routines called exception handlers.sal > 1. The other internal exceptions can be given names.The next example shows that the trigger action can include calls to the built-in ORACLE procedure raise_application_error.

•NO_DATA_FOUND is raised if a SELECT INTO statement returns no rows or if you reference an uninitialized row in a PL/SQL table. Just add an exception handler to your PL/SQL block. Predefined Exceptions An internal exception is raised explicitly whenever your PL/SQL program violates an ORACLE rule or exceeds a system-dependent limit. So. you must check for execution errors.Advantages of Exceptions Using exceptions for error handling has several advantages. Every ORACLE error has a number. you can be sure it will be handled. which defines the PL/SQL environment. PL/SQL declares predefined exceptions globally in package STANDARD. the predefined exception NO_DATA_FOUND is raised if a SELECT INTO statement returns no rows. •INVALID_CURSOR is raised if you try an illegal cursor operation. 25 . PL/SQL predefines some common ORACLE errors as exceptions. •DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX is raised if you try to store duplicate values in a database column that is constrained by a unique index. Exceptions also improve reliability. You need not worry about checking for an error at every point it might occur. if you try to CLOSE an unopened cursor. •LOGIN_DENIED is raised if you try logging on to ORACLE with an invalid username/password. every time you issue a command. You can write handlers for predefined exceptions using the names shown below: Exception Name ORACLE Error SQLCODE Value CURSOR_ALREADY OPEN ORA-06511 -6511 DUP_VAL_ON_INDEX ORA-00001 -1 INVALID_CURSOR ORA-01001 -1001 INVALID_NUMBER ORA-01722 -1722 LOGIN_DENIED ORA-01017 -1017 NO_DATA_FOUND ORA-01403 +100 NOT_LOGGED_ON ORA-01012 -1012 PROGRAM_ERROR ORA-06501 -6501 STORAGE_ERROR ORA-06500 -6500 TIMEOUT_ON_RESOURCE ORA-00051 -51 TOO_MANY_ROWS ORA-01422 -1422 VALUE_ERROR ORA-06502 -6502 ZERO_DIVIDE ORA-01476 -1476 •CURSOR_ALREADY_OPEN is raised if you try to OPEN an already open cursor. you need not declare them yourself. Without exception handling. For example. •NOT_LOGGED_ON is raised if your PL/SQL program issues a database call without being logged on to ORACLE. but exceptions must be handled by name. •PROGRAM_ERROR is raised if PL/SQL has an internal problem. So. •STORAGE_ERROR is raised if PL/SQL runs out of memory or if memory is corrupted. •INVALID_NUMBER is raised in a SQL statement if the conversion of a character string to a number fails. For example. If the exception is ever raised in that block (or any sub-block). •TIMEOUT_ON_RESOURCE is raised if a timeout occurs while ORACLE is waiting for a resource.

-1031). for example -. In PL/SQL. Unlike variables. However. truncation. an exception is an error condition. That allows you to refer to any internal exception by name and to write a specific handler for it. DECLARE past_due EXCEPTION.SELECT privileges ----------------------------------------------------BEGIN . To handle unnamed internal exceptions. which can be thought of as a parenthetical remark to the compiler. You code the pragma EXCEPTION_INIT in the declarative part of a PL/SQL block. conversion. not an object.•TOO_MANY_ROWS is raised if a SELECT INTO statement returns more than one row. exceptions cannot appear in assignment statements or SQL statements.. But remember. the same scope rules apply to variables and exceptions. •ZERO_DIVIDE is raised if you try to divide a number by zero. you must use the OTHERS handler or the pragma EXCEPTION_INIT. or constraint error occurs. •VALUE_ERROR is raised if an arithmetic. -----------------------------------------------------..ORACLE returns error number -1031 if. EXCEPTION WHEN insufficient_privileges THEN -. the predefined pragma EXCEPTION_INIT tells the compiler to associate an exception name with an ORACLE error number. END. A pragma is a compiler directive. subprogram. 26 . User-defined Exceptions PL/SQL lets you define exceptions of your own.handle the error . Exceptions can be declared only in the declarative part of a PL/SQL block. acct_num NUMBER(5). or package. You declare an exception by introducing its name.. BEGIN Exceptions and variable declarations are similar. or package using the syntax PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT(exception_name. where exception_name is the name of a previously declared exception. •Using try to UPDATE a table for which you have only -. Unlike predefined exceptions.. subprogram. DECLARE insufficient_privileges EXCEPTION. PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT(insufficient_privileges. ORACLE_error_number). followed by the keyword EXCEPTION. user-defined exceptions must be declared and must be raised explicitly by RAISE statements.

