To start the Windows GUI version of SQL*Plus, first find the icon. Figure 2-1 shows SQL*Plus for Oracle Database 10 g in the Windows Start menu. It looks like a blue disk drive topped with a yellow plus sign.
Figure 2-1. The SQL*Plus icon
You'll find the SQL*Plus icon in a program group under the Start menu. The path varies slightly from one release of Oracle to the next but will usually be something along the lines of Start All Programs Oracle Application Development SQL*Plus. Figure 2-2 shows the Windows Start menu expanded to show the SQL*Plus icon.
Figure 2-2. Start menu expanded to show the SQL*Plus icon
After starting SQL*Plus, you'll see the dialog box shown in Figure 2-3. To log into your database, simply enter your database username, password, and host string into the dialog box and click OK.
Figure 2-3. SQL*Plus logon dialog box
The example in Figure 2-3 uses the net service name db01 . You may use the tnsnames.ora and easy connection identifier formats (Oracle Database 10 g only) for the connect string.
After you have successfully logged into your database, the SQL*Plus screen will look much like that shown in Figure 2-4.
Figure 2-4. The Windows SQL*Plus GUI
At first glance, the Windows version of SQL*Plus doesn't seem to add much to the command-line version because it implements only a simple, scrolling window into which you type commands. But there are some advantages to using the Windows GUI. The GUI version implements copy and paste using the standard Ctrl-c/Ctrl-v key combinations, allows you to easily size the window any way you want (think large), and implements a scroll-back buffer so that you don't need to worry too much about query results scrolling by before you can read them. Once you get used to using SQL*Plus with a 1000-line scroll-back buffer and a large, vertical window size , you won't want to go back to the default, 25 80 character command-prompt window environment.
Missing the Product User Profile
SQL*Plus implements a security feature known as the product user profile. Sometimes DBAs neglect to create the tables and views that support this feature. Consequently, SQL*Plus users will occasionally see an error message such as the following when connecting to a database:
Error accessing PRODUCT_USER_PROFILE Warning: Product user profile information not loaded! You may need to run PUPBLD.SQL as SYSTEM
Alarming as it sounds, this message is nothing to worry about. Nothing is wrong with your database, and all SQL*Plus commands will work as normal. This message is telling you only that the product user profile security feature has not been implemented at your site or, more specifically , that you do not have SELECT access to the PRODUCT_PROFILE table owned by SYSTEM. Chapter 13 describes this feature in detail, and also shows how your DBA can easily create the necessary tables to make this message go away. If you don't know your DBA, or you can't persuade him to create the profile table, don't worry about it. Just ignore the message, and do whatever you need to do.
Introduction to SQL*Plus
A Lightning SQL Tutorial
Generating Reports with SQL*Plus
Creating HTML Reports
Writing SQL*Plus Scripts
Extracting and Loading Data
Exploring Your Database
Tuning and Timing
The Product User Profile
Customizing Your SQL*Plus Environment
Appendix A. SQL*Plus Command Reference
Appendix B. SQL*Plus Format Elements
Oracle SQL*Plus: The Definitive Guide (Definitive Guides)
Authors: Jonathan Gennick