Nearly a quarter-million PL/SQL programmers--novices and experienced developers alike--have found the first and second editions of Oracle PL/SQL Programming to be indispensable references to this powerful language. Packed with examples and recommendations, this book has helped everyone, from Oracle Forms developers to database administrators, make the most of PL/SQL. This new edition is a comprehensive update of the original book, covering all versions of PL/SQL through Oracle9i Release 2. It adds much-requested new chapters on how to create and run PL/SQL programs, call Java methods from within PL/SQL, and define and use database triggers. An extensive new chapter--designed especially for experienced PL/SQL developers--describes PL/SQL's runtime architecture and how to use knowledge of Oracle internals to get the best performance from PL/SQL.
The book contains information about the latest Oracle9i PL/SQL features, including:
Record-based DML: You can now use records in INSERT and DELETE statements.
Table functions: These are functions that return a result set (in the form of a PL/SQL collection). Such functions existed in Oracle8i but they are now much expanded.
New and improved datatypes: Oracle now offers dramatically improved support for timestamps, time zone management, and interval calculations. In addition, the XMLType datatype has now been implemented.
Inheritance for object types: You can now define a hierarchy of object types (which were first introduced in Oracle8).
Enhancements to PL/SQL collections. PL/SQL now supports multiple-level collections (nesting collections within
collections), as well as associative arrays (previously called index-by tables), which allow you to index by PLS_INTEGER and VARCHAR2.
Native compilation of PL/SQL code: PL/SQL source code can now optionally be compiled into native object code that is linked into Oracle.
The book is divided into six parts:
Part I, Programming in PL/SQL
Part II, PL/SQL Program Structure
Part III, PL/SQL Program Data
Part IV, SQL in PL/SQL
Part V, PL/SQL Application Construction
Part VI, Advanced PL/SQL Topics
Even if you've been a PL/SQL developer for years, you'll find an enormous amount of new and revised information in this third edition and on its companion web site. If you're new to PL/SQL, you'll find Oracle PL/SQL Programming an invaluable companion on the road to mastery.
Steven Feuerstein is considered one of the world's leading experts on the Oracle PL/SQL language. He is the author or coauthor of Oracle PL/SQL Programming, Oracle PL/SQL Best Practices, Oracle PL/SQL Programming: Guide to Oracle8i Features, Oracle PL/SQL Developer's Workbook, Oracle Built-in Packages, Advanced Oracle PL/SQL Programming with Packages, and several pocket reference books (all from O'Reilly & Associates). Steven is a Senior Technology Advisor with Quest Software, has been developing software since 1980, and worked for Oracle Corporation from 1987 to 1992.
Bill Pribyl, author, teacher, and software consultant,is the primary author of Learning Oracle PL/SQL and the coauthor of Oracle PL/SQL Programming and its companion pocket reference, all published by O'Reilly & Associates. An Oracle user since 1986, Bill has consulted on many aspects of using Oracle products. He recently spearheaded PLNet.org, a Web-based repository where developers can share open source PL/SQL.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. Ants are featured on the cover of Oracle PL/SQL Programming, Third Edition. At least 8,000 different species of ants can be found everywhere on Earth except the North and South Poles. Ants preserved in amber suggest that these insects existed 50 million years before humans.
Humans have long been fascinated by ants, because these tiny insects are accomplished builders, nurses, miners, and even farmers. Fables such as "The Ant and the Grasshopper" extol the virtues of hardworking, forward-looking ants. (Hail ants!) It is true that individual ants are able to perform amazing feats: an ant can carry up to 50 times its body weight, can travel the human equivalent of 40 miles a day, and can climb vertical heights the equivalent of Mount Everest. However, the greatest accomplishments of ants are those performed together for the good of their community.
Queen ants establish new communities, or nests, after their mating flight. On this flight the queen mates with several males. After mating, the males fall to Earth and die. The queen then finds an uninhabited nest, settles into it, and pulls her wings off. She will never fly again, and after removing her wings she is able to absorb the wing muscles as nutrients for her eggs. She will continue to lay eggs, thousands of them, for years.
During the three-stage development process, which takes about two months, the eggs, larvae, and pupae are cared for by the nurse ants, who feed, clean, and carefully move the young to warmer or cooler places in the nest, depending on the temperature. These nurse ants are, in turn, cared for by other worker ants, who feed the nurses with regurgitated food. The workers and the nurses will fight together to defend the young against enemies if the nest is invaded, either by another group of ants or by a larger animal. Emily Quill was the production editor and copyeditor for Oracle PL/SQL Programming, Third Edition. Mary Anne Mayo, Sheryl Avruch, Matt Hutchinson, and Jane Ellin provided quality control. Phil Dangler, Derek DiMatteo, and Kimo Carter provided production assistance. Ellen Troutman wrote the index.
Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.
David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is Lucas-Font's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing. This colophon was written by Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary.
Comments about O'Reilly Media Oracle PL/SQL Programming, 3rd Edition:
I was a bit wary buying yet another Steve Feuerstein Bible, with my bookshelf already groaning under the weight of all the other ones including the 2nd Edition of this book. But he's never disappointed me yet, and this book was no exception. With all the latest 9i features blended right in, rather than being in their own section, it has made development easier when looking for the definitive reference to a complete code module. I particularly like Chapter 15 on NDS statements and dynamic PL/SQL and the entire Advanced PL/SQL section covering Java, External Procedures and PL/SQL Object Orientation. It is much better balanced than the 2nd Edition, more concise, and just better all round. A fine piece of work. I just get that Oracle 9i PL/SQL job just done quicker. Anybody want to buy an old 2nd Edition? No good to me anymore.