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Conventions Used in This Book

The following conventions are used in this book:


Used for file and directory names and URLs, and for the first mention of new terms under discussion.

Constant width

Used for code examples.

Constant width bold

In some code examples, highlights the statements being discussed.

Constant width italic

In some code examples, indicates an element (e.g., a filename) that you supply.


In code examples, indicates PL /SQL keywords.


In code examples, indicates user-defined items like variables and parameters.


In code examples, enter exactly as shown.


In code examples, helps to show structure (but is not required).


In code examples, a double hyphen begins a single-line comment, which extends to the end of a line.

/* and */

In code examples, these characters delimit a multiline comment, which can extend from one line to another.


In code examples and related discussions, a dot qualifies a reference by separating an object name from a component name. For example, dot notation is used to select fields in a record and to specify declarations within a package.


In code examples, an ellipsis indicates code that's been omitted because it's not relevant to the discussion.

[ ]

In syntax descriptions, square brackets enclose optional items.

{ }

In syntax descriptions, curly brackets enclose a set of items; you must choose only one of them.


In syntax descriptions, a vertical bar separates the items enclosed in curly brackets, for example, { IN | OUT | IN OUT } .

TIP: Indicates a tip, suggestion, or general note. For example, I'll tell you if you need to use a particular Oracle version or if an operation requires certain privileges.

WARNING: Indicates a warning or caution. For example, I'll tell you if Oracle does not behave as you'd expect or if a particular operation has a negative impact on performance.

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