•Using RAISE statement. BEGIN . You can code a RAISE statement for a given exception anywhere within the scope of that exception. However. BEGIN SELECT sal INTO current_salary FROM emp WHERE empno = emp_id.. and returns a user-defined error message to the application. raise_application_error ends a subprogram.. ELSE UPDATE emp SET sal = current_salary + increase WHERE empno = emp_id. PRAGMA EXCEPTION_INIT(null_salary. increase NUMBER) IS current_salary NUMBER.. DECLARE out_of_stock EXCEPTION. error_message). IF number_on_hand < 1 THEN RAISE out_of_stock. as are user-defined exceptions that you have associated with an ORACLE error number using EXCEPTION_INIT.. How Exceptions Are Raised Internal exceptions are raised implicitly by the runtime system. 27 . null_salary EXCEPTION. DECLARE . END IF. PROCEDURE raise_salary (emp_id NUMBER.. PL/SQL blocks and subprograms should RAISE an exception only when an error makes it undesirable or impossible to finish processing.-20999 and error_message is a character string up to 512 bytes in length.. which it can process using the error-reporting functions SQLCODE and SQLERRM in an OTHERS handler. IF current_salary is NULL THEN raise_application_error(-20101. 'Salary is missing'). Furthermore. An application can call raise_application_error only from an executing stored subprogram. . where error_number is a negative integer in the range -20000. rolls back any database changes it made.•Using raise_application_error. -20101). The calling application gets a PL/SQL exception. END raise_salary. The calling syntax is raise_application_error(error_number. A package named DBMS_STANDARD (part of the Procedural Database Extention) provides language facilities that help your application interact with ORACLE. other user-defined exceptions must be raised explicitly by RAISE statements. which lets you issue user-defined error messages from a stored subprogram or database trigger. When called. number_on_hand NUMBER(4). This package includes a procedure named raise_application_error.. it can use EXCEPTION_INIT to map specific error numbers returned by raise_application_error to exceptions of its own.

list the exception names in the WHEN clause. -.. If you want two or more exceptions to execute the same sequence of statements. acts as the handler for all exceptions not named specifically. handle it locally.. In other words. as shown below DECLARE out_of_balance EXCEPTION.. Use of the OTHERS handler guarantees that no exception will go unhandled. normal execution of your PL/SQL block or subprogram stops and control transfers to its exception-handling part and control does NOT return to where the exception was raised. it must appear by itself. separating them by the keyword OR. END. . ------------. then pass it to an enclosing block. 28 . BEGIN . -. you cannot resume processing where you left off. THEN RAISE out_of_balance. Omitting the exception name in a RAISE statement. IF . The optional OTHERS exception handler.. reraises the current exception. That way. To reraise an exception. ------------.end of sub-block ----------------------------EXCEPTION WHEN out_of_balance THEN .. Handling Raised Exceptions When an exception is raised.... which is allowed only in an exception handler.reraise the current exception END. which is always the last handler in a block or subprogram. you can use an exception handler written for the predefined exception to process other errors.beginning of sub-block ----------------------BEGIN . . you want to reraise an exception. EXCEPTION WHEN out_of_stock THEN -.handle the error END. Sometimes. that is. simply place a RAISE statement in the local handler. EXCEPTION WHEN out_of_balance THEN -. You can also raise a predefined exception explicitly: RAISE INVALID_NUMBER.. The keyword OTHERS cannot appear in the list of exception names.handle the error differently ..raise the exception END IF...handle the error RAISE.END IF.

