CS 422 - Database Programming I

Chapter 2, Introduction to SQL *Plus


This lesson discusses the technical goals of network design and conflicting goals that lead to tradeoffs. Objectives important to this lesson:

  1. SQL Introduction and the Oracle Technology Network
  2. Installing Oracle Express
  3. Creating a Database User
  4. Installing SQL Developer
  5. Unlocking the Sample User Account
  6. Getting Started with Application Express
  7. Other Tutorials

Chapter 2 and Online Tutorials

SQL Introduction and the Oracle Technology Network

The text begins with a discussion of SQL (Structured Query Language), which is a language for creating, managing, and using databases. There are several versions of SQL, each having its own unique features, but most use a common set of basic commands. This is due to the history of the language, in which it was accepted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and adopted as in international standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

SQL *Plus is a version of the language that is automatically installed with Oracle Database. Pages 2-2 and 2-3 list some functions of SQL *Plus, pointing out that it can be used by application developers, by database administrators, and by general users. Page 2-3 also has a basic procedure for starting the SQL *Plus interface on a Windows workstation. In our environment, we will install the Oracle Express Database (from the OracleXE112_Win64 zip file download). You can get this download file for your own use by first creating an account with the Oracle Technology Network. You must be signed in to their network to and accept their terms of service, any time you want to download one of their educational products. So one task for this week is to create an account, and to download the install package for Oracle 11 Express.

Installing Oracle Express

Repeating essential instruction: you cannot download the tools we will use from Oracle without signing in to their network first. Create your account. Your ID should be your student email address, and your password for the site should be something you can remember.

  1. Once your account is live, sign in to the Oracle Technology Network site, and select the Software Downloads page, as shown below.

  2. On the downloads page, scroll to the Database section, and select Database 11g Express Edition.

  3. On the 11g Express page, let's hope we are running a 64 bit version of Windows. Check that, and select the appropriate download. Note that they have packages for 32 and 64 bit Windows and for 64 bit Linux. In the image below, note that I have not clicked the radio button for Accept License Agreement. The error message this generates is shown at the top of the image.

Assuming you have downloaded the file, you need to unzip and run it. During installation you will be asked to assign passwords for two default accounts in Oracle on your workstation. For simplicity, let's make the passwords oracle for now. This will install several components of Oracle 11g, one of which appears in the Windows programs menu as Run SQL Command Line. Choosing this program will open the SQL *Plus command line interface. Once you have done this, follow this link to Oracle's online instruction page for setting up Oracle on your workstation.

Creating a Database User

Follow the instructions under part 2 on that page: Creating a Database User. Assuming you have had an SQL course before, you may be entering a semicolon after you enter connect. That is okay, but not necessary for this login sequence.

  1. Enter connect
  2. Enter system
  3. Enter the password you assigned, which I told you to set as oracle

This should take you to the command line with administrative rights. If you receive a TNS Error message, the database service is probably not started. An effective way to start it on a machine where you have administrative rights is:

  1. Open Control Panel, and select Administrative Tools. The proper selection in Windows 10 is shown below.

  2. On the Administrative Tools list, double-click Services.

  3. Find the service called OracleServiceXE. If it is not running, right click it and select Start.

  4. In the image below, I have started the services, and opened SQL Command Line.
    I have logged in as system, using the password I set when installing Oracle Express.

    I have also created a user based on the name under which I logged in to Windows. Do this on your workstation, but create the user ID under which you logged in to Windows. The phrase "identified by oracle" sets the password for this user to be oracle. Do it this way for simplicity. This is step 3 in the online lesson, Creating a Database User.

    Note that I did not enter a semicolon at the end of my command, but pressed Enter instead. This took me to a prompt that said 2. The 2 prompt means that I am on line 2 of a buffered command that has not been executed yet. To recover from my error, I entered a semicolon, and pressed Enter.

  5. It would not be very useful to have a user with no rights on the system. The online lesson continues by setting several privileges. It is best at this point to grant all privileges to your user ID, so use the command grant all privileges to your_ID; (Italics indicate a variable. You should have logged in as student, but I am being flexible in case you did not.)
Installing SQL Developer

This takes us to part 3 of the online lesson: Installing SQL Developer.

  1. You should exit the SQL Command Line window. Entering the command exit will do it.
  2. Follow the link on the online instructions, part 3, instruction 1. You should go to this page.
  3. Click the red download button on that page to be taken to another page where you can choose the download for your operating system. In the image below, I am choosing the version for 64 bit Windows that includes Java Developer Kit 8.
  4. The instructions are a bit unclear. It appears that you are supposed to unzip the download to a folder at the root of your C: drive. Call the folder sqldeveloper.

  5. To run SQL Developer, locate the sqldeveloper.exe file in the folder you created and double-click it.

Unlocking the Sample User Account

For this exercise, skip down to part 5 of the online instructions.

  1. Follow instruction set 5.1 to unlock an account that is included in the installed files. The account is called HR.
  2. Open the SQL command prompt window.
  3. Follow the procedure you used in Creating a Database User to log in as the system user.
    • Enter connect
    • Enter system
    • Enter the system password
  4. Enter the command: alter user hr account unlock;
  5. Change the HR user's password. Enter the command: alter user hr identified by oracle;
    (Yes, I am telling you to set the password the same as the others. One less thing to go wrong,)
  6. Enter the command: exit
    (And note that the exit command does not require a semicolon to work.)
Getting Started with Application Express

Carry out the instructions under part 6.1, to use the web browser based Application Express to create a workspace for the HR user.

Other Tutorials

There are several other parts to the online tutorials supplied by Oracle. Let's try a few in the classroom to see what we can do .

Week 2 Assignment: Online Tutorials

  • Carry out the tutorial assignments in the notes above. Make some notes about each section in the space provided on Blackboard for this assignment.