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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Having worked for a Fortune 50 company as an Oracle DBA for more than ten years, I have read many Oracle books. Apress usually publishes good quality books but where this one stands out is that it teaches a beginning Oracle DBA the tasks of Oracle database administration in a very orderly and precise manner. Go through the chapter list and you will realize that the book covers precisely what a beginning Oracle DBA does.

As a new Oracle DBA you have a choice: read the relevant portions of over 100 Oracle manuals or buy this book, get started on the job, and plan on further reading as you progress in your Oracle career.

The book is written in a platform-agnostic manner but provides instructions to install Oracle on your laptop and follow along. Every chapter ends with exercises and suggestions for further reading which are very helpful.

Part I Database Concepts

Chapter 1 Relational Database Management Systems
Chapter 2 SQL and PL/SQL
Chapter 3 Oracle Architecture

Part II Database Implementation

Chapter 4 Planning
Chapter 5 Software Installation
Chapter 6 Database Creation
Chapter 7 Physical Database Design
Chapter 8 User Management and Data Loading

Part III Database Support

Chapter 9 Taking Control
Chapter 10 Monitoring
Chapter 11 Fixing Problems
Chapter 12 Backups
Chapter 13 Recovery
Chapter 14 Database Maintenance
Chapter 15 The Big Picture and the Ten Deliverables

Part IV Database Tuning

Chapter 16 Instance Tuning
Chapter 17 SQL Tuning
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
otherwise you may regret the purchase. Reading the great reviews, I purchased this.. and was shocked at the low quality and very limited information within. These reviews at Amazon are too often written by friends and associates of the authors to promote the book, not to give readers an honest appraisal.

My best advice is that you should read a chapter before making the decision to purchase this book. When I saw the hundred++ pages of text dedicated to the (non-oracle specific) most basic introduction to database systems, exactly like in 100 books written over the last 20 years.. I was worried, rewritting other material is an easy way to increase your page count. Padding is completely unnecessary when there is so much information to convey and to learn about Oracle DBA, it completely detracts from the focus, and reduces the space for real information, and it conveys a sense that the author doesn't have depth in the subject, as I found when the text got into Oracle specific details.. it was no deeper than the most novice introductory material you find on the internet.

Virtually useless for an aspiring Oracle DBA. I'm surprised that the company allowed this to be printed in this state, as I have several other of their books that are GREAT , such as "Expert Oracle Database 11g Administration". That book is a thousand times better introduction, even for the beginning oracle DBA. Read the first chapter of that book, and you'll see what I mean.

I'm sure this review will be rated very low by all the author's supporters, but the only intention of my review is to save you time and money, (I wish someone had provided such a review for me). This could hardly have been an worse. This is the first book I ever returned to Amazon. You can see that Amazon verifies my purchase of this item. So beware, check it out first.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Iggy Fernandez is a VERY good writer. I think you'll really appreciate the many insights on the process of being a good Oracle DBA.

This book is unique in that it covers many aspects of the PROCESS of Oracle database administration. It's not really a book of scripts. As Iggy says, this book is an introduction to key concepts, such as monitoring, backups, etc. Each chapter is well organized, with plenty of graphics to make it interesting.

Iggy has also provided many good references, so that the reader can continue researching.

A really fine book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have known Iggy Fernandez for the last twenty years. I have always been impressed with his deep knowledge of database technology and his ability to explain it in a clear and succinct manner. He has brought that knowledge and ability to bear on this book wonderfully well. Most technical books focus on command syntax while this one gives equal importance to concepts. It is very well organized and the examples are taken from real life. "The Big Picture and the Ten Deliverables" is a very original chapter. Exercises at the end of each chapter and ample references will help the serious student. I truly wish I had this book when I started as an Oracle DBA all those years ago.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've worked with relational databases--including Oracle--for most of my career and managed teams of database administrators for many years.

If you're new to Oracle, this is the one book for you. Chock full of real life tips and advice borne from a DBA who has clearly learned the hard way, you will benefit from his successes and failures. Well written and easy to understand, this book will jump start anyone who is new to Oracle or wants to brush up on DBA fundamentals.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
You always get terrible books from unskilled authors, but you not always get good books from skilled ones...
Reading "Beginning Oracle Database 11g" you immediately get the feeling of being in the presence of a highly skilled professional, and one with good communication skills also.. then why this book that starts out so promisingly falls so short in the end? I am really left wondering and my only guess is the author did not have the time/energy/will to put more substance and effort in this job. The many enthusiastic reviews cannot be other than the result of the many good "relations" this author has in the Oracle world.
This text is filled with fluff, blank space and the most interesting parts are actually the end of chapter exercises... which of course are left without a solution. And this last particular I think sums it up. Avoid this author until he takes the time/will/energy to give more substance and value into his book writing. Meanwhile if you' re looking for a decent introductory book on Oracle administration I can recommend:
Oracle Database 11g DBA Handbook (Osborne ORACLE Press Series)
from the title it sounds like a reference work for experts but it's actually very "practice oriented", and a reasonably pleasant and useful read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you have ever taken a database course you will not find this book useful at all. Even if you know nothing about databases, this book is not enough to even get you started. I would recommend just using the tutorials on Oracle instead. If you do buy this book, plan on buying another book or using the online tutorials to supplement it. The book is very easy to read, but just doesn't provide enough information to be useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read this book and I feel it is alright. The author Iggy Fernandez uses Windows Operating System as the basis for examples. The book could have been a 5-Star, if only examples were also
provided for the Linux / UNIX Operating System. As a seasoned Oracle DBA, I would like to see if this book in future editions could contain Linux / UNIX examples and details.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is a must for new DBA's considering installing and using Oracle 11g. Not only is it full of details it is well written and easy to understand. I have recommended to my other friends in the Oracle community and want to pass along that if you are planning to use 11g in the next year you should get this book as a resource.
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