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Oracle Web Applications: PL/SQL Developer's Intro by Andrew Odewahn

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Chapter 7. The PL/SQL Toolkit

The PL/SQL toolkit is a set of PL/SQL packages supplied by Oracle for use in developing web applications. These packages are used to generate HTML dynamically, perform text operations, and improve developer productivity. Table 7.1 shows an alphabetical listing of the packages included in the PL/SQL toolkit, along with an explanation of their uses.

Table 7-1. PL/SQL Toolkit Packages

Package Name

Use

HTF

Parses HTML

HTP

Generates HTML

OWA_COOKIE

Stores cookies

OWA_OPT_LOCK

Performs record locking

OWA_PATTERN

Searches and replaces text

OWA_SEC

Manages security

OWA_TEXT

Represents text

OWA_UTIL

Improves productivity

The sections that follow group these packages in categories according to their functionality. HTF and HTP are used for communicating with the outside world; OWA_TEXT and OWA_PATTERN are used for text processing; OWA_COOKIE and OWA_OPT_LOCK are used for maintaining state. The last two packages, OWA_UTIL and OWA_SEC, are used for maintaining productivity and security.

In addition to learning how to use dozens of procedures, we’ll keep an eye on what these packages can teach us about good design. After all, the developers who created these packages are some of the most talented PL/SQL programmers in the world. We would be wise to learn from their examples.

Communicating with the Outside World

When scripting languages like Perl are used to develop dynamic resources, their output is sent to the standard output (stdout) device, then ...

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