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Advanced SQL Functions in Oracle 10g

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Oracle® 10g has introduced new features into its repertoire of SQL instructions that make database queries more versatile. When programmers use SQL in Oracle, they inevitably look for easier and new ways to handle queries. What is needed is a way to introduce SQL users to the new features of Oracle 10g concisely and systematically so that database programmers can take full advantage of the newer capabilities. This book hopes to meet this need by exploring some common new SQL features. Each chapter includes numerous working examples, and Oracle users can run these examples as they read and work through the book. Also, many books on Oracle 10g present the language syntax alone with no in-depth explanation, analysis, or examples. In this book, we present not only the syntax for new features and functions, but also a thorough clarification and breakdown of the different functions, along with examples of ways they can and should be used.

This book is meant to be used by Oracle professionals as well as students, but it is not a SQL primer. Readers of this book are expected to have previously used Oracle, SQL*Plus, and, to some extent, PL/SQL. This book can be used for individual study or reference, in advanced Oracle training settings, and in advanced database classes in schools. It is meant for those familiar with SQL programming since most of the topics present not only the syntax, queries, and answers, but also have an analytical programming perspective to them. This book will allow the Oracle user to use SQL in new and exciting ways.

With the advent of new features added to SQL in Oracle 10g, we thought that some collection of material related to the newer query mechanisms was in order. Hence, in this book we have gathered some useful new tools into a set of topics for exploiting Oracle 10g’s SQL. We have also briefly reviewed some older tools that will help transition to the new material.

This book mainly addresses advanced topics in SQL with a focus on SQL functions for Oracle 10g. The functions and methods we cover include the analytical functions, MODEL statements, regular expressions, and object-oriented/collection structures. We also introduce and give examples of the SQL/XML bridges as XML is a newer and common method of transferring data from user to user. We rely heavily on examples, as most SQL programmers can and do adapt examples to other problems quickly.
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