Take full advantage of PL/SQL . The reference manuals may describe all the features of the PL/SQL language, but they don't tell you how to apply the technology. In fact, in some cases, you'll be lucky to even understand how to use a given feature after you've made your way through the railroad diagrams. Books and training courses tend to cover the same standard topics in the same limited way. In this book, we'll venture beyond to the edges of the language, to the nonstandard ways in which a particular feature can be tweaked to achieve a desired result.
Use PL/SQL to solve your problems . You don't spend your days and nights writing PL/SQL modules so that you can rise to a higher plane of existence. You use PL/SQL to solve problems for your company or your customers. In this book, I try hard to help you tackle real-world problems, the kinds of issues developers face on a daily basis (at least those problems that can be solved with mere software). To do this, I've packed the book with examples -- not just small code fragments, but complete application components you can apply immediately to your own situations. There is a good deal of code in the book itself, and much more on the disk that accompanies the book. In this book I guide you through the analytical process used to come up with a solution. In this way I hope you'll see, in the most concrete terms, how to apply PL/SQL features and undocumented applications of those features to a particular situation.
Write efficient, maintainable code. PL/SQL and the rest of the Oracle products offer the potential for incredible development productivity. If you aren't careful, however, this rapid development capability will simply let you dig yourself into a deeper, darker hole than you've ever found yourself in before. I would consider this book a failure if it only ended up helping programmers write more code in less time than ever before. I want to help you develop the skills and techniques that give you the time to build modules which readily adapt to change and are easily understood and maintained. I want to teach you to use comprehensive strategies and code architectures which allow you to apply PL/SQL in powerful, general ways to many of the problems you will face.