An Oracle programmer in the appropriately configured software environment can launch SQL*Plus, for example, by entering:
$ sqlplus scott/tiger
where the Oracle user scott has the password tiger. SQL*Plus then presents a prompt with the default form of:
Interactive use can then start by entering a SQL statement (terminated by a semicolon), a PL/SQL block, or another command. For example:
SQL>SELECT'Hello world'AS example FROM dual;EXAMPLE--------------------------------Hello world
The first version of SQL*Plus was called UFI ("User Friendly Interface"). UFI appeared in Oracle database releases up to Version 4.
After Oracle programmers had added new features to UFI, its name became Advanced UFI. The name "Advanced UFI" changed to "SQL*Plus" with the release of the version 5 of Oracle.
As of August 2013[update], the product continues to bear the name SQL*Plus.
Graphical interfaces from Oracle or third parties have diminished the proportion of Oracle database end-users who depend on the SQL*Plus environment. Oracle shops typically continue to use SQL*Plus scripts for batch updating or simple reports.
Oracle Corporation's wrappers/gui-fications/replacements for SQL*Plus include:
Starting from Oracle database 11g, iSqlplus (web based) and sqlplus graphical GUI no longer ship with Oracle database software. The command-line SQL*Plus interface continues in use, mostly for non-interactive scripting or for administrative purposes. The Server Manager Command Line -a replacement of SQL*DBA- is obsolete and SQL*plus 8i and later allows the user to issue statements like STARTUP and SHUTDOWN when connected as SYSDBA. Server Manager 7.1 introduced the command CONNECT / AS SYSDBA to replace CONNECT INTERNAL. SQL*plus 8i and later allows the use of CONNECT / AS SYSDBA
Other vendors have made their software somewhat compatible with SQL*Plus script commands or offer a SQL*Plus mode of operation. Relevant products include TOAD from Quest Software.
This section requires expansion. (July 2009)
SQL*Plus-internal variables, accessible within an SQL*Plus session, include:
user variables, displayable with the DEFINE command and referenceable with one or two cases of a prefixed character (default prefixes: '&' and '&&'). These variables are called "substitution variables" and can be used anywhere in a SQL or PL SQL statement or in SQL Plus commands. They can be populated by a literal using DEFINE or from the database using the column command.
predefined variables, prefixed with an underscore ('_')
substitution variables, useful for interacting with user-input
bind variables, prefixed by a colon (':'), which can interact with the PL/SQL environment. Displayable with the VARIABLE and PRINT commands
SQL Assistant SQL Assistant add-on for SQL*Plus Windows version extends SQL*Plus with SQL automatic word completion, in-line Oracle SQL Reference, data export/import, code unit testing, data browsing, and code development functions.
^Evans, Robert (2008-10-01). "The SQL*Plus Worksheet". Cardiff University. Retrieved 2008-11-21. "Oracle's SQL*Plus Worksheet is a straight-forward, easy-to-use, graphical user interface for SQL."
^"ISQLPlus". Oracle FAQ. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-11-21. "iSQLPlus (iSQL*Plus) is a web-based utility similar to the SQL*Plus command line utility for executing SQL and PL/SQL commands (available up to Oracle 10gR2)."
^"Oracle Application Express". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2008-11-21. "SQL Workshop provides tools to enable you to view and manage database objects from a Web browser. Use SQL Commands to run SQL and PL/SQL statements. ..."
^Nyffenegger, René. "Using bind variables in SQL*Plus". René Nyffenegger's collection of things on the web. Retrieved 2009-07-29. "In SQL*Plus, a bind variable is declared with variable [...] The value of the bind variable can then be printed with print"