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Overview of PL/SQL

Higher Productivity

PL/SQL adds procedural capabilities, such as Oracle Forms and Oracle Reports. For example, you can use an entire PL/SQL block in an Oracle Forms trigger instead of multiple trigger steps, macros, or user exits.

PL/SQL is the same in all environments. As soon as you master PL/SQL with one Oracle tool, you can transfer your knowledge to others, and so multiply the productivity gains. For example, scripts written with one tool can be used by other tools.

Scalability

PL/SQL stored procedures increase scalability by centralizing application processing on the server. Automatic dependency tracking helps you develop scalable applications.

The shared memory facilities of the shared server (formerly known as Multi-Threaded Server or MTS) enable Oracle Database to support many thousands of concurrent users on a single node. For more scalability, you can use the Oracle Connection Manager to multiplex network connections.

Maintainability

Once validated, a PL/SQL stored procedure can be used with confidence in any number of applications. If its definition changes, only the procedure is affected, not the applications that call it. This simplifies maintenance and enhancement. Also, maintaining a procedure on the server is easier than maintaining copies on various client machines.

PL/SQL Support for Object-Oriented Programming

Object Types An object type is a user-defined composite datatype that encapsulates a data structure along with the functions and procedures needed to manipulate the data. The variables that form the data structure are called attributes. The functions and procedures that characterize the behavior of the object type are called methods, which you can implement in PL/SQL.

Object types are an ideal object-oriented modeling tool, which you can use to reduce the cost and time required to build complex applications. Besides allowing you to create software components that are modular, maintainable, and reusable, object types allow different teams of programmers to develop software components concurrently.

1-6 Oracle Database Application Developer's Guide - Fundamentals

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