Portal Application Development Tutorial
I thought I would share the techniques we've established for building applications using Portal and web PL/SQL with a wider audience. Some of my other posts assume a degree of knowledge, making it difficult for those just starting to follow.
If you are new to Portal I hope you find this series helpful.
About the Tutorial
The tutorial is structured around building a very simple application based on the famous scott/tiger sample schema that is shipped as standard with so many of Oracle's databases, including Portal.
We are going to build an application using dynamic pages to call database packages. You will need a login to Portal that has DBA level priviliges: portal itself would work, but it is probably safer not to use such a powerful login for everyday purposes. You can create a new user from the Administer tab of the builder page (the one you see after you log into Portal).
It will be easier if you also have access to a tool for editing packages: I like to user SqlDeveloper (and not just because it's free), but use whatever you feel most at home with.
The PL/SQL Language
Portal makes extensive use of Oracle's PL/SQL language, and so does this tutorial. If you don't know PL/SQL at all you may find it harder to follow, but I've tried to make all the source code available to download so you can just cut and paste. PL/SQL is similar to many other languages, the major differences being it's exceptionally close relationship with SQL (but you'd already guessed that) and the concept of packages.
Packages are rather like classes in C++ or Java: they can bring together a collection of methods (procedures and functions in PL/SQL) into a logical grouping. They don't normally contain data: being Oracle, it is assumed that data lives in the database.
I've tried to keep each lesson very short to let you dip in and out more easily.