Unlock the Power of PL/SQL: See Real Examples of Stellar Stored Procedures

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding PL/SQL
  3. Benefits of Stored Procedures
  4. Example 1: Creating a stored procedure that calculates employee bonus
  5. Example 2: Using stored procedures for data validation
  6. Example 3: Implementing a stored procedure to send email notifications
  7. Best Practices for Writing Stored Procedures
  8. Conclusion


If you're a developer who wants to make the most of Stored Procedures in PL/SQL, this article is for you. PL/SQL is a programming language used to write stored procedures, functions, triggers, and packages. These components are used extensively in Oracle databases to provide efficient ways to access, process, and manipulate data. With PL/SQL, one can write complex business logic that interacts with large datasets efficiently.

In this article, we'll look at how to unlock the power of PL/SQL by highlighting real-life examples of stellar Stored Procedures. We will explain the concepts of PL/SQL and dive into how to write efficient, functional, and easy-to-maintain code with real-world examples.

Additionally, we will explore how to use cursor variables, collections, and error handling in your Stored Procedures, and discuss how to optimize your code for better performance. By the end of this article, you'll have a solid understanding of how to create dynamic and optimized Stored Procedures in PL/SQL. So, let’s get started!

Understanding PL/SQL

PL/SQL is a procedural language designed specifically for the Oracle Database management system. It is a powerful tool for developing efficient and scalable database applications. In order to develop effective applications using PL/SQL, it is important to understand the key concepts of the language.

PL/SQL code is executed by the Oracle Database server. This means that PL/SQL programs can interact directly with the database, enabling developers to perform complex operations on data quickly and easily. PL/SQL code is typically organized into stored procedures, which can be easily reused in multiple applications.

The if statement is a key feature of PL/SQL that enables developers to control the flow of their programs. The if statement allows developers to specify a condition that must be met in order for a particular block of code to be executed. For example, a developer might use the if statement with a condition based on the value of a variable called "name" to determine whether a particular block of code should be executed.

Overall, is essential for developing efficient and scalable database applications. By mastering the key concepts of the language, developers can create stored procedures that leverage the full power of the Oracle Database system, enabling them to build robust and flexible applications that can handle a wide range of business scenarios.

Benefits of Stored Procedures

Stored procedures are an essential component of database management and programming, providing a range of benefits for developers and users alike. In essence, a stored procedure is a set of pre-written code and instructions that can be stored within a database and executed as needed. Some primary include:

  • Improved performance: Because they are precompiled and often optimized, stored procedures can execute faster than dynamic SQL queries, particularly when handling large volumes of data or complex tasks.

  • Increased security: By allowing users to access data only through stored procedures, developers can ensure that sensitive information is protected and unauthorized modifications are prevented.

  • Enhance functionality: Stored procedures can be used to add new functionality to a database, such as data validation, custom business logic, or data transformations. Additionally, stored procedures can simplify programming tasks by encapsulating complex operations and making them easier to manage and maintain.

  • Maintenance and debugging: With stored procedures, developers can centralize database logic and make updates and changes in one place, avoiding the need to modify code for every query or report. This makes maintenance and debugging faster and more efficient, reducing overall development time and costs.

In summary, stored procedures provide a powerful tool for developers to improve database performance, add functionality, and enhance security. By leveraging the power of PL/SQL, developers can unlock the true potential of their databases and see real results in their stored procedures.

Example 1: Creating a stored procedure that calculates employee bonus

To create a stored procedure that calculates employee bonus using PL/SQL, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by creating a new PL/SQL block. This can be done by typing "CREATE OR REPLACE PROCEDURE" followed by the name of your stored procedure.
  2. Next, declare any necessary variables. In this case, we will need to declare variables for employee ID, employee salary, and bonus value.
  3. Use the "SELECT" statement to retrieve the employee's salary based on their ID. This can be done using a simple SQL query that looks for the corresponding record in the employee table.
  4. Calculate the bonus value using conditional logic. For example, if the employee's salary is above a certain threshold, they may receive a higher bonus than those with lower salaries. This can be accomplished using an "IF" statement and some basic arithmetic.
  5. Once the bonus value has been calculated, update the employee's record in the database to reflect the new bonus value.
  6. End the PL/SQL block using the "END" keyword.

Here is an example of what the PL/SQL code for this stored procedure might look like:

CREATE OR REPLACE PROCEDURE calculate_bonus (employee_id NUMBER) AS
employee_salary NUMBER;
bonus_value NUMBER;
SELECT salary INTO employee_salary FROM employees WHERE id = employee_id;

IF employee_salary > 50000 THEN
bonus_value := employee_salary * 0.1;
bonus_value := employee_salary * 0.05;

UPDATE employees SET bonus = bonus_value WHERE id = employee_id;

With this stored procedure in place, you can easily calculate bonuses for any employee in your database by passing their ID as a parameter to the procedure. This can save you time and reduce the risk of errors compared to calculating bonuses manually or through other methods.

Example 2: Using stored procedures for data validation

Stored procedures are essential for dealing with data validation, particularly when it comes to large databases. The stored procedures can use different types of codes when checking user input or validating new records. In this example, we will take a look at how to use stored procedures for data validation in PL/SQL.

