INTRODUCTION TO SQL*PLUS
SQL*Plus (pronounced "sequel plus") is an interactive tool for the Oracle RDBMS environment. SQL*Plus can be used simply to process SQL statements one at a time, process SQL statements interactively with end users, utilize PL/SQL for procedural processing of SQL statements, list and print query results, format query results into reports, describe the contents of a given table, and copy data between databases.
SQL*Plus is used to format output into a variety of reports and introduces methods of utilizing SQL*Plus to create dynamic data-driven SQL*Plus programs and operating system specific command language programs.
HISTORY OF SQL*PLUS
SQL*Plus originated from the beginning of the Oracle RDBMS days as a product called User Friendly Interface (UFI). Before Version 4 of Oracle RDBMS, UFI was used primarily to administer the Oracle environment. UFI was later renamed to SQL*Plus with the advent of Oracle Version 5. There have been some improvements to SQL*Plus from the UFI days; however, most of the commands and the ease of formatting results are as easy today as they were with the UFI product. There have been additions to several of the command capabilities, additional ways of starting SQL*Plus, and a changed role for SQL*Plus through the major releases of the Oracle RDBMS kernel. For example, before Oracle Version 6, using UFI or SQL*Plus was the only way to administrate the Oracle database. With Oracle Version 6 came a new tool called SQL*DBA that took over many of the database responsibilities such as backup and recovery and startup and shutdown. SQL*Plus also exists in the world of client/server and is available with all the major graphical interfaces.