Oracle Database provides us with collection since a long as I can remember (Oracle 184.108.40.206). First as PL/SQL Tables in PL/SQL only. They have been been renamed (Index-by Tables, Associative arrays) and new implementations have been added since (Varrays, Nested Tables [SQL and PL/SQL]). Also the original Asscociative arrays have been updated, making them available in SQL as well. They play a key role in many of the newer Oracle features like BULK Processing (BULK COLLECT and FORALL) and Table functions. Using the bulk processing capabilities of your Oracle Database they can speed up your processing by an order of magnitude.
This session will show a little bit of history, how to use the collections, how to make collections available in SQL so they can be processed in other languages. How things can be done in what version and how things become easier with the newer versions of the database.