Last updated: January 5, 2023

Are you preparing for a PL/SQL interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place. To prepare for a PL/SQL interview, it is important to have a good understanding of the language and its features. Candidates are supposed to be familiar with the different types of PL/SQL statements, such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and CREATE. Additionally, a knowledge of the different types of PL/SQL functions, such as DECODE, NVL, and TO_CHAR is necessary. A qualified candidate is also expected to know different types of PL/SQL packages, such as DBMS_OUTPUT and DBMS_SQL. Finally, it is also an advantage to be familiar with the different types of PL/SQL cursors, such as implicit and explicit cursors.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing some of the most common PL/SQL interview questions and how to answer them. PL/SQL is a powerful language used to create and manage databases, and it’s an essential skill for any database administrator. Knowing how to answer questions about PL/SQL can help you stand out from the competition and land the job you’ve been dreaming of. We’ll cover topics such as the basics of PL/SQL, how to write efficient code, and how to troubleshoot common errors. We’ll also provide tips and tricks to help you ace your interview and make a great impression. So, if you’re ready to learn more about PL/SQL and how to answer interview questions, let’s get started.

Pl sql interview questions: Explanation and examples

Basic SQL

What is the difference between SQL and PL/SQL?
SQL (Structured Query Language) is a standard language used for interacting with the database, while PL/SQL (Procedural Language/Structured Query Language) is an extension of SQL with additional coding, such as control structure and data structures, that enable developers to create programs in the database. SQL is used for querying and manipulating data, while PL/SQL is used for creating applications and programs that involve SQL and other data manipulation.

Name the different objects in database.
Database objects include tables, views, triggers, stored procedures, functions, sequences, synonyms, and indexes.

What are the benefits of using PL/SQL?
The benefits of using PL/SQL include better performance, improved scalability, improved security, and easier development of applications. It allows for the reuse of SQL statements, reduces the time and effort spent developing applications, and enables developers to create more complex applications.

What is the purpose of using a cursor in PL/SQL?
A cursor is a database object used in PL/SQL programming to retrieve data from a database. Cursors provide a way to process each row returned by a query, one row at a time. Cursors can be used to loop through a result set and process each row, and they can also be used to return a single row or value.

Explain the difference between a function and a procedure.
A function is a set of PL/SQL statements that returns a value, while a procedure is a set of PL/SQL statements that is executed without returning a value. A function is usually used to calculate a value while a procedure is usually used to execute a set of statements. Additionally, a function can be called from within an SQL statement, while a procedure cannot.

What are the different types of PL/SQL blocks?
The different types of PL/SQL blocks are anonymous blocks, named blocks, stored procedures, and stored functions. Anonymous blocks are used for single-use programs and can be used to perform one-time tasks such as querying or manipulating data. Named blocks are used for reusable PL/SQL programs and can include stored procedures and functions. Stored procedures are programs that can be called from other programs and are used for tasks such as data validation, data manipulation, and data retrieval. Stored functions are similar to stored procedures, but they return a value.

What is the purpose of the DECLARE statement in PL/SQL?
The DECLARE statement is used to declare variables and data types in PL/SQL. Variables declared using DECLARE can be used in subsequent PL/SQL statements in the same block to store, retrieve, and manipulate data. The DECLARE statement is also used to declare constants, cursors, exceptions, and record types.

Database Design and Data Modeling

Explain what is the database design process.
Database design process is the process of creating a database that follows the principles of data normalization and helps in organizing data for better access and faster queries. The database design process includes tasks such as creating a data model, defining relationships, designing tables and indexes, and writing scripts to populate the database with sample data. The database design process must also take into account any business requirements, such as user accessibility and security.

What is an entity relationship diagram (ERD)?
An Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) is a graphical representation of data relationships used in database design. An ERD shows entities (tables) and relationships between those entities. It is a visual representation of the logical structure of a database. ERDs are used for visualizing, analyzing and documenting the data architecture of a system.

