Saturday, April 21, 2012

Interesting PL/SQL and Apex links, April 2012

Here's a bunch of interesting stuff related to PL/SQL and Apex that I've come across lately, I'm posting it both as a reminder to myself, and to help spread the word:

  • First mention of PL/SQL enhancements for Oracle Database 12c: In his PL/SQL newsletter for March 2012, Steven Feuerstein revealed that "I've also started beta testing Oracle Database 12c PL/SQL. I can't yet share with you any of the new features, but I can tell you that PL/SQL will certainly be a richer, more usable language when 12c goes production!".
  • On that topic, a couple of things I personally would like to see in future PL/SQL include a UTL_FILE.LIST_FILES function that would list the files in a specified directory (without having to resort to unsupported features or workarounds in Java), a DBMS_JSON package for parsing and generating JSON (similar to PL/JSON, but built-in), and the ability to use FUNCTIONs as variables and parameters, like you can in JavaScript.
  • PL/SQL rises strongly in the TIOBE ranking: I don't really care about or trust the TIOBE rankings, as the results tend to vary wildly from month to month and year to year, but it's nice to see PL/SQL climbing from 24th place to 12th place over the last year. (Then again, if you look at the chart, it appears that PL/SQL was popular in 2007/2008, then not popular in 2009, fairly popular in 2010, not popular in 2011, and rising sharply in popularity again in 2012. In other words it's seemingly popular every other year... so take these rankings and the methodology used with a grain of salt.)