Oracle: Package

PL/SQL package is a logical grouping of a related subprogram (procedure/function) into a single element. A Package is compiled and stored as a database object that can be used later.

Components of Packages

PL/SQL package has two components.

  • Package Specification
  • Package Body

Package Specification

Package specification consists of a declaration of all the public variables, cursors, objects, procedures, functions, and exception.

Below are few characteristics of the Package specification.

  • The elements which are all declared in the specification can be accessed from outside of the package. Such elements are known as a public element.
  • The package specification is a standalone element that means it can exist alone without package body.
  • Whenever a package has referred an instance of the package is created for that particular session.
  • After the instance is created for a session, all the package elements that are initiated in that instance are valid until the end of the session.




<sub_program and public element declaration>

END <package name>

The above syntax shows the creation of package specification.

Package Body

It consists of the definition of all the elements that are present in the package specification. It can also have a definition of elements that are not declared in the specification, these elements are called private elements and can be called only from inside the package.

Below are characteristics of a package body.

  • It should contain definitions for all the subprograms/cursors that have been declared in the specification.
  • It can also have more subprograms or other elements that are not declared in specification. These are called private elements.
  • It is a dependable object, and it depends on package specification.
  • The state of the package body becomes ‘Invalid’ whenever the specification is compiled. Therefore, it needs to be recompiled each time after the compilation of specification.
  • The private elements should be defined first before they are used in the package body.
  • The first part of the package is the global declaration part. This includes variables, cursors and private elements (forward declaration) that is visible to the entire package.
  • The last part of the package is Package initialization part that executes one time whenever a package is referred first time in the session.




<global_declaration part>

<Private element definition>

<sub_program and public element definition>

<Package Initialization>

END <package_name>

  • The above syntax shows the creation of package body.

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