Let's say we have a table called "Employees," where we want to insert new records. For data validation purposes, we want to ensure that the employee's name is not empty, and it contains only alphabetical characters. We can create a stored procedure that checks the "name" column's input value to accomplish this.

p_name IN VARCHAR2
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR( -20001, 'Name cannot be empty' );

IF NOT REGEXP_LIKE(p_name, '^[a-zA-Z]+$') THEN
RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR( -20002, 'Name must be alphabetical' );

INSERT INTO employees (name) VALUES (p_name);


In this procedure, the "IF" statement first checks if the input value is null, and if it is, the procedure will raise an error showing "Name cannot be empty." The second "IF" statement checks the input value by matching it with the regular expression '^[a-zA-Z]+$,' which states that the value must have alphabetical characters only. If it matches the regular expression, it will insert the value in the table.

In conclusion, using stored procedures for data validation is crucial when dealing with large datasets, as it ensures that quality data is added to the database. By implementing the stored procedure, you can validate user inputs and prevent unwanted data from entering the database.

Example 3: Implementing a stored procedure to send email notifications

To implement a stored procedure to send email notifications, we need to first make use of the Oracle Database Mail package. This package allows us to easily send emails from within the database using PL/SQL.

We can begin by creating a new stored procedure that takes in the necessary parameters for sending an email. These parameters might include the sender's email address, the recipient's email address, the subject line, and the body of the email.

Next, we can use the UTL_SMTP package to actually send the email. This package provides functions for connecting to an SMTP server, creating a new email message, and sending the message. We'll need to pass in the necessary parameters to these functions in order to send the email.

Here's an example of what a stored procedure to send an email notification might look like:

  p_from           IN VARCHAR2,
  p_to             IN VARCHAR2,
  p_subject        IN VARCHAR2,
  p_body           IN VARCHAR2
  l_mailhost       VARCHAR2(255) := 'mail.example.com';
  l_mail_conn      UTL_SMTP.CONNECTION;
  l_mail_conn := UTL_SMTP.OPEN_CONNECTION(l_mailhost, 25);
  UTL_SMTP.HELO(l_mail_conn, l_mailhost);
  UTL_SMTP.MAIL(l_mail_conn, p_from);
  UTL_SMTP.RCPT(l_mail_conn, p_to);
    'Subject:' || p_subject || UTL_TCP.CRLF ||
    p_body || UTL_TCP.CRLF

In this example, we're using a hard-coded mail server address (mail.example.com) and port (25). In practice, you'll likely want to make these configurable parameters so that you can easily change them if your mail server setup changes.

We're also using simple string concatenation to create the email message body. Depending on the needs of your application, you might want to use a more robust templating language to generate the message body dynamically.

Overall, this stored procedure should give you a good starting point for sending email notifications from within your Oracle database using PL/SQL.

Best Practices for Writing Stored Procedures

When it comes to writing stored procedures in PL/SQL, there are certain best practices that can help ensure that your code is robust, efficient, and easy to maintain. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind:

  1. Plan Your Procedure Before You Write It. Before you start writing code, take some time to think about the structure and logic of your stored procedure. What inputs will it take? What data will it need to access from the database? What outputs will it produce? By planning your procedure in advance, you can ensure that it meets your requirements and avoid costly rewrites later on.

  2. Use Cursors Sparingly. Cursors can be useful for iterating over large sets of data, but they can also be a source of performance issues if used improperly. Whenever possible, try to use set-based operations instead of cursors to minimize the amount of data that needs to be processed.

  3. Keep Your Procedures Modular. Rather than writing monolithic procedures that handle all aspects of a particular task, it's usually better to break things down into smaller, more focused subroutines. This makes it easier to reuse code and update individual components without affecting the rest of the system.

  4. Document Your Code. It can be tempting to skip documentation when you're in a rush to write code, but this can be a costly mistake in the long run. By taking the time to clearly explain what your code does and how it works, you'll make it much easier for future developers (including yourself!) to understand and maintain your code.

  5. Test Your Procedures Thoroughly. Just like with any other code, it's essential to ensure that your stored procedures work as intended. Make sure to test your procedures in a variety of scenarios to catch potential edge cases and ensure that your code is robust and reliable.

By following these best practices, you'll be well on your way to creating efficient, effective, and maintainable stored procedures in PL/SQL.


In , PL/SQL is a powerful tool that can help developers create efficient and effective stored procedures for their applications. By unlocking the power of PL/SQL, developers can leverage its capabilities to build robust, high-performance applications that can handle a wide range of complex tasks.

The real examples provided in this article highlight the versatility and flexibility of PL/SQL, demonstrating how it can be used to perform a variety of different functions with ease. From database manipulation to complex calculation and analysis, PL/SQL can handle it all.

In order to take advantage of all that PL/SQL has to offer, developers must take the time to familiarize themselves with the language and its syntax. By investing time in learning PL/SQL, developers will be better equipped to create efficient and effective stored procedures that can help take their applications to the next level.

In short, PL/SQL is a powerful tool that can help developers build better applications. By unlocking its full potential, developers can take advantage of its capabilities to build high-performance, robust applications that can handle a wide range of tasks with ease.

As a seasoned software engineer, I bring over 7 years of experience in designing, developing, and supporting Payment Technology, Enterprise Cloud applications, and Web technologies. My versatile skill set allows me to adapt quickly to new technologies and environments, ensuring that I meet client requirements with efficiency and precision. I am passionate about leveraging technology to create a positive impact on the world around us. I believe in exploring and implementing innovative solutions that can enhance user experiences and simplify complex systems. In my previous roles, I have gained expertise in various areas of software development, including application design, coding, testing, and deployment. I am skilled in various programming languages such as Java, Python, and JavaScript and have experience working with various databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Oracle.
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