PL/SQL String Functions vs VB String Functions - Your Opinion, Please

The app I have in mind will need to take user entered strings - some as long as 3 or 4 sentences - and parse the string for key words. The key words being looked for would be stored in a table. After the key words are located in the user entered string, a URL will be built to display on a web page linking a user to a ecommerce site.

I don't know too much about how Oracle stored procedures and functions can be used to manipulate strings of numbers and text. From what little I've seen, I'm guessing that I should probably rely on VB string functions and to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

What has your experience taught you?

1/24/2008 5:32:55 PM 2269 articles. 0 followers. Follow

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If you are asking which area should a developer choose given their background, I'd say there are two schools of thought:

1) Do the work in the area you are most comfortable working in.  If you are stronger in VB, do the parsing there and pass it to the DB when you are done.  If Oracle is your background do it there, etc.  This is generally the most efficient.

2) If you know you can do it in one area, but are unsure about another - try the second area.  First you can increase you experience there, second, after going back and doing it in your 'comfort' area, you can test the two methods to see which is faster.  Going this route takes a lot longer, but you gain a lot more from the experience.

If you're asking which area will given you better results - it's going to vary based on who is doing the work.  I can write some pretty @#$%y VB code that will get the job done (but you probably won't want to maintain that code).  But given enough time, could probably clean it up.  I could also create a pretty slick SP, and could probably tune it - but that's more due to experience and current use.  hth.

- Corwin
(My Blog -
1/24/2008 6:10:31 PM

Corwin, thanks for your response.

I should clarify what I am hoping to find out ....

If my tasks are 1) to manipulate strings of numbers and text, and store some of the results of that manipulation in one or more Oracle db tables and 2) to use string data already stored in a table to affect the appearance of a web page or to compare with user-entered text,  which code ... the VB Script on my web page or the PL/SQL working within a stored procedure or function would be 'better' at handling the string manipulation and then the db selects, inserts and updates.

I guess I am assuming that I would take the time to write the chosen code in the best possible fashion and I'm looking for the best language to choose. Is it normally better to hand such tasks to the Oracle db engine or the framework engine?

1/25/2008 12:48:19 AM

I think I understand what you are asking.  And that was how I was trying to answer.Big Smile  Both methods will work.  Depending on how well either is written can dictate whether one method is better than the other.  I was trying to make the case that both Oracle procs/functions AND application/code can do the job, and do it well, depending on how well someone knows that side.

In my opinion, I try to do as much on the db side as I can.  For two reasons,
1) I understand it better, so I can code it faster and it's more likely to be more efficient. 
2) Often, having functions on the db is a good way to allow processing on a different server (assuming the app is not hosted on that server), and so, the overall processing time is reduced.

But I will still throw in this caveat.  If the developer is not well experienced in db-side development, they might create a function that works, but is so inefficient as to make the process perform poorly.  And then the DB is cast as the culprit rather than how it was implemented.

(I really don't mean to make your decision more difficult.  hope this helps)

- Corwin
(My Blog -
1/25/2008 12:39:00 PM

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