Programming PL-SQL Glossary

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Datatype
Defines the type of information that can be stored, such as dates, numbers, or characters.
Exception
An error condition that changes the normal flow of control within a program.
Field
An area of a database record, or graphical user interface form, into which a particular item of data is entered.
Global
Globals do not respect the boundaries of program interfaces. You can read and write globals without using the parameter list of a module.
Identifier
An identifier is a name for a PL/SQL object such as constant, variable, exception, package, procedure, function.
Legacy system
An existing information system using old technology.
Literal
A constant made available to a process, by inclusion within the executable text.
Loop
A sequence of instructions that the processor repeats, either until some condition is met, or indefinitely.
Operator
A symbol used as a function, with infix syntax if it has two arguments (e.g. "+") or prefix syntax if it has only one (e.g. Boolean NOT).
Oracle's Program Global Area (PGA)
The PGA is a memory buffer that contains data, process information, session information, and cursors for a server process.
Package
A database program consisting of one or more procedures. A package executes when called using SQL or a programming language interface.
PL/SQL
Oracle's Procedural Language extensions to SQL. A proprietary programming language for Oracle databases.
Pragma
A pragma is a special instruction to the compiler. Also called a pseudoinstruction, the pragma does not change the meaning of a program. It simply passes information to the compiler.
Procedure
A database program that contains PL/SQL commands. A procedure can be contained within a package or can be stand alone. A procedure executes when called using SQL or a programming language interface.
Record
An ordered set of fields.
Reserved word
A word which has a pre-defined meaning and thus has restricted use.
Runtime
The time when a program is actually executed.
SQL
Structured Query Language.
Subblock
A block within a block.
Truth table
A table listing all possible combinations of inputs and the corresponding output of a Boolean function such as AND, OR, NOT, IMPLIES, XOR, NAND, NOR. Truth tables can be used as a means of representing a function.
Unary
A description of an operator which takes one argument, e.g. the unary minus operator which negates its argument.
View
A presentation of the data in one or more tables. A view is the result of a SQL query.
Virtual table
A table that does not physically exist but emulates the functionality of a traditional database table.
Work area
An area of work internally assigned by the system for temporary operations and calculations, such as cursor processing, sorting, and more.