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Java is one of the most popular general-purpose programming languages in the world. You can run Java on virtually every operating system and computer. You can even run Java code from within the Oracle database.
Oracle PL/SQL is a proprietary database programming language, used primarily within the Oracle database context, (though it can now be used with some versions of IBM DB2). It has a relatively narrowly defined purpose and does not support nearly the breadth and depth of features that Java does. The PL/SQL developer community is relatively small and isolated from the rest of the programming world.
As Quest Software's PL/SQL evangelist, I recommend to all PL/SQL developers that they learn the basics of Java. Even if you are not going to become a full-time Java programmer, you should at least understand how you can "escape" to Java from PL/SQL to implement a user requirement that cannot be handled within the constraints of the PL/SQL language.
In this paper, I argue the converse: that every Java developer (well, at least those who write applications that run against an Oracle database) should also learn the rudiments of Oracle PL/SQL. This recommendation will come as a surprise to (and, I expect, be resisted by) many Java developers. Why learn about Oracle PL/SQL when Java can do everything we need?
Steven Feuerstein, PL/SQL Evangelist, Quest Software, Inc.
Daniel Norwood, Senior Product Manager, Quest Software, Inc.
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