01 May 2014

New Roundtable discussion: What's missing from PL/SQL?

PL/SQL has been around for over twenty years. It has been enhanced steadily and strongly throughout all that time, adding bulk processing, object types, automatic optimization, PL/Scope and so much more. So the question is: is PL/SQL fully baked? What is it missing that you need in order to write better code faster?

Give us your thoughts on the PL/SQL Challenge Roundtable.

PL/SQL is a critical enabling technology for hundreds of thousands of mission-critical applications around the world. Any improvement in the language can have a widespread impact. The PL/SQL development team must have a list of enhancement requests 10 miles long (no, I haven't seen it) and it is likely that anything we come up with here will already be on their list. But that's not the point. The point is to find out what active PL/SQL developers think is key for the language.

Some of you may be aware that I published the iloveplsqland.net website years ago to allow developers to sort-of-vote on enhancements to the PL/SQL language. It never generated a whole lot of traffic, but I encourage you to check it out for ideas. And if you posted an idea there, and still feel strongly about it, then post the info here as well!

I can think of several categories of enhancements to PL/SQL and I encourage you to let us know into which category your idea would fall.
  • Performance: improve the runtime performance of PL/SQL code.
  • Usability: make it easier or more productive to write your program units.
  • Multimedia/Internet: improve the way PL/SQL "plays" in the modern world of mobile and Internet applications.
  • Critical bug fixes: sure, it's not an enhancement, but if there's something that's been bugging you for years and still isn't fixed, go ahead and gripe about it here!
  • Object orientation: object types have come a long way....but assuming you are trying to use them to build production apps, what's missing?

Oh, and I need to be really clear about this: Just because I work for Oracle Corporation now, that doesn't mean that I can guarantee any of your ideas will be implemented. Heck. I don't even work in the PL/SQL development team (and I sure don't belong there!).

This is a discussion which will benefit enormously from every player using the Like feature to indicate which idea they, ahem, like. Please take advantage of it!

Finally, I point out to you that it would be best if you did not reply here with your ideas. Go to the PL/SQL Challenge Roundtable and do it. But I will be happy to read your thoughts here as well.

Cheers, Steven Feuerstein