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Stored Procedure

Definition

A stored procedure is a precompiled set of instructions for a database management system (DBMS). These bundled code are stored inside the database and are used to manipulate data within it, improving the efficiency and speed of the database. Stored procedures can also enhance security by limiting direct data manipulation by end-users.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Stored Procedure” is: /stɔ:r’d pro͞oˈsējər/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Encapsulation: Stored Procedures encapsulate complex SQL queries, making it simpler for developers to work with them. They can just call the stored procedure instead of writing the query every time, resulting in cleaner and more efficient code.
  2. Performance: Since Stored Procedures are compiled and stored in the database, they run faster than dynamic queries. The database engine takes less time to process the SQL statement as it only has to execute a stored procedure and it doesn’t have to parse and compile the statement every time.
  3. Security: They can provide an additional layer of security to the database. You can restrict a user’s direct access to tables, and grant access to Stored Procedures that communicate with those tables instead, providing control over what a user can and cannot do.

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Importance

Stored Procedure is a significant term in technology because it pertains to a prewritten SQL code saved in the database, which can be reused as many times as needed. This mitigates the need to write the same code numerous times, enhancing efficiency and productivity. In addition, stored procedures provide improved security as they can prevent SQL injections, which are common loopholes exploited by hackers. They allow us to manipulate data in the database layer, aid in encapsulation of the database logic, and, as they are precompiled, they typically execute faster. Furthermore, stored procedures facilitate superior control over complex SQL logic as procedures can accept parameters, execute dynamic SQL, use conditional logic, and even alter database structures. It’s like having a powerful tool that can both create and control to meet certain requirements.

Explanation

A Stored Procedure is a crucial component in database management systems and it serves a very practical purpose. It’s essentially a set of SQL statements with an assigned name that’s stored in the database. The primary purpose of a stored procedure is to streamline specific tasks performed on a database. These tasks could range from simple fetch and return operations, or more complex business operations like updating data across multiple tables with singular or multiple conditions. Stored procedures are precompiled, which means their execution is usually faster and more efficient than running similar repetitive queries from the application to the database.Stored Procedures are used primarily to enforce consistent implementation of logic across applications and to effectively manipulate the data in a database. They are also used to group a collection of SQL statements into a single entity, to simplify a complex task involving many SQL statements into a one-line call, ensuring consistency and uniformity. It also cuts down the traffic between applications and the database server, significantly bolstering the performance by reducing the network load. Furthermore, they enhance security by limiting direct access to the data by using a controlled interface provided by the stored procedure.

Examples

1. Banking Systems: In banking applications, stored procedures are commonly used for transaction operations like withdrawing money or transferring funds. These tasks must be performed accurately, securely, and efficiently, which can be achieved using stored procedures. For example, when a customer makes an online transfer, the stored procedure will first validate the accounts, then debit one account, credit another, and finally log the transaction details, all as a single atomic operation.2. E-commerce Websites: In an online shopping platform, a stored procedure can be used to calculate the total cost of items in a shopping cart. The stored procedure gets the price of each item in the cart from the products database, multiplies it by the count of items, and then sums these totals for all items in the cart yielding the final total cost.3. Inventory Management: In a warehouse inventory system, a stored procedure could be used to manage the stock levels of items. For instance, when a purchase is made, the stored procedure will automatically decrease the inventory by the appropriate amount and update the inventory database accordingly. This ensures the consistency, accuracy, and efficiency of the inventory system.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is a Stored Procedure?**A1: A stored procedure is a precompiled collection of SQL statements stored under a name and processed as a unit. They are, essentially, a programmatic function in a database system that is capable of being called by user applications.**Q2: What is the main use of Stored Procedures?**A2: Stored procedures are used for modularity, faster execution, reducing network traffic, and re-usability of code. They can consolidate and centralize logic that was originally implemented in applications.**Q3: Are stored procedures faster than SQL Queries?**A3: Stored procedures are precompiled and stored in the database. This means that the database knows what to expect and can optimize its execution plan, which results in potentially faster code execution compared with dynamic SQL queries. **Q4: What is the difference between a function and a stored procedure?**A4: The main difference is that a function will always return a value, while a stored procedure can or cannot return a value. Also, you can use a function in a SELECT statement, which you can’t do with a stored procedure. **Q5: Can Stored Procedures be written in languages other than SQL?**A5: While traditionally written in SQL or PL/SQL, many other databases have begun to support stored procedures written in Java, .NET, and other programming languages.**Q6: How are parameters passed to a Stored Procedure?**A6: Parameters can be passed to stored procedures similar to how they are passed to a function. They can be included in the procedure during its creation, and values can be assigned to them during a procedure call.**Q7: What is a Stored Procedure in SQL Server?**A7: A stored procedure in SQL Server is a group of one or more Transact-SQL statements or a reference to a Microsoft.NET Framework common runtime language (CLR) method. This collection of statements, or method, is stored in SQL Server and has an associated name to be referred to in programs.**Q8: What is the role of Stored Procedures in database security?** A8: Stored procedures can provide advanced database security. For instance, you can grant permissions to users to execute a stored procedure notwithstanding the fact that they don’t have permissions on the underlying database tables.

Related Tech Terms

  • Database Management System (DBMS)
  • Structured Query Language (SQL)
  • Transact-SQL (T-SQL)
  • Procedure Parameter
  • Trigger

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