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Oracle PL/SQL (Procedural Language/Structured Query Language) resources, news, and support articles.

The Pain of a Missing WHERE Clause Predicate

I sent the following email out to 1243 players today:

Dear PL/SQL Challenge player, 
One of things I like most about the PL/SQL Challenge is that it keeps me humble. I am reminded on an almost daily basis by one or more players that there is lots for me learn about PL/SQL and the wider Oracle technology stack. 

The Complex World of Indexing (10193)

The SQL quiz for the week ending 2 December tested your knowledge of the circumstances under which Oracle would use an index to optimize a SQL statement.

Two players registered concerns about scoring the first choice as correct. This choice was:

Looking for a few good...SQL quizzes


As many of you know, we now offer a weekly SQL quiz, in addition to the daily PL/SQL quizzes.

I have a nice solid backlog of PL/SQL quiz submissions from players - and I must use these very gradually due to their impact on rankings (the author gets maximum score possible for their quiz).

We are in need, though, of SQL quizzes. I can and will write them, but my SQL expertise is not very expert. I'd love to feature the experience and creativity of players from all over the world.

Late Report:: Results of Q3 2011 Championship Playoff

[My apologies to players of the championship - I just discovered that I had neglected to publish this post way back in October.]

You will find below the results of the Q3 2011 championship playoff, played on 25 October. The number next to the player's name is the number of times that player has been in a playoff.

You can take a look at the quizzes that were in the competition through the Library page. These results will also be available through the Rankings page.

Gingrich the Man - When the bar is set very low

Here's what Newt Gingrich says about himself:

"I don't claim to be the perfect candidate. I just claim to be a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney and a lot more electable than anyone else."

Wow, now that's truly inspiring, Newt. Not.

Nuances of Deterministic Functions in PL/SQL (9588)

The 23 November quiz tested your knowledge of the little-known fact that as of Oracle Database 11g, the compiler will optimize the execution of deterministic functions in PL/SQL blocks. Previously, defining a function with the DETERMINISTIC clause led to optimizations when the function was called inside an SQL statement, but not in PL/SQL code itself.

APEX: Make a report row clickable in Report

When you create a "Report with Form", there will be an icon in the report which allows you to navigate to  the form page. Only when the user clicks the icon this navigation will take place. For the current project, this was not what they wanted. They wanted to click on the row instead of just the icon. This can be simply implemented using jQuery.
For this example we are going to use a "Report with Form" and modify it as described below.

Gnome Menu Editing Fix

Fedora 16 is clearly better than Fedora 15 but I found Menu Editing (Alacarte package) was broken in it because of a missing library dependency, and I’ve updated Fedora Bug 734442 with the fix. Here’s what’s wrong and how to fix it.

After installing the Menu Editing (Alacarte) package, you’ll encounter this error when trying to launch the menu editor:

Gingrich the Historian: Bring Back Child Labor!

"It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid," said the former House speaker Friday at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. "Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school.

Explanation for Slow Performance of VARCHAR2 Overloading?

Valentin Nikotin, a PL/SQL Challenge player, recently brought to my attention some unexpectedly slow performance when executing from within a query an overloaded function that accepts a VARCHAR2 argument, compared to a NUMBER argument. I have been able to reproduce this (see below). I thought I'd see if any readers of this blog had an idea as to what might be the cause.

We both ran this code on an 11.2 instance.

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