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Overview of SQL* Plus: What it is and its significance

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SQL* Plus is Oracle’s proprietary command-line interface for interacting with its Oracle relational database. While there are graphical interfaces like Oracle SQL Developer, TOAD, JDeveloper, etc. SQL Plus remained a consistent tool since the early days of the Oracle database.

In this tutorial, let’s explore the features of SQL*Plus, and its advantages.

Significance of SQL*Plus

SQL* Plus is built-in all of the Oracle Database and tools like Oracle Forms, Reports, etc. This makes sure that you can work on database even you not having any full fledged IDE.

Below are some the point which helps you to understand significance of SQL* Plus,

1. Legacy and Consistency –  Since SQL*Plus has been around for decades, many long-standing Oracle database administrators (DBAs) and developers are familiar with it. This makes it a consistent tool for accessing and managing Oracle databases across different versions.

2. Scripting Capabilities – SQL*Plus allows users to execute batches of SQL and PL/SQL statements, making it a powerful tool for automating database tasks and routines.

3. Portability – Being a command-line tool, SQL*Plus can be accessed from almost any operating system that supports Oracle, whether it’s Windows, Linux, or Unix. This makes it a handy tool for DBAs who manage databases on multiple platforms.

4. Direct Interaction – SQL*Plus gives users a direct interface to the database, making it useful for tasks that require immediate feedback or low-level database administration.

5. Reporting- With its command-based interface, SQL*Plus is proficient in generating formatted reports directly from the database. This capability is essential for DBAs and developers who want to pull quick reports without relying on third-party tools.

Features of SQL*Plus

Below are some of feature of SQL* Plus

1. SQL and PL/SQL execution – SQL*Plus provides an environment for executing SQL queries and PL/SQL code, enabling users to interact with the database to perform various tasks such as data retrieval, insertion, and manipulation.

2. Batch processing – SQL*Plus supports batch processing through script execution, allowing users to automate routine database tasks and maintain consistency in their operations.

3. Formatting and reporting – SQL*Plus offers various options to format query results, such as specifying column width, line size, and page size, which can be useful for generating reports.

4. Database administration – SQL*Plus can be used for essential database administration tasks, such as creating and managing database objects (tables, indexes, views), managing user privileges, and monitoring database performance.

5. Command history – SQL*Plus maintains a history of executed commands, enabling users to recall, edit, and re-execute previous commands with ease.

6. Customizable environment – Users can configure SQL*Plus to meet their preferences by modifying settings, such as the default date format, number format, or output display options.

Advantages of SQL*Plus

Below are some of the advantages of SQl* Plus,

1. Platform independence – As a command-line tool, SQL*Plus can be used on various operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and macOS, allowing for seamless database management across platforms.

2. Lightweight and efficient – SQL*Plus consumes fewer system resources compared to graphical user interfaces (GUIs), making it a suitable choice for low-resource environments or remote access.

3. Integration with other tools – SQL*Plus can be easily integrated with shell scripts, batch files, and other automation tools, enhancing productivity and streamlining database-related tasks.

4. Scripting support – The ability to execute scripts in SQL*Plus facilitates automation, version control, and collaboration between team members.

5. Expert-level control – SQL*Plus provides a higher level of control and customization over database interactions compared to GUI-based tools, making it a preferred choice for experienced users and administrators.

Installing SQL* Plus

As mentioned above, SQL* Plus in bulit-in Oracle Database. You do not have to install it separately. Just install any Oracle Database and you have SQL*Plus. Below are some of article that will help you to install Oracle Database.

  1. Setting Up the PL/SQL Development Environment
  2. How to Install Oracle 11G Database on Windows

Connecting to a Database using SQL * Plus

To connect to an Oracle database using SQL*Plus, you will need a valid username, password, and the database’s connection details. You can use the following syntax to connect:

sqlplus username/password@hostname:port/servicename

For example:

sqlplus scott/tiger@localhost:1521/ORCL

If you are running SQL*Plus on the same machine as the database, you can use a local connection string:

sqlplus username/password@servicename

For example:

sqlplus scott/tiger@ORCL

Below image shows connecting to Oracle XPress Database 21C. Here service name is XE by default.

Connecting Oracle Database using SQL* Plus


SQL*Plus is an invaluable tool for Oracle database users, providing an efficient and versatile environment for executing SQL queries and managing databases. Its features, such as batch processing, customizable formatting, and support for database administration tasks, make it a powerful and flexible solution for a wide range of users.

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