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Oracle PL/SQL Programming, Third Edition by Bill Pribyl, Steven Feuerstein

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Working with Package Data

Package data consists of variables and constants that are defined at the package level—that is, not within a particular function or procedure in the package. The scope of the package data is therefore not a single program, but rather the package as a whole. In the PL/SQL runtime architecture, package data structures persist (hold their values) for the duration of a session (rather than the duration of execution for a particular program).

If package data is declared inside the package body, then that data persists for the session but can be accessed only by elements defined in the package itself (private data).

If package data is declared inside the package specification, then that data persists for the session and is directly accessible (to both read and modify the value) by any program that has EXECUTE authority on that package (public data). Public package data is very similar to and potentially as dangerous as GLOBAL variables in Oracle Forms.

If a packaged procedure opens a cursor, that cursor remains open and is available throughout the session. It is not necessary to define the cursor in each program. One module can open a cursor while another performs the fetch. Additionally, package variables can carry data across the boundaries of transactions because they are tied to the session rather than to a single transaction.

Global Within a Single Oracle Session

As a result of the SGA architecture,package data structures act like globals within the PL/SQL ...

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