The underlying SQL functions as a declarative language. Standard SQL—unlike some functional programming languages—does not require implementations to convert tail calls to jumps. The open standard SQL does not readily provide "first row" and "rest of table" accessors, and it cannot easily perform some constructs such as loops. PL/SQL, however, as a Turing-complete procedural language that fills in these gaps, allows Oracle database developers to interface with the underlying relational database in an imperative manner. SQL statements can make explicit in-line calls to PL/SQL functions, or can cause PL/SQL triggers to fire upon pre-defined Data Manipulation Language (DML) events.
PL/SQL stored procedures (functions, procedures, packages, and triggers) performing DML will get compiled into an Oracle database: to this extent, their SQL code can undergo syntax-checking. Programmers working in an Oracle database environment can construct PL/SQL blocks of functionality to serve as procedures, functions; or they can write in-line segments of PL/SQL within SQL*Plus scripts.
While programmers can readily incorporate SQL DML statements into PL/SQL (as cursor definitions, for example, or using the SELECT ... INTO syntax), Data Definition Language (DDL) statements such as CREATE TABLE/DROP INDEX etc. require the use of "Dynamic SQL". Earlier versions of Oracle Database required the use of a complex built-in DBMS_SQL package for Dynamic SQL where the system needed to explicitly parse and execute an SQL statement. Later versions have included an EXECUTE IMMEDIATE syntax called "Native Dynamic SQL" which considerably simplifies matters. Any use of DDL in an Oracle database will result in an implicit COMMIT. Programmers can also use Dynamic SQL to execute DML where they do not know the exact content of the statement in advance.