Main features of PL/SQL
A good way to get familiar with PL/SQL is to look at a sample program. The below program processes an order for tennis rackets. At first, it declares a variable of type NUMBER to store the quantity of tennis rackets on hand. After that, it retrieves the quantity on hand from a database table name inventory. If the quantity is larger than zero, the program updates the table and inserts a purchase record into other table named purchase_record. If not, the program inserts an out-of-stock record into the purchase_record table.
-- available online in file 'examp1' DECLARE
SELECT quantity INTO qty_on_hand FROM inventory
WHERE product = 'TENNIS RACKET' FOR UPDATE OF quantity;
IF qty_on_hand > 0 THEN -- check quantity
UPDATE inventory SET quantity = quantity - 1
WHERE product = 'TENNIS RACKET'; INSERT INTO purchase_record
VALUES ('Tennis racket purchased', SYSDATE);
INSERT INTO purchase_record
VALUES ('Out of tennis rackets', SYSDATE); END IF;
With the PL/SQL, you can use the SQL statements to manipulate Oracle data and flow-of-control statements to process the data. Furthermore, you can declare constants and variables, define procedures and functions, and trap runtime errors. Therefore, PL/SQL combines the data manipulating power of SQL with the data processing power of the procedural languages.