Perl is an excellent language for enabling web communication with an Oracle database. Perl DBI, which we describe in some detail in Chapter 2, is the interface you’ll use for this communication. Chapter 3 contains more general information about installing and using Perl.
You will be reassured to know that connecting to the database via your Perl CGI scripts is much the same as connecting to the database via a standalone Perl program. You open a database handle and connect to the database, open a cursor or statement handle, specify a query, parse or prepare the statement, and then execute it. If the statement is a SELECT, you then fetch rows (perhaps the user’s favorite books, as generated the previous night by your monster data warehouse). When you’re all done spitting back the information, you close down your cursor and disconnect from the database.
Historically, there have been some performance problems with this
approach, however. Whenever a Perl program is run, the rather
sizeable Perl interpreter must first be brought into memory before it
can interpret and execute your Perl program. Unfortunately, this can
be Sssssslowwwwwww with a capital S. (Java
servlet fans have pointed to this slowness of Perl in advocating that
their technology be used instead of Perl—via
PoolManager.class statically instantiated
objects, as we describe later in this book).
Has Perl taken this challenge from the Java evangelists lying down? ...