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Calling Stored Functions from SQL Expressions

UPDATE my_table SET id=777 WHERE name='SCOTT';

Overloading Packaged PL/SQL Functions PL/SQL lets you overload packaged (but not standalone) functions: You can use the same name for different functions if their formal parameters differ in number, order, or datatype family.

However, a RESTRICT_REFERENCES pragma can apply to only one function declaration. Therefore, a pragma that references the name of overloaded functions always applies to the nearest preceding function declaration.

In this example, the pragma applies to the second declaration of valid:

CREATE PACKAGE Tests AS

FUNCTION Valid (x NUMBER) RETURN CHAR;

FUNCTION Valid (x DATE) RETURN CHAR;

PRAGMA RESTRICT_REFERENCES (valid, WNDS);

END;

Serially Reusable PL/SQL Packages

PL/SQL packages usually consume user global area (UGA) memory corresponding to the number of package variables and cursors in the package. This limits scalability, because the memory increases linearly with the number of users. The solution is to allow some packages to be marked as SERIALLY_REUSABLE (using pragma syntax).

For serially reusable packages, the package global memory is not kept in the UGA for each user; rather, it is kept in a small pool and reused for different users. This means that the global memory for such a package is only used within a unit of work. At the end of that unit of work, the memory can therefore be released to the pool to be reused by another user (after running the initialization code for all the global variables).

The unit of work for serially reusable packages is implicitly a call to the server; for example, an OCI call to the server, or a PL/SQL RPC call from a client to a server, or an RPC call from a server to another server.

Package States

The state of a nonreusable package (one not marked SERIALLY_REUSABLE) persists for the lifetime of a session. A package state includes global variables, cursors, and so on.

The state of a serially reusable package persists only for the lifetime of a call to the server. On a subsequent call to the server, if a reference is made to the serially

Using Procedures and Packages 7-63

Calling Stored Functions from SQL Expressions

reusable package, then Oracle Database creates a new instantiation of the serially reusable package and initializes all the global variables to NULL or to the default values provided. Any changes made to the serially reusable package state in the previous calls to the server are not visible.

Note: Creating a new instantiation of a serially reusable package on a call to the server does not necessarily imply that Oracle Database allocates memory or configures the instantiation object. Oracle Database looks for an available instantiation work area (which is allocated and configured) for this package in a least-recently used (LRU) pool in the SGA.

At the end of the call to the server, this work area is returned back to the LRU pool. The reason for keeping the pool in the SGA is that the work area can be reused across users who have requests for the same package.

Why Serially Reusable Packages?

Because the state of a non-reusable package persists for the lifetime of the session, this locks up UGA memory for the whole session. In applications, such as Oracle Office, a log-on session can typically exist for days together. Applications often need to use certain packages only for certain localized periods in the session and would ideally like to de-instantiate the package state in the middle of the session, after they are done using the package.

With SERIALLY_REUSABLE packages, application developers have a way of modelling their applications to manage their memory better for scalability. Package state that they care about only for the duration of a call to the server should be captured in SERIALLY_REUSABLE packages.

Syntax of Serially Reusable Packages

A package can be marked serially reusable by a pragma. The syntax of the pragma is:

PRAGMA SERIALLY_REUSABLE;

A package specification can be marked serially reusable, whether or not it has a corresponding package body. If the package has a body, then the body must have the serially reusable pragma, if its corresponding specification has the pragma; it cannot have the serially reusable pragma unless the specification also has the pragma.

7-64 Oracle Database Application Developer's Guide - Fundamentals

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