Stored procedure Vs. Function: What are the differences?

Stored procedure Vs. Function: What are the differences?

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Updated on Feb 9, 2024 15:22 IST

The stored procedure takes no parameter, can modify database objects, and need not returns results, in contrast function can have input parameters and can be called from procedures. In this article, we will learn such differences between stored procedure and function.

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Functions cannot change anything and must have at least one parameter. Also, it must return a result. Stored procedures take no parameters, can modify database objects, and need not return results. Stored procedures join SQL queries into transactions and communicate with the outside world. In this article, we will explore stored procedure vs function.

Table of contents

 Stored procedure vs Function

  • Stored procedures take no parameters, can modify database objects, and need not return results.
  • Functions can only have input parameters, whereas procedures can have either input or output parameters.
  • Functions can be called from procedures, but procedures cannot be called from functions. 
  • Exceptions can be handled in try-catch blocks within procedures, but try-catch blocks cannot be used within functions. 
  • Procedures cannot be used in SELECT statements, but functions can be embedded in SELECT statements. 

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What is the stored procedure?

A stored procedure is a program that performs a set of actions repeatedly. A stored procedure differs from a function in that it runs as a unit, whereas a function runs concurrently in the computer’s memory. Stored procedures improve system performance by allowing the program to access data frequently without loading it into memory.

A stored procedure is a computer code that performs actions repeatedly. A stored procedure is run as a unit instead of a function, which performs several actions serially. Stored procedures help accomplish complex tasks with repeated executions. For example, you could use a stored procedure to add several numbers in memory and return the total. Running the same code repeatedly would reduce the time to complete calculations.

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Advantages of stored procedure

  1. Stored procedures can be used as modular programming. In other words, stored procedures are created once, stored, and called as many times as needed. This supports faster execution. It also reduces network traffic and increases data security. 
  2.  Because the script is in one place, maintaining the procedure on the server is much easier than maintaining copies on different client machines.
  3. Any Java-integrated development environment (IDE) can create stored procedures. It can then be deployed at any level of your network architecture.
  4. Stored procedures improve scalability by isolating application processing on the server.

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Disadvantages of stored procedure

  1. Testability- Business logic encapsulated in stored procedures takes a lot of work to test. If there are data errors, you will know at run time. Debug.
  2. Debugging-Debugging stored procedures is difficult but possible. However, we are at the mercy of database profilers for tracking application issues and debugging databases.
  3. No history is attached to stored procedures.
  4. Errors- Stored procedure errors cannot be caught as part of a compile or build step in a CI/CD pipeline. The same is true if a stored procedure is lost during the development process or if some other database error sneaks into the application.
  5. Not easy to find changes- One of the most significant drawbacks of stored procedures is that it is complicated to determine which parts of the system are used and which are not. It is often impossible to find all changes simultaneously, mainly if the software is split into multiple applications.

What is a function?

A function is compiled and executed every time it is called. Functions must return a value and cannot modify the data received as parameters. Functions cannot change anything and must have at least one parameter. Also, it must return a result. Stored procedures take no parameters, can modify database objects, and need not return results.

Stored procedures join SQL queries into transactions and communicate with the outside world.

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Advantages of Function

  1. You can reduce the length of your source program by using functions in appropriate places. This factor is significant in microcomputers with limited storage space. 
  2. Easier to identify, isolate and further investigate the failing Function; iii) Functions can be used in many other programs. C programmers can build on what others have already done rather than starting from scratch.
  3. Facilitates top-down modular programming. In this programming style, the high-level logic of the entire problem is resolved first, and the low-level details of each Function are dealt with later. If you only use the Function programmatically, you don’t have to worry about how the Function works internally. Example: printf()
  4. Functions are useful for code modularity. In other words, all code is split into separate blocks, each self-contained and performing a different task. This makes each block much easier to implement and debug.

Disadvantages of Function

  1. Adding user functions can speed up code that is best written in C rather than a scripting language, but there may be better choices for your implementation.
  2. Recursion is the biggest problem with the functions
  3. The time to execute the Function is relatively high
  4. When a company decides to use a functional programming language, it is important to consider the availability of experts in that language.

Conclusion

Both stored procedures and functions are database objects that contain a set of SQL statements to accomplish a task. In many respects, they are different from each other. I hope this blog on Stored procedure vs Function was helpful!

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