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The PL/SQL Challenge offers an ever-growing library of information to help you become more expert in the Oracle technology stack. The Quizzes tab gives you access to all quizzes taken in the past. The Resources tab offers searchable access to many topics in Oracle documentation, to popular Ask Tom threads, and to fascinating blog posts from around the world. Utilities gives you quick access to SQL and PL/SQL utilities, i.e., reusable code. Visit Commentary to search across all quiz discussions.


All of the quizzes already taken by players are available on this page. You can search for a specific string in the topic for that question; filter for a particular type of quiz (you might, for example, want to check out the quizzes given in the last playoff); check out all the advanced quizzes, etc.

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PL/SQL Explore

Overview of Triggers: Triggers and MERGE statements

When a MERGE statement is used that contains both INSERT and UPDATE section, then both the INSERT and UPDATE statement level triggers are always fired.

Author: Jeroen Rutte (22666) [9131-667227]
2014-04-18 Friday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
PL/SQL Deja Vu

Datetime Functions: ADD_MONTHS

Use ADD_MONTHS to shift your date by the specified number of months (forward or backward). ADD_MONTHS makes sure the resulting date is valid (remember that just because the original month has a 31st day, doesn't mean that the date to which you are changing has that day as well).

Author: Steven Feuerstein [4802-670339]
2014-04-18 Friday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
PL/SQL Challenge

Dynamic SQL: Native Dynamic SQL

EXECUTE IMMEDIATE offers the simplest and most maintainable way to execute dynamic SQL statements. And when you use it, bind values into the SQL statement rather than concatenate, whenever possible.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9179-670338]
2014-04-18 Friday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
PL/SQL Deja Vu

Criteria for successful overloading: Overloading based on different numbers of parameters

Overloading, also known static polymorphism, requires differences in headers of programs with same name so that the PL/SQL compiler can distinguish between them. The most common way to overload is to use different numbers of arguments.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [1816-664053]
2014-04-11 Friday-No New Comments

Last: 2014-04-17 20:13:18
PL/SQL Explore

SELECT FOR UPDATE: FOR UPDATE SKIP LOCKED

Using the SKIP LOCKED clause of the SELECT FOR UPDATE statement allows several sessions to perform concurrently the SAME select statement and retrieve and lock different rows. The locking behavior of FOR UPDATE SKIP LOCKED is different from that of a simple FOR UPDATE: While a cursor using a SELECT FOR UPDATE will lock all the selected rows when the cursor is OPEN-ed, a cursor using a SELECT FOR UPDATE SKIP LOCKED will lock the selected rows only when fetching them, but will skip rows that are currently locked by other sessions (as its name shows :) ) and also rows that were effectively changed after the cursor was opened.

Author: mentzel.iudith (62850) [6743-667226]
2014-04-11 Friday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
PL/SQL Challenge

Raising Exceptions: RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR

When you need to communicate an application-specific error to your users, call RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9165-664057]
2014-04-11 Friday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

nested tables and varrays with BULK COLLECT: Varray Filled When Limit Exceeded

When you use BULK COLLECT to populate a varray and its limit on elements is exceeded, Oracle raises an error, but still leaves the varray filled.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9087-613985]
2014-03-31 Monday-No New Comments

Last: 2014-04-02 18:36:48
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Character Functions Returning Character Values: Change characters in string

You can use both TRANSLATE and REPLACE to remove a single character from a string. If you use TRANSLATE, make sure that the third argument is NOT NULL. In that case, the function will always return NULL.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9098-613984]
2014-03-28 Friday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Performance: Bulk Processing with FORALL and BULK COLLECT

Whenever you see DML statements inside a loop, convert to BULK COLLECT and FORALL for a significant boost in performance.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9099-613983]
2014-03-27 Thursday-No New Comments

Last: 2014-03-28 23:20:22
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Oracle Exceptions: PLS-00306: wrong number or types of arguments in call

It can be plenty challenging to figure out why Oracle raises the "PLS-00306: wrong number or types of arguments in call to....". Beyond looking for, well, the wrong number of arguments or wrong data types, watch out for the wrong name in named notation.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9109-613982]
2014-03-26 Wednesday-No New Comments
Objections: SUBMITTED
Last: 2014-03-26 20:00:10
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Oracle PL/SQL

Oracle PL/SQL and SQL together offer a wide range of tools you can use to build algorithms meeting user requirements.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9097-613981]
2014-03-25 Tuesday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Numeric Functions: POWER

Sure, you could write your own POWER algorithm, but instead use the POWER function or the ** operator.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9092-613980]
2014-03-24 Monday-No New Comments

Last: 2014-03-25 10:57:25
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Methods that change collection contents: EXTEND Collection Method

Before assigning values to elements in a nested table (and varray), you must define index values for those elements. You can do this with the constructor function, but usually the EXTEND method is used. Finally, a BULK COLLECT query will automatically extend as needed, but don't use this feature unless you are actually populating the collection from a table.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9089-613979]
2014-03-21 Friday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Oracle PL/SQL: Transaction Processing in PL/SQL

The effects of DML statements executed in your session are immediately visible in that session, but not in other sessions until you commit.

Author: Steven Feuerstein [9091-613978]
2014-03-20 Thursday-No Comments
Last: No Comments
Daily PL/SQL Quiz

Transaction Processing in PL/SQL: Set Transaction Properties with SET TRANSACTION

Isolation Levels allow Oracle to manage potential conflicts that could arise between multiple transactions on a database.

A correct tuning allows the right balance between the need of transactions to access 'fresh data' from a database while preventing them from phenomena like dirty/fuzzy/phantom reads.

Author: Dan Voiculet (23271) [9074-613977]
2014-03-19 Wednesday-No New Comments

Last: 2014-03-22 03:12:15
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