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    Short for Procedural Language/SQL, Oracle s procedural extension to the industry-standard SQL. By adding procedural constructs to SQL, such as encapsulation, function overloading, information hiding, block structure, conditional statements, loop statements, variable types, structured data and customized error handling, the PL/SQL language takes on characteristics of object-oriented programming languages. PL/SQL’s language syntax, structure and data types are similar to that of the Ada programming language. Integrated with a database server, PL/SQL does not exist as a standalone language. It typically is used to write data-centric programs to manipulate data in an Oracle database.