WHEN OTHERS THEN err_num := SQLCODE.. SQLCODE and SQLERRM are especially useful in the OTHERS exception handler because they tell you which internal exception was raised. OR . where parameter stands for the following syntax var_name [IN | OUT | IN OUT] datatype [{:= | DEFAULT} value] 29 . The string function SUBSTR ensures that a VALUE_ERROR exception (for truncation) is not raised when you assign the value of SQLERRM to err_msg.. . • Using SQLCODE and SQLERRM. Generally.. You write procedures using the syntax PROCEDURE name [ (parameter..handle the error differently . WHEN OTHERS THEN . you must assign their values to local variables. you use a procedure to perform an action and a function to compute a value. You cannot use SQLCODE and SQLERRM directly in a SQL statement. BEGIN . an executable part. INSERT INTO errors VALUES (err_num. END.. DECLARE err_num NUMBER. and an optional exception-handling part. then use the variables in the SQL statement. 1..handle the error differently WHEN . 100). Procedures A procedure is a subprogram that performs a specific action. parameter.handle the error differently END.... Instead... [.]) ] IS [local declarations] BEGIN executable statements [EXCEPTION] exception-handlers] END [name]... EXCEPTION WHEN . THEN . THEN . PL/SQL has two types of subprograms called procedures and functions. err_msg := SUBSTR(SQLERRM. err_msg). Like unnamed or anonymous PL/SQL blocks.. err_msg CHAR(100). Subprograms Subprograms are named PL/SQL blocks that can take parameters and be invoked.. subprograms have a declarative part.

'Salary is null'). parameter. salary_missing EXCEPTION.. Functions A function is a subprogram that computes a value. You write functions using the syntax FUNCTION name [ (parameter. ESLE UPDATE emp SET sal = sal + increase WHERE empno = emp_id. (name CHAR(20) ) IS -. .. The procedure body begins with the keyword IS and ends with the keyword END followed by an optional procedure name.illegal. where parameter stands for the following syntax var_name [IN | OUT | IN OUT] datatype [{:= | DEFAULT} value] The function body begins with the keyword IS and ends with the keyword RETURN clause. which specifies the datatype of the result value. PROCEDURE raise_salary (emp_id INTEGER. but not in SQL statements. [. the datatype specifier in a parameter declaration must be unconstrained. 30 . should be CHAR The procedure specification begins with the keyword PROCEDURE and ends with the procedure name or a parameter list.]) ] RETURN datatype IS [local declarations] BEGIN executable statements [EXCEPTION exception-handlers] END [name]. END IF. PROCEDURE .Unlike the datatype specifier in a variable declaration.. BEGIN SELECT sal INTO current_salary FROM emp WHERE empno = emp_id. Calls to user-defined functions can appear in procedural statements.. END raise_salary. [EXCEPTION WHEN NO_DATA_FOUND THEN INSERT INTO emp_audit VALUES (emp_id. increase REAL) IS current_salary REAL. except that functions have a RETURN clause. Functions and procedure are structured alike. WHEN salary_missing THEN INSERT INTO emp_audit VALUES (emp_id. 'No such number'). IF current_salary IS NULL THEN RAISE salary_missing.

However. which is evaluated when the RETURN statement is reached.FUNCTION sal_ok (salary REAL. The statement simply returns control to the caller before the normal end of the procedure is reached. a RETURN statement must contain an expression.forward declaration /* Define subprogram in alphabetical order */ PROCEDURE award_bonus (. none of which need be the last lexical statement. A subprogram can contain several RETURN statements.. you must declare a subprogram before calling it. hisal INTO min_sal. ... You can place the subprogram body anywhere after the forward declaration. max_sal FROM sals WHERE job = title.. BEGIN SELECT losal. PROCEDURE calc_rating (.) IS BEGIN calc_rating(. -. title REAL) RETURN BOOLEAN IS min_sal REAL.)..). max_sal REAL.. END sal_ok. Otherwise. DECLARE PROCEDURE calc_rating (. PL/SQL solves the problem of subprograms used before they are declared by providing a special subprogram declaration called forward declaration. it must also appear in the subprogram body. subprogram.. RETURN (salary >= min_sal) AND (salary <= max_sal). a RETURN statement cannot contain an expression. or package. Execution then resumes with the statement following the subprogram call. END. In procedures. A forward declaration consists of a subprogram specification terminated by a semicolon.. but they must appear in the same block.) IS BEGIN . RETURN Statement The RETURN statement immediatedly completes the execution of a subprogram and returns control to the caller.. in functions.. A function must contain at least one RETURN statement. END. Forward Declarations PL/SQL requires that you declare an identifier before using it. Therefore. . Although the formal parameter list appears in the forward declaration. 31 . PL/SQL raises the predefined exception PROGRAM_ERROR at run time...

