SQL*Plus User's Guide and Reference
Release 8.1.5






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Introduction, 2 of 4

Overview of SQL*Plus

You can use the SQL*Plus program in conjunction with the SQL database language and its procedural language extension, PL/SQL. The SQL database language allows you to store and retrieve data in Oracle. PL/SQL allows you to link several SQL commands through procedural logic.

SQL*Plus enables you to manipulate SQL commands and PL/SQL blocks, and to perform many additional tasks as well. Through SQL*Plus, you can

Basic Concepts

The following definitions explain concepts central to SQL*Plus:


An instruction you give SQL*Plus or Oracle. 


A group of SQL and PL/SQL commands related to one another through procedural logic. 


The basic unit of storage in Oracle. 


A SQL command (specifically, a SQL SELECT command) that retrieves information from one or more tables. 

query results 

The data retrieved by a query. 


Query results formatted by you through SQL*Plus commands. 

Who Can Use SQL*Plus

The SQL*Plus, SQL, and PL/SQL command languages are powerful enough to serve the needs of users with some database experience, yet straightforward enough for new users who are just learning to work with Oracle.

The design of the SQL*Plus command language makes it easy to use. For example, to give a column labelled ENAME in the database the clearer heading "Employee", you might enter the following command:


Similarly, to list the column definitions for a table called EMP, you might enter this command:


Other Ways of Working with Oracle

Oracle tools for Network Computing Architecture help developers to productively and economically build, manage and deploy high-performance and robust enterprise applications for Network Computing.

JDeveloper Suite 

a 3GL development tool for building component based, server-centric applications in Java 

Oracle Enterprise Developer Suite 

an integrated and flexible set of tools for building enterprise-class database applications for client/server and the web 

Oracle Application Server 

a tool which enables database access through web browsers and the Internet 

Oracle Designer 

a set of client/server design tools for database applications 

Oracle Developer 

a set of client/server and web development tools 

Oracle Discoverer 

a set of end-user query tools 

Oracle Programmer 

a set of 3GL programming language interfaces 

Oracle Reports 

a publishing and reporting solution to disseminate dynamic information across corporate intranets or on the Internet 

Oracle Workflow 

a complete workflow management system that supports business process definition and automation 

Oracle Express 

a powerful OnLine Analytical Processing (OLAP) server, tools, and pre-built applications for financial, and sales and marketing analysis 

Oracle Media Objects 

a development tool for object-oriented multimedia applications 

Oracle Mobile Agents 

a tool for applications using mobile and/or detached clients 

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