What is normalization and why is it needed?
Normalization is the process of organizing data in a database to help minimize data redundancy and improve data integrity. Normalization involves separating data into separate, related tables. Normalization helps to reduce or eliminate data anomalies, improve data integrity and help maintain consistency of data over time.

What is the difference between a primary and a foreign key?
A primary key is a field in a table which uniquely identifies each row/record in a database table. A foreign key is a field in a table which is used to establish a link between two tables. A foreign key is a field that references the primary key of another table.

How do you optimize database design?
Database design optimization involves making changes to the database structure to improve its performance. Optimization techniques include creating indexes, carefully selecting data types, normalizing data and using stored procedures. Other optimization techniques include using query optimization tools, optimizing queries and monitoring query performance.

What are the different types of data integrity checks and constraints?
Data integrity checks and constraints are used to ensure the accuracy and consistency of data in a database. Examples of data integrity checks and constraints include primary keys, foreign keys, unique constraints, not null constraints, check constraints and default constraints.

SQL Execution and Optimization

What is query optimization in PL/SQL?
Query optimization in PL/SQL is the process of analyzing and optimizing a SQL query in order to improve its performance. Optimizing a query involves selecting the most efficient execution plan for the query, and can include changes such as selecting better indexes, rewriting complex queries and reducing query overhead. Query optimization is important to ensure that queries are optimized for the best possible performance, as well as to minimize the amount of resources used for executing the query.

Explain the difference between static and dynamic SQL execution.
Static SQL execution is when a SQL query is compiled prior to execution and the same query is used for each execution. Dynamic SQL execution is when the SQL query is not compiled until it is executed, and each execution of the query may use a different version of the SQL query. Static SQL execution is typically more efficient in terms of performance as the query is already compiled and optimized prior to execution, while dynamic SQL execution allows greater flexibility as the query can be changed for each execution.

How can performance be improved by using indexed views?
Indexed views are special views that are indexed to improve the performance of queries against them. Indexed views can improve query performance by pre-computing expensive query calculations and by providing faster access to underlying data. When using indexed views, it is important to ensure that all referenced data is up-to-date as the results from indexed views may not reflect any changes that have occurred since the view was indexed.

How to use Explain Plan to analyze SQL query performance?
Explain Plan is a tool in Oracle database that can be used to analyze the execution plan of a query and identify any potential performance bottlenecks. The Explain Plan output includes information such as the access paths used, the order of operations performed and the estimated costs associated with each operation. By analyzing the Explain Plan output, it is possible to identify potential performance bottlenecks and optimize the query accordingly.

What are the best practices for using SQL hints?
SQL hints are hints used to override the default query execution plan and can be used to improve query performance. When using SQL hints, it is important to ensure that the query has been optimized prior to using the hints, and that the correct hints are used for the query – using too many or incorrect hints can have a negative effect on performance. Testing the use of the hints to ensure the expected performance improvement is achieved is also crucial.

PL/SQL Programming

How to write and execute a PL/SQL procedure?
Writing and executing a PL/SQL procedure is an important component of developing efficient and robust PL/SQL applications. A PL/SQL procedure is a set of statements that are stored in the database and can be executed as a single unit. To write a PL/SQL procedure, the syntax is as follows:
CREATE [OR REPLACE] PROCEDURE procedure_name (parameter1 datatype [DEFAULT value], parameter2 datatype [DEFAULT value], …)



To execute a PL/SQL procedure, a DBMS_SQL package provides the EXECUTE procedure which can be used as follows:
EXECUTE procedure_name (parameter1 value, parameter2 value, …);

What are the different control structures available in PL/SQL?
PL/SQL includes several control structures that can be used to control the flow of execution in a PL/SQL program. The most commonly used control structures are:
• IF-THEN-ELSE statements – These statements are used to check whether a condition is true or false and execute a block of code depending on the result.
• LOOP statements – These statements are used to execute a block of code multiple times.
• CASE statements – These statements are used to execute a block of code based on a given condition.
• GOTO statements – These statements are used to transfer control to another line of the program.

