Skip to main content

How Has SQL or PL/SQL Changed Your Life?

It's not hard to identify some of the key enabling technologies of the Information and Internet Eras: Windows, Linux, HTTP, HTML and Java all come to mind.

But likely what doesn't come to mind immediately, these days, is:

SQL and PL/SQL

Seriously, how important can these be or have been when there's an entire software movement that puts the word "No" in front of SQL?

Extremely important, it turns out.

The SQL language, with its set-oriented and declarative power, revolutionized the way programmers, DB administrators and at least some end users worked with, and work with, data.

PL/SQL enabled the creation of powerful, effective mission-critical applications that run pretty much everything that modern human society relies on, day to day.

Sadly, we work in an industry that is perhaps more fashion conscious than the fashion industry. itself. We are always driven to get excited about the latest, greatest (or at least newest) thing. And when a technology's been around for 35 years how good could it really be, anymore?

Pretty darn good, when you're talking about SQL.

I get it that SQL and the relational model at least temporarily has been unable to handle the demands of Big Data and unstructured data. I get it that the world has changed a lot and there are some new requirements out there.

I get all that. What I don't get is that these new requirements cover a tiny percentage of use cases. The vast majority of applications, of user requirements related to data, are still handled best with the relational model.

Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater!

Well, folks, it's time to fill up the bath with sparkling spring water and put Baby SQL and Baby PL/SQL back in. [That's probably stretching the metaphor too far, but since I love babies so much, I will go with it. Don't believe me? Check out the Flickr page for my granddaughter.]

It's time, in other words, to "fight back", to recognize the incredible value and importance of the technologies with which we work, and of the work we do.

It's time, in short, to celebrate SQL and PL/SQL!

At Oracle Open World 2014, Oracle Technology Network will host the first-ever YesSQL! A celebration of SQL and PL/SQL.

No feature Powerpoints. No demos. Here's the description:

Co-hosted by Tom Kyte and Steven Feuerstein, YesSQL! celebrates SQL, PL/SQL, and the people who both make the technology and use it. At YesSQL!, special guests Andy Mendelsohn, Maria Colgan, Andrew Holdsworth, Graham Wood and others share our stories with you, and invite you to share yours with us, because?.

YesSQL! is an open mic night. Tell us how SQL and PL/SQL - and the Oracle experts who circle the globe sharing their expertise - have affected your life! 

Bottom line: If developing applications against Oracle Database is a big a part of your life, join us for a fun and uplifting evening.

I hope you can join us at the event (you'll be able to sign up for YesSQL! just like for a regular OOW session). 

But if you can't (or even if you can), you can share your story with us, right here (and on the PL/SQL Challenge, in our latest Roundtable discussion).

How has SQL and/or PL/SQL and/or Oracle Database changed your life, personally, professionally or otherwise? We will select some of your stories to read at the YesSQL! event and if you are attending, you can tell the story yourself.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Get rid of mutating table trigger errors with the compound trigger

When something mutates, it is changing. Something that is changing is hard to analyze and to quantify. A mutating table error (ORA-04091) occurs when a row-level trigger tries to examine or change a table that is already undergoing change (via an INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statement). In particular, this error occurs when a row-level trigger attempts to read or write the table from which the trigger was fired. Fortunately, the same restriction does not apply in statement-level triggers.

In this post, I demonstrate the kind of scenario that will result in an ORA-04091 errors. I then show the "traditional" solution, using a collection defined in a package. Then I demonstrate how to use the compound trigger, added in Oracle Database 11g Release1,  to solve the problem much more simply.

All the code shown in this example may be found in this LiveSQL script.

How to Get a Mutating Table Error

I need to implement this rule on my employees table:
Your new salary cannot be more than 25x th…

Table Functions, Part 1: Introduction and Exploration

August 2018 update: please do feel encourage to read this and my other posts on table functions, but you will learn much more about table functions by taking my Get Started with PL/SQL Table Functions class at the Oracle Dev Gym. Videos, tutorials and quizzes - then print a certificate when you are done!


Table functions - functions that can be called in the FROM clause of a query from inside the TABLE operator - are fascinating and incredibly helpful constructs.

So I've decided to write a series of blog posts on them: how to build them, how to use them, issues you might run into.

Of course, I am not the first to do so. I encourage to check out the documentation, as well as excellent posts from Adrian Billington (search for "table functions") and Tim Hall. Adrian and Tim mostly focus on pipelined table functions, a specialized variant of table functions designed to improve performance and reduce PGA consumption. I will take a look at pipelined table functions in the latte…

Quick Guide to User-Defined Types in Oracle PL/SQL

A Twitter follower recently asked for more information on user-defined types in the PL/SQL language, and I figured the best way to answer is to offer up this blog post.

PL/SQL is a strongly-typed language. Before you can work with a variable or constant, it must be declared with a type (yes, PL/SQL also supports lots of implicit conversions from one type to another, but still, everything must be declared with a type).

PL/SQL offers a wide array of pre-defined data types, both in the language natively (such as VARCHAR2, PLS_INTEGER, BOOLEAN, etc.) and in a variety of supplied packages (e.g., the NUMBER_TABLE collection type in the DBMS_SQL package).

Data types in PL/SQL can be scalars, such as strings and numbers, or composite (consisting of one or more scalars), such as record types, collection types and object types.

You can't really declare your own "user-defined" scalars, though you can define subtypes from those scalars, which can be very helpful from the perspective…