Best Practice PL/SQL
your questions about PL/SQL programming and best practices from
a practical implementation point of view.
Steven Feuerstein is an expert on the Oracle
PL/SQL language. He is the author or coauthor of nine books
on PL/SQL (all from O'Reilly & Associates), including Oracle
PL/SQL Programming and Oracle PL/SQL Best Practices,
is a senior technology adviser for Quest Software, and has been
developing software since 1980. His current interests include the development of Qnxo, an active mentoring software product. You can find out more about Steven by visiting www.stevenfeuerstein.com.
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to Best Practice PL/SQL!
Procedural Language extensions to the Structured Query Language."
Now, there's a mouthful, and to be honest, a somewhat dull-sounding
mouthful, at that. But for millions of software professionals
around the world, the Oracle PL/SQL language is a source of
income, satisfaction, and enjoyment. This new page on the Oracle
Technology Network web site, "Best Practice PL/SQL," is intended
to help you maximize all three, and to celebrate all that is
Best Practice PL/SQL will focus heavily on increasing
the overall quality of PL/SQL application development efforts
worldwide. That is not to say, however, that we will only address
issues of code quality here. Performance, new features, architecture—anything
and everything having to do with PL/SQL is relevant to Best
I have come to believe that admitting ignorance
is a critical aspect of writing good code. We can't, any of
us, know all there is to know about, well, anything. And if
we hide what we don't know, that ignorance can introduce bugs
into our applications. So I hereby declare: there is a lot about
PL/SQL I don't know, and for that reason I will be relying on
my hotline to Bryn Llewellyn, Oracle PL/SQL Product Manager,
to fill the gaps in my understanding so that I can be 100% accurate
and responsive. (Any comments, perspectives, and especially
mistakes in this column are, however, entirely my own!)
At the center of Best Practice PL/SQL is the
Q & A section;
on a regular basis, I will answer questions posted to me about
some aspect of the PL/SQL language and your use of it. You are
welcome to send me your questions, to respond to my posted answers,
to offer your own suggestions on how best to use PL/SQL. But
that's not all you will find of interest on Best Practice PL/SQL.
- We will offer downloads
of useful PL/SQL utilities.
- We will post PL/SQL
Knowledge Tests—challenges that will get you thinking about
PL/SQL and problem solving with PL/SQL in new ways.
(Note on performance claims: When
I publish efficiency advice intended for a general audience,
it is perhaps permissible to say "often faster" or "sometimes
it will be more efficient to take this approach." When you are
making decisions about how to write the code for your application
on your databases, however, you cannot afford this ambiguity.
A particular technique either does or does not help you. So
whenever you read advice and recommendations like those below,
you should always build yourself a test case and run it on your
database, for your schema, on your computer.