Explain the role of exception handling in PL/SQL programming.
Exception handling is an important feature of PL/SQL programming. It enables the detection and resolution of errors that occur during the execution of a PL/SQL program. Exception handling allows the programmer to respond to exceptional circumstances, such as runtime errors, that are not anticipated in normal program execution. The basic structure of an exception handling block is as follows:
WHEN exception_name1 THEN

WHEN exception_name2 THEN



How to use PL/SQL packages and stored functions?
PL/SQL packages are groups of related PL/SQL subprograms, such as functions, procedures, and variables, which are stored in the database and can be used repeatedly in different applications. They enable efficient code reuse and can improve the performance of the applications by allowing multiple users to access the same code in a single database session. A stored function is a subprogram that returns a single value. To create a package, the syntax is as follows:
To create a stored function, the syntax is as follows:
(parameter datatype [DEFAULT value], …)
RETURN return_datatype




What is the difference between implicit and explicit cursors?
An implicit cursor is a type of cursor created automatically by the PL/SQL runtime engine when a SQL statement is executed. It is used to process one row of the result set at a time. An explicit cursor is a type of cursor that is created and controlled by the programmer. It can be used to control the processing of multiple rows and can also be used to pass parameters to a SQL statement or stored procedure.

What is the use of %TYPE and %ROWTYPE in PL/SQL?
%TYPE and %ROWTYPE are two important data types in PL/SQL. %TYPE is used to declare a variable with the same data type as the specified column. %ROWTYPE is used to declare a record variable that is based on a specified row or table. It can be used to store a row of data from a database table.

Database Security

What is the purpose of database security?
The purpose of database security is to protect the integrity, confidentiality and availability of data stored in a database. Database security is necessary to protect data from unauthorized access, malicious attacks, and other malicious activities that can lead to the loss or corruption of data. It also ensures that only authorized users have access to the data and that no changes or modifications can be made without the proper authorization. Database security also helps to ensure that data is not transmitted over unsecured networks, which could make it vulnerable to interception by unauthorized users.

Pl sql interview questions: FAQs concisely answered

What is PL/SQL?

PL/SQL is a procedural language extension of SQL created by Oracle Corporation. It is used for creating stored procedures, functions, and triggers for the Oracle database. It combines the power of Structured Query Language (SQL) with the procedural logic of a programming language. PL/SQL allows developers to create complex logic and calculations, and execute them on the Oracle database server. It also provides a wide range of features such as exception handling, data encapsulation, and object-oriented programming.

What are the benefits of using PL/SQL?

There are several benefits to using PL/SQL. It is a powerful language that allows developers to create complex logic and calculations. It increases code readability, which makes it easier to debug and maintain. It is also more secure than other languages, as it is designed to execute on the Oracle database server. PL/SQL also provides a wide range of features such as exception handling, data encapsulation, and object-oriented programming.

What are the main components of PL/SQL?

The main components of PL/SQL are blocks, variables, constants, cursors, exceptions, and procedures. Blocks are the basic unit of PL/SQL and are used to group related statements. Variables are used to store values in memory. Constants are used to store values that do not change. Cursors are used to retrieve data from the database. Exceptions are used to handle errors and provide a mechanism for handling errors gracefully. Procedures are used to execute a set of instructions.

What is the difference between a procedure and a function in PL/SQL?

The main difference between a procedure and a function in PL/SQL is that a procedure does not return a value, while a function does. A procedure is used to execute a set of instructions, while a function is used to perform a calculation and return a value. Procedures can also have parameters, while functions must have parameters.

What are the advantages of using packages in PL/SQL?

Packages are used to group related procedures and functions. They provide a mechanism for modularizing code and making it easier to maintain. They also enhance security, as only the package owner can access the package. Packages also provide better performance, as they can be compiled once and used multiple times. Finally, packages provide better code readability, as the code is organized into related sections.

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