Pl Sql Database Concepts

Database Concepts

Connect to the Database

Your Pro*C/C++ program must connect to the database before querying or manipulating data. To log on, simply use the CONNECT statement

EXEC SQL CONNECT :username IDENTIFIED BY :password ;

Or, you can use the statement


where the host variable usr_pwd contains your username and password separated by a slash character (/).

Advanced Connection Options

Definitions of Transactions Terms

The jobs or tasks that Oracle manages are called sessions. A user session is invoked when you run an application program or a tool such as SQL*Forms, and connect to the database.

Oracle allows user sessions to work simultaneously and share computer resources. To do this, Oracle must control concurrency, the accessing of the same data by many users. Without adequate concurrency controls, there might be a loss of data integrity. That is, changes to data or structures might be made in the wrong order.

Oracle uses locks (sometimes called enqueues) to control concurrent access to data. A lock gives you temporary ownership of a database resource such as a table or row of data. Thus, data cannot be changed by other users until you finish with it.

You need never explicitly lock a resource, because default locking mechanisms protect Oracle data and structures. However, you can request data locks on tables or rows when it is to your advantage to override default locking. You can choose from several modes of locking such as row share and exclusive.

A deadlock can occur when two or more users try to access the same database object. For example, two users updating the same table might wait if each tries to update a row currently locked by the other. Because each user is waiting for resources held by another user, neither can continue until Oracle breaks the deadlock. Oracle signals an error to the participating transaction that had completed the least amount of work, and the "deadlock detected while waiting for resource" Oracle error code is returned to sqlcode in the SQLCA.

When a table is being queried by one user and updated by another at the same time, Oracle generates a read-consistent view of the table's data for the query. That is, once a query begins and as it proceeds, the data read by the query does not change. As update activity continues, Oracle takes snapshots of the table's data and records changes in a rollback segment. Oracle uses information in the rollback segment to build read-consistent query results and to undo changes if necessary.

How Transactions Guard Your Database

Oracle is transaction oriented. That is, Oracle uses transactions to ensure data integrity. A transaction is a series of one or more logically related SQL statements you define to accomplish some task. Oracle treats the series of SQL statements as a unit so that all the changes brought about by the statements are either committed (made permanent) or rolled back (undone) at the same time. If your application program fails in the middle of a transaction, the database is automatically restored to its former (pre-transaction) state.

How to Begin and End Transactions

You begin a transaction with the first executable SQL statement (other than CONNECT) in your program. When one transaction ends, the next executable SQL statement automatically begins another transaction. Thus, every executable statement is part of a transaction. Because they cannot be rolled back and need not be committed, declarative SQL statements are not considered part of a transaction.

Using the COMMIT Statement

If you do not subdivide your program with the COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement, Oracle treats the whole program as a single transaction (unless the program contains data definition statements, which issue automatic COMMITS).

You use the COMMIT statement to make changes to the database permanent. Until changes are COMMITted, other users cannot access the changed data; they see it as it was before your transaction began.

Using the SAVEPOINT Statement

You use the SAVEPOINT statement to mark and name the current point in the processing of a transaction. Each marked point is called a savepoint.

The ROLLBACK Statement

You use the ROLLBACK statement to undo pending changes made to the database.

The RELEASE Option

Oracle automatically rolls back changes if your program terminates abnormally. Abnormal termination occurs when your program does not explicitly commit or roll back work and disconnect from Oracle using the RELEASE option. Normal termination occurs when your program runs its course, closes open cursors, explicitly commits or rolls back work, disconnects from Oracle, and returns control to the user.


You use the SET TRANSACTION statement to begin a read-only transaction. Because they allow "repeatable reads," read-only transactions are useful for running multiple queries against one or more tables while other users update the same tables.

Override Default Locking

By default, Oracle automatically locks many data structures for you. However, you can request specific data locks on rows or tables when it is to your advantage to override default locking. Explicit locking lets you share or deny access to a table for the duration of a transaction or ensure multitable and multiquery read consistency.

Fetch Across COMMITs

If you want to intermix COMMITs and FETCHes, do not use the CURRENT OF clause. Instead, SELECT the ROWID of each row, then use that value to identify the current row during the update or delete.

Distributed Transactions Handling

A distributed database is a single logical database comprising multiple physical databases at different nodes. A distributed statement is any SQL statement that accesses a remote node using a database link. A distributed transaction includes at least one distributed statement that updates data at multiple nodes of a distributed database. If the update affects only one node, the transaction is non-distributed.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.