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What is the difference between SQL and PL/SQL?

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The following comparison chart explains their main differences:


  • SQL is a database structured query language used to communicate with relational databases. It was developed by IBM Corporations and first appeared in 1974.
  • SQL is a declarative and data-oriented language.
  • SQL has no variables.
  • SQL can execute only a single query at a time.
  • SQL query can be embedded in PL/SQL.
  • SQL can directly interact with the database server.
  • SQL is like the source of data that we need to display.


  • PL/SQL or Procedural Language/Structured Query Language is a dialect of SQL used to enhance the capabilities of SQL. Oracle Corporation developed it in the early 90's. It uses SQL as its database language.
  • PL/SQL provides a platform where SQL data will be shown.
  • PL/SQL cannot be embedded in SQL as SQL does not support any programming language and keywords.
  • PL/SQL is a procedural and application-oriented language.
  • PL/SQL can use variables constraints and data types.
  • PL/SQL cannot directly interact with the database server.
  • PL/SQL can execute a whole block of code at once.
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SQL: It is referred as Structured Query Language.

• Only simple IF / Else statements.

• Through SQL you can interact with database through ADO.NET

• In SQL you can execute a line of code

• It can run only on windows

PL/SQL: It is referred as Procedure Language / Structure Query Language:

• In PL/SQL you can execute a block of code not a single line of code.

• Deep control statements

• It can run in UNIX also.

• PL/SQL language includes object oriented programming techniques such as encapsulation, function overloading, and information hiding (all but inheritance).

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