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Difference Between SQL and PL/SQL

Both of these are relational database languages, but there is a significant difference between SQL and PL/SQL. SQL, on one hand, is the standard language for the database that we can use for creating, retrieving, and maintaining the relational database. The PL/SQL language, on the other hand, is an extension to SQL in the form of a procedural language. In other words, it extends the SQL language to provide it with various procedural capabilities.

PL/SQL is also capable of holding the statements of SQL within the syntax easily since it is an extension. Here, SQL serves as a structured form of a query language that is capable of adding, modifying, deleting, or manipulating the data present in the database.

The primary difference between SQL and PL/SQL is that the execution of only a single query occurs with SQL, while in the case of PL/SQL, the execution of an entire block of code occurs. Let us understand their individual functionalities in detail.

What is SQL?

The term SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language. SQL is a non-procedural language that is powerful in nature. One can use it for managing relational databases. SQL is also highly upgradable, portable, and offers a higher abstraction as compared to the procedural languages. IBM research developed this language, and it basically helps end-users interact with various DBS (database management systems) based on their availability.

What is PL/SQL?

It is a very powerful language (procedural language), and it extends the procedural constructs to the SQL statements. The PL/SQL language is mostly popular because of its capability to handle major errors. It also executes a very high speed of processing. Thus, it can easily execute multiple statements at once in the form of blocks of code. These contain packages, triggers, functions, etc., for enhancing the overall function of any given operation. As a result, it also reduces the traffic in a network. There are basically two types of program blocks in this block-structured language. These are:

  • Stored Procedures – It happens when we name and store a block in the database as a parsed representation.
  • Anonymous Block – It happens when no block of code gets stored in the available database.

Difference Between SQL and PL/SQL

Parameters SQL PL/SQL
Meaning and Definition It is a type of structured query language that we use for the database. It is a type of programming language that acts as an extension to SQL for the database.
Control Structures This language does not contain any if control, FOR loop, and structures similar to these. This language consists of if controls, while loop, FOR loop, and various other structures similar to these.
Variables It does not consist of any variables. It consists of variables as well as data types and more.
Operations Performed The SQL language is capable of executing only a single operation at any given time. The PL/SQL language is capable of performing various different operations at any given time.
Type of Language It is a declarative type of language. It is a procedural type of language.
Interaction This language is capable of interacting directly with the database server. This language doesn’t establish direct interaction with the database server.
Embedded One can embed the SQL in a block of PL/SQL. One can also easily embed the PL/SQL in a code for SQL.
Orientation This type of language is basically data-oriented. This type of language is basically application-oriented.
Objective One can make use of SQL for writing the queries, creating and executing the statements of DDL and DML. One can make use of PL/SQL for writing the program blocks, procedures, functions, packages, and triggers.

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