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Oracle Built-in Packages

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Part II: Application Development Packages

This part of the book describes the built-in application development packages:

  • Chapter 2, Executing Dynamic SQL and PL/SQL , shows you how to use the DBMS_SQL package to construct and execute SQL statements and PL/SQL blocks at runtime.

  • Chapter 3, Intersession Communication , shows you how to use DBMS_PIPE and DBMS_ALERT to communicate information between different Oracle sessions. You can also use DBMS_PIPE to communicate with processes external to Oracle.

  • Chapter 4, User Lock and Transaction Management , introduces DBMS_LOCK, a handy but rarely used package that interfaces to the Oracle lock manager, and DBMS_TRANSACTION, which offers several programs that affect transaction behavior in your PL/SQL program.

  • Chapter 5, Oracle Advanced Queuing , contains an extensive treatment of Oracle Advanced Queuing, a powerful queuing mechanism available with Oracle8, and the DBMS_AQ and DBMS_AQADM packages.

  • Chapter 6, Generating Output from PL/SQL Programs , shows you how to send information from your program either to the screen, using DBMS_OUTPUT, or to a server-side file, using UTL_FILE.

  • Chapter 7, Defining an Application Profile , familiarizes you with a handy package, DBMS_APPLICATION_INFO. You'll use it to "register" the current execution status of your application with the Oracle database.

  • Chapter 8, Managing Large Objects , shows you how Oracle8 provides robust support for large objects (sometimes known as BLOBs or LOBs), and how the DBMS_LOB built-in package allows you to access and manipulate these LOBs from within a PL/SQL program.

  • Chapter 9, Datatype Packages , collects together several packages that manipulate different types of data. DBMS_ROWID makes it easy to work with the two different ROWID formats available in Oracle8. UTL_RAW allows you to work with raw data. UTL_REF, new in Oracle8 Release 8.1, provides a PL/SQL interface to select and modify objects (instances of an object type) in an object table without having to specify or know about the underlying database table.

  • Chapter 10, Miscellaneous Packages , contains coverage of a number of packages: DBMS_UTILITY (the actual "miscellaneous" package), DBMS_DESCRIBE (gets information about the parameters of a stored program), DBMS_DDL (contains programs to recompile stored code, analyze objects in your schema, and modify the referenceability of object identifiers in Oracle8), and DBMS_RANDOM (a random number generator).

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