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Basic Structure


A PL/SQL block can contain a sub-block which can be placed in any section. The following describes the architecture of a PL/SQL block:

  • DECLARE: declares variables, types, cursors, and regional stored procedures and functions used in the PL/SQL block.


    img NOTE: This part is optional if no variable needs to be declared.

    • An anonymous block may omit the DECLARE keyword if no variable needs to be declared.
    • For a stored procedure, AS is used, which is equivalent to DECLARE. The AS keyword must be reserved even if there is no variable declaration part.
  • EXECUTION: specifies procedure and SQL statements. It is the main part of a program. Mandatory.

  • Exception part: processes errors. Optional.

  • End


    img NOTICE: You are not allowed to use consecutive tabs in the PL/SQL block because they may result in an exception when the gsql tool is executed with the -r parameter specified.


PL/SQL blocks are classified into the following types:

  • Anonymous block: a dynamic block that can be executed only for once. For details about the syntax, see Figure 1.
  • Subprogram: a stored procedure, function, operator, or packages stored in a database. A subprogram created in a database can be called by other programs.

Anonymous Blocks

An anonymous block applies to a script infrequently executed or a one-off activity. An anonymous block is executed in a session and is not stored.


Figure 1 shows the syntax diagrams for an anonymous block.

Figure 1 anonymous_block::=


Details about the syntax diagram are as follows:

  • The execute part of an anonymous block starts with a BEGIN statement, has a break with an END statement, and ends with a semicolon (;). Type a slash (/) and press Enter to execute the statement.

    img NOTICE: The terminator "/" must be written in an independent row.

  • The declaration section includes the variable definition, type, and cursor definition.
  • A simplest anonymous block does not execute any commands. At least one statement, even a NULL statement, must be presented in any implementation blocks.


A subprogram stores stored procedures, functions, operators, and advanced packages. A subprogram created in a database can be called by other programs.