Yesterday Bryn Llewellyn, Distinguished Product Manager, did a session called “PL/SQL Enhancements brought by the latest generation of database technology”.
The room was packed.
For the upcoming release of the Oracle 12c database the enhancements were broken into three areas:
- Improved PL/SQL and SQL interoperability
In the current version of the Oracle database you needed a Nested Table or Varray Type defined at schema level in order to be able to use it in the TABLE operator.
This is no longer necessary, it can be a PL/SQL declared type.
The types that can be used as bind variables has been extended: Boolean, Nested Tables can be used as bindvariable in Dynamic SQL.
Subquery Factoring (the With clause if you will) can hold private functions, the use case presented for this: pretty print an integer in K, M, G, T.
Using userdefined PL/SQL functions in a SQL statement is not advisable, but if you really need to there is a new pragma: PRAGMA UDF. With this pragma the statement is almost as fast as pure SQL.
A new step has been taken to continue on “least privileges”, meaning that the user only gets the privileges that are absolutely necessary. A Role can be granted to a PL/SQL unit.
- Improved programmer usability
The ability to inspecting the callstack has been improved by the introduction of a new package: UTL_CALL_STACK. The package contains numerous functions to help in this area, such as current_edition and lexical_depth.
White listing of program units: restrict which program unit can be called by other program units.
So, is PL/SQL still alive? YES! ALIVE AND KICKING!