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What is PL/SQL

PL/SQL is a block structured language. The programs of PL/SQL are logical blocks that can contain any number of nested sub-blocks. Pl/SQL stands for “Procedural Language extension of SQL” that is used in Oracle. PL/SQL is integrated with Oracle database (since version 7). The functionalities of PL/SQL usually extended after each release of Oracle database. Although PL/SQL is closely integrated with SQL language, yet it adds some programming constraints that are not available in SQL.


PL/SQL includes procedural language elements like conditions and loops. It allows declaration of constants and variables, procedures and functions, types and variable of those types and triggers. It can support Array and handle exceptions (runtime errors). After the implementation of version 8 of Oracle database have included features associated with object orientation. You can create PL/SQL units like procedures, functions, packages, types and triggers, etc. which are stored in the database for reuse by applications.

With PL/SQL, you can use SQL statements to manipulate Oracle data and flow of control statements to process the data.

The PL/SQL is known for its combination of data manipulating power of SQL with data processing power of procedural languages. It inherits the robustness, security, and portability of the Oracle Database.

PL/SQL is not case sensitive so you are free to use lower case letters or upper case letters except within string and character literals. A line of PL/SQL text contains groups of characters known as lexical units. It can be classified as follows:

  • Delimeters
  • Identifiers
  • Literals
  • Comments