While updating records using cursor
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DBI is a Perl module, well documented in both online sources and the "Programming the Perl DBI" book by Alligator Descartes, Alistair Carty, Tim Bunce and Linda Mui (O'Reilly, ISBN:1565926994) but still, I can see questions about using DBI with Oracle on Oracle USENET groups. Oracle has many features and data types, while using DBI with each particular feature is not always entirely trivial.The purpose of this article is to cover many of those uses from Perl practitioner's point of view.
Therefore, some knowledge of both Oracle and Perl is assumed, and although I will not try to show off my obfuscation abilities, this article still assumes that the reader has read "Learning Perl" and has some experience with Oracle RDBMS.
This article will not cover basic features of neither Perl nor Oracle.
It will also not cover the installation of Perl, Oracle, DBI or DBD:: Oracle. This is simply an introduction to using Oracle with Perl DBI.
This article was created on Red Hat Fedora Core 4, with Oracle 10.2.0.2 and Perl 5.8.6.
The decision not to cover the installation was made because the installation is different for each operating system, while I'd like to concentrate on the common features, the features that can be used across the whole range of supported systems.
Describing installation on Unix or Linux and omitting Windows or VMS would open me for the accusations of being OS biased.
As I really am biased toward one type of OS, I wanted to hide that fact and cover just the common parts.
In writing this article I was relying mostly on the experience, scripts and sins of the past and online documentation.
The most accurate and up to date online DBI documentation can always be found on CPAN (
In particular, the syntax of all DBI methods can be found on the DBI page.
I will occasionally quote DBI documentation, where appropriate and will always warn the reader when I'm doing so.
Quotes from the online documentation will also be marked by the different font (smaller and italicized).