An OUT actual parameter can (but need not) have a value before the subprogram is called. can be used with any subprogram. an IN OUT parameter acts like an initialized variable. the call to the procedure raise_salary can be made as follows: raise_salary(emp. the value is lost when you call the subprogram. If you exit successfully. inc). When calling a subprogram. an IN parameter can be initialized to default values. Actual versus Formal Parameters Subprograms pass information using parameters. raise_salary(increase => inc. it cannot be a constant or expression. Before exiting a subprogram. The three parameter modes. The subprogram specifications go in the package specification. 32 . PL/SQL assigns values to the actual parameters. it cannot be a constant or expression. However. it cannot be assigned a value. PL/SQL does not assign values to the actual parameters. and the third uses mixed notation. For example. explicitly assign values to all OUT formal parameters. the second uses named notation. •an OUT parameter lets you return values to the caller of a subprogram. Inside the subprogram. its value cannot be assigned to another variable or reassigned to itself. an OUT parameter acts like an uninitialized variable. Otherwise. and the subprogram bodies go in the package body. Therefore. and IN OUT. The actual parameter that corresponds to an IN OUT formal parameter must be a variable. •an IN parameter lets you pass values to the subprogram being called. an IN parameter acts like a constant. where they are invisible to applications. However. Inside the subprogram. IN (the default). Therefore. •an IN OUT parameter lets you pass initial values to the subprogram being called and return updated values to the caller.Packaged Subprograms Forward declarations also let you group logically related subprograms in a package. avoid using the OUT and IN OUT modes with functions. Unlike OUT and IN OUT parameters. The variables declared in a subprogram specification and referenced in the subprogram body are formal parameters. OUT. The actual parameter and its corresponding formal parameter must belong to compatible datatypes. increase => inc) The first procedure call uses positional notation. if you exit with an unhandled exception. packages allow you to hide implementation details. Thus. The actual parameter that corresponds to an OUT formal parameter must be a variable. However. emp_id => emp) raise_salary(emp. Parameter Modes You use parameter modes to define the behavior of formal parameters. the values of corresponding actual parameters are indeterminate. The variables or expressions referenced in the parameter list of a subprogram call are actual parameters. you can write the actual parameters using either positional or named notation. Inside the subprogram.

subprogram. END initialize. an OCI application. The specification is the 33 .n LOOP tab(i) := 0. you cannot overload two functions that differ only in return type even if the types are in different families. users can call the procedure. objects.. Because the processing in these two procedures is the same. or package. TYPE RealTabTyp IS TABLE OF REAL INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER. n INTEGER) IS BEGIN FOR i IN 1. . better performance. sal_tab RealTabTyp. or datatype family. and tighter security.. That is. and subprograms. another stored subprogram. Stored subprograms offer higher productivity. You can place the two overloaded initialize procedures in the same block. it is logical to give them the same name. PROCEDURE initialize (tab OUT DateTabTyp. You cannot overload two subprograms if their formal parameters differ only in name or parameter mode.Overloading PL/SQL lets you overload subprogram names. Stored subprograms can help enforce data security. END initialize. Stored Subprograms Subprograms can be compiled separately and stored permanently in an ORACLE database. PL/SQL determines which of the two procedures is being called by checking their formal parameters. but not grant them access to the table itself. Finally. You might write the following procedures to initialize the PL/SQL tables named initialize for hiredate_tab and sal_tab. application integrity. memory savings.0. although sometimes the body is unnecessary. an ORACLE Precompiler application. You cannot overload the names of stand-alone subprograms. you can use the same name for several different subprograms as long as their formal parameters differ in number. You can call stored subprograms from a database trigger.. n INTEGER) IS BEGIN FOR i IN 1.n LOOP tab(i) := SYSDATE. PROCEDURE initialize (tab OUT RealTabTyp. END LOOP. hiredate_tab DateTabTyp. You cannot overload two subprograms if their formal parameters differ only in datatype and the different datatypes are in the same family (REAL and INTEGER). END LOOP. order. You can restrict users to specific database operations by granting access only through subprograms. That way. Packages usually have two parts. or an ORACLE tool such as SQL*Plus.. but cannot arbitrarily manipulate table data. DECLARE TYPE DateTabTyp IS TABLE OF DATE INDEX BY BINARY_INTEGER. a specification and a body. For example you can grant users EXECUTE access to a stored procedure that updates the emp table. PACKAGES A package is a database object that groups logically related PL/SQL types. ready to be executed.

