20 July 2010

19 July 2010 quiz: some concerns raised by players(1233)

The 19 July quiz addressed the question of how to disable a trigger on a table. Here are the two comments I have received: "While I know that the answers are correct for the July 19th, 2010 quiz, I think the answer is a bit misleading. You can disable triggers with the ALTER TABLE command , you can't specify a specific trigger, but you can say 'ALTER TABLE disable all triggers' " "It is not clear if today quiz is well formulated - while ALTER TRIGGER sometrigger DISABLE / is obviously valid it is not PL/SQL, rather plain SQL." Addressing the second point, yes, certainly this is not PL/SQL per se. It is, however, a common task for developers, in my experience, and therefore worthy of testing on the PL/SQL Challenge. What are your thoughts?


  1. It relates to a PL/SQL stored object and is definitely something a PL/SQL developer should know.

  2. Personally I'd like to see more questions that expand beyond just the PL/SQL language a bit. As long as there is some connection to PL/SQL (as triggers are, obviously) I'd still call it the "PL/SQL Challenge".

    If there were a question regarding, say, CREATE vs CREATE OR REPLACE, I'd say it's relevant to this topic even though it's DDL.

    A question about pure SQL is probably out of the question - however, if there were a "SQL Challenge" I'd be there in a flash.

  3. SQL knowledge is required for PL/SQL as such I see nothing wrong with a "pure" SQL question.

  4. Sure it's strictly speaking DDL and not PL/SQL, but I would also say a question like that is definitely within the scope of PL/SQL Challenge.
    @Jeff Kemp: Quite agree - a SQL Challenge would be fun, there could be quite some tricky questions with analytics and model clause and all the good stuff that allows us to do almost anything in SQL ("almost" obviating the need for doing much PL/SQL ;-)

  5. In my opinion, purely SQL is allowed. Writing a SQL query that takes away a PL/SQL program while executing fast has his benefits and should be encouraged as well. Especially analytical/aggregate functions is a very nice way to manipulate data.
    And it is off course possible to write your own analytical/aggregrate functions using PL/SQL. The STRAGG() function is a very useful enhancement of the language
    Maybe you must enhance the rules a bit so that it is explicitly allowed.

  6. Yes, it reasonable to have "pure" SQL allowed - but it shall be said in the rules EXPLICITLY.

  7. Excellent comments, thanks so much.

    I will generally avoid "pure SQL" questions - actually, what I will do is work on getting a SQL Challenge up and running ASAP!. I will, however, continue to offer quizzes that "intersect" with SQL and DDL, that are clearly of relevance to developers writing PL/SQL.

    Do you think I need to modify the rules to make this much clear?