Most helpful critical review
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Overall, a good entry level book
on May 6, 2009
Let me start my review saying that this one is a book that deserves some attention; we have a lot of options in terms of Oracle 11g books out there, but problem (like MS-SQL) is the inability for some authors, to express their knowledge in a coherent way. Being an Oracle "master" DBA does not mean you'll be a good author or viceversa.
I've had the opportunity to check this one on my local bookstore (I think I'll buy it, maybe) and spent some time drinking a cup of coffee and reading it ... so, here are my impressions.
What I like:
1. Very well organized: I believe you should start reading from very beginning to end, but author divided concepts very well so you can easily find information without the need of going back and forth or read initial chapters. Like any RDMS (MS-SQL, Oracle, etc), if you have a basic SQL language fundamentals and Os experience (Linux, Windows), material will be much much easier to understand
2. Plain english: I love when you can read an IT or SQL book and you do not need a "PhD" in order to understand. This book is easy to read and straight to the point.
3. Good price: I think that based on the content and other options, price on this one is something to take seriously.
What could be improved
1. Not in-depth coverage: Ironically, point 2 in "What I like" section leads to point 1 here. Good or bad thing depends of what you're looking for. I think that if reader is looking for a more in depth and comprehensive material, this book will not be a good choice. Is so straight to the point that clarifications or further explanations in sections like setup, are short.
2. Use of Windows as Testing environment: read my blog comment below with author about this. Is a topic which creates polemic. But being a DBA for one of the largest Computer companies in the world, I can tell that you won't get full Oracle power if you run it from Windows. So, learning how to setup or how Oracle runs on Linux is a must in today's job market. Yes, you can learn basic T-SQL administration running Oracle on top of Windows ... Yes, internal SQL statements operations won't change, but again, if you want to be different and get the full Oracle's advantage, why not test it on a Linux/Unix box? we got VMware, VirtualBox and others that will let you install Oracle with some tweaks (Red Hat like Linux systems are the only one supported by Oracle)
3. More pictures, please! Not in agreement with other review. I think that we won't find enough here; one or another pictures among chapters, but not enough in my opinion indeed. Oracle architecture is so complex that concepts get lost easily if you don't visualize them.
Overall, this is a good book for the entry level or MS-SQL DBA which is trying to catch Oracle concepts in a fast but good way but I would suggest to overlap ideas with a good Linux book like: Linux Recipes for Oracle DBAs, by Darl Kuhn or get a nice Linux cert book, like the most recent Sybex edition: LPIC-1: Linux Professional Institute Certification Study Guide: (Exams 101 and 102). Like I said before, if you master the Os portion of Oracle or MS-SQL, your troubleshooting skills get empowered also.