BEGIN INSERT INTO emp VALUES (empno_seq. easier application design. deptno NUMBER ).body CURSOR desc_salary (emp_id NUMBER) RETURN EmpRecTyp IS SELECT empno. job. a cursor. the format of a package is similar to that of a subprogram: PACKAGE name IS -. and two employment procedures are packaged: CREATE PACKAGE emp_actions AS -. and better performance. PACKAGE BODY name IS -. salary REAL). added functionality. job CHAR. SYSDATE. PROCEDURE fire_employee (emp_id NUMBER). information hiding. and so implements the specification. Unlike subprograms.specification (visible part) -. 34 . mgr NUMBER. END emp_actions. a record type. cursors. PROCEDURE fire_employee (emp_id NUMBER) IS BEGIN DELETE FROM emp WHERE empno = emp_id. sal NUMBER. constants. passed parameters. or nested. CURSOR desc_salary (emp_id NUMBER) RETURN EmpRecTyp. mgr. packages cannot be called. comm.subprogram specifications END [name}. PROCEDURE hire_employee (ename CHAR. END hire_employee. Packages offer several advantages: modularity. ename. comm NUMBER. END emp_actions.body (hidden part) -.NEXTVAL. variables. comm NUMBER.private type and object declarations -. In the following example. exceptions. PROCEDURE hire_employee (ename CHAR. job CHAR. it declares the types. and subprograms available for use. sal NUMBER.interface to your application. deptno NUMBER ). END fire_employee. Packages are created interactively with SQL*Plus using the CREATE PACKAGE and CREATE PACKAGE BODY commands. Still.public type and object declarations -. sal. CREATE PACKAGE BODY emp_actions AS -. deptno ). sal FROM emp ORDER BY sal DESC. mgr NUMBER.subprogram bodies [BEGIN -.initialization statements] END [name]. The body fully defines cursors and subprograms.specification TYPE EmpRecTyp is RECORD (emp_id INTEGER.

subprogram_name The Package Body The package body implements the package specification. the initialization part of a package is run only once. Avoid writing packages that duplicate some feature already provided by ORACLE. So. and exceptions. define them before the package bodies. you use dot notation as follows: package_name. a package cannot be called or passed parameters. objects. constants. which typically holds statements that initialize some of the variables previously declared in the package. Package specifications reflect the design of your application. 35 . the declared types and objects are inaccessible except from within the package body. Guidelines When writing packages. The initialization part of a package plays a minor role because. the package body contains the definition of every cursor and subprogram declared in the package specification. Unlike a package specification. Place in a specification only the types. keep them as general as possible so they can be reused in future applications.type_name package_name. Following the declarative part of a package body is the optional initialization part. The scope of these declarations is local to your database schema and global to the package. Therefore. So.The Package Specification The package specification contains public declarations. changes to a package specification require ORACLE to recompile every stored subprogram that references the package. To reference the types. the first time you reference the package.object_name package_name. The package body can also contain private declarations. To reduce the need for recompiling when code is changed. All information your application needs to use the resources is in the specification. and subprograms declared within a package specification. the declarative part of a package body can contain subprogram bodies. However. variables. which define types and objects necessary for the internal workings of the package. The specification lists the package resources available to applications. if a specification declares only types. Keep in mind that subprograms defined in a package body are accessible outside the package only if their specification also appear in the package specification. As a result. Only subprograms and cursors have an underlying implementation or definition. Changes to a package body do not require ORACLE to recompile dependent procedures. The scope of these declarations is local to the package body. place as few items as possible in a package specification. the package body is unnecessary. unlike subprograms. objects. That is. and subprograms that must be visible to users of the package.

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