There are software programs as well as knowledge requirements necessary to complete the exercise sections of the workbook. Note that some features covered throughout the workbook are applicable to Oracle 9 i only. However, you will be able to complete a great majority of the exercise sections by using the following products:
Oracle 9 Release 2 and Oracle 10
The PL/SQL compiler is redesigned to enhance performance with each new version of the database. Oracle 9 i Release 2 is the final release of Oracle's RDBMS version 9. In 2003 Oracle will release version 10 of Oracle's Database, it flagship product. The latest version of the database, Oracle 10 g , has completely redesigned and re-implemented the PL/SQL compiler backend, which features code optimization. The new PL/SQL compiler replaces the old compiler. The new compiler has an immediate improvement in the quality of the code generated by the PL/SQL compiler and thus improvement in the execution performance of PL/SQL programs. The new compiler in Oracle 10 G increases the performance of PL/SQL code and allows it to execute approximately 2 times faster than an Oracle 8 i Database and 1.5 times to 1.75 times as fast as an Oracle9 i Database Release 2. The new PL/SQL compiler provides the same execution for PL/SQL programs as the previous PL/SQL compiler. However, this does not mean that the generated code for a particular construct is necessarily the same; only the behavior of a program is intended to remain the same. The improvements in the PL/SQL compiler do not effect the way a programmer writes PL/SQL; the improvements are in the backend of the database and result in faster execution.
You can use either Oracle Personal Edition or Oracle Enterprise Edition to perform the exercises in this book. If you use Oracle Enterprise Edition, it can be running on a remote server or locally on your own machine. It is recommended that you use Oracle 9.2 or Oracle 10.1 in order to perform all the exercise in this book. When a feature will only work in later versions of the database, the book will state this explicitly. Additionally, you should have access to and be familiar with SQL*Plus.
You have a number of options for how to edit and run scripts from SQL*Plus. There are also many third-party programs to edit and debug PL/SQL code. SQL*Plus is used throughout this book, since SQL*Plus comes with all versions of the Oracle database.