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Calling Stored Functions from SQL Expressions

Hide the identity of the name and owner of a procedure or package.

Provide location transparency for remotely stored procedures (standalone or within a package).

When a privileged user needs to call a procedure, an associated synonym can be used. Because the procedures defined within a package are not individual objects (the package is the object), synonyms cannot be created for individual procedures within a package.

Calling Stored Functions from SQL Expressions

You can include user-written PL/SQL functions in SQL expressions. (You must be using PL/SQL release 2.1 or higher.) By using PL/SQL functions in SQL statements, you can do the following:

Increase user productivity by extending SQL. Expressiveness of the SQL statement increases where activities are too complex, too awkward, or unavailable with SQL.

Increase query efficiency. Functions used in the WHERE clause of a query can filter data using criteria that would otherwise need to be evaluated by the application.

Manipulate character strings to represent special datatypes (for example, latitude, longitude, or temperature).

Provide parallel query execution: If the query is parallelized, then SQL statements in your PL/SQL function may also be run in parallel (using the parallel query option).

Using PL/SQL Functions

PL/SQL functions must be created as top-level functions or declared within a package specification before they can be named within a SQL statement. Stored PL/SQL functions are used in the same manner as built-in Oracle functions (such as


PL/SQL functions can be placed wherever an Oracle function can be placed within a SQL statement, or, wherever expressions can occur in SQL. For example, they can be called from the following:

The select list of the SELECT statement.

The condition of the WHERE and HAVING clause.

7-50 Oracle Database Application Developer's Guide - Fundamentals

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