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Beginning PL/SQL: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in Oracle) 2007th Edition

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590598825
ISBN-10: 1590598822
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald Bales is a computer applications consultant specializing in the analysis, design, and programming of client-server and web-based distributed systems, systems integration, and data warehousing. Don has over 20 years of experience with Oracle as both a developer and a database administrator, and 10 years of experience with Java. He is currently working on the migration of medical and industrial hygiene systems to a web environment for a major oil company. When he is not developing applications, Donald can often be found working with horses, playing the piano, or playing the bagpipes. Donald has had several careers, and has at various times been a mechanic, a general contractor, Mr. Mom, a developer, and currently a consultant. He has a bachelor of science degree in business from Elmhurst College in Illinois. Don resides in Downers Grove, Illinois, with his wife, Diane, and his daughter, Kristyn. He can be contacted by e-mail at

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Oracle
  • Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2007 edition (August 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598822
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590598825
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hooper on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very well written, with a couple minor problems which kept it from receiving a five star rating. The book takes the approach of here is how something works (with a detailed code example), here is a problem which needs to be solved using something similar to what you have just learned, and here is how I would write the solution for the problem. The book is easily read from cover to cover through the use of the author's humor, which seemed to dry up a bit half of the way through the book.

Comments about the book which I recorded as I read through, in no particular order:
* Page 282 suggests sticking to a standard set of VARCHAR2 column lengths, such as 2000 for comments (4000 for international). However, doing so may lead to excessive memory consumption problems as variable anchors are used in PL/SQL modules to declare variables.
* Testing and documentation are both demonstrated and stressed as necessary for the developer. The author states that roughly twice as much time should be spent testing a solution as the time required to code the solution.
* The author provides a brief description of basic SQL, just in case the author's advice of being comfortable with SQL was ignored.
* The book provides updated content for developers using Oracle 10g.
* Chapter titles appearing at the top of each page probably should have been labeled a little better to describe the contents of the chapter, rather than attempting to use a bit of witty humor for the chapter titles. This change would have made it easier to find a specific syntax example, although the index at the back of the book eliminates much of this being an issue.
* The author created a PL function in one of the early chapters of the book as a shorthand method of calling DBMS_OUTPUT.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Miller on October 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Information Technology professional with little expertise in PL/SQL I bought this book as a replacement for a PL/SQL training course. It has taught me much and is a very good reference. I feel confident about attending the future Oracle training courses without having attended the pre-requisite PL/SQL training course after reading the contents in this book. I can see that the information in this book will still be useful for years to come as it covers fundamental information. I recommended ut as it lays a good foundation. It is not one of those books that states the obvious or is so simple that you to wonder why you purchased it (and we have all done that before, haven't we).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aragorn on June 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
As an Oracle developer for over 10 years, I have read many Oracle books on a variety of topics, and this book is definitely one of those that stands heads above the others. As the title suggests, Beginning PL/SQL: From Novice to Professional covers a range of PL/SQL topics, both foundational and advanced. From the fundamentals such as triggers, procedures, packages, the book moves into the more advanced operations of Bulk Collection, Objects and even one of the more neglected but no less important areas in PL/SQL, unit testing. The topics in this book are delivered to the reader from a professional point of view in that all examples of the PL/SQL in the book are approached and designed as quality, production ready code. Topics such as design patterns, best practices and even some of the more insidious Oracle "gotchas" are discussed in this book, making it a wealth of information available to both the new as well as seasoned developer looking to update their PL/SQL knowledge. As a final bonus, this book packs all of this pertinent information in an refreshingly compact size with a breezy, fresh writing style. As one who has many a weighty computer tome where maybe 50% of the book has pertinent information and the rest is fluff, finding books where the fluff is removed are books to be treasured. If you are a PL/SQL developer of any level, beginner or veteran, this book is definitely one that should be turned to for information.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nathan G. Jensen on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been reading this book for about a week now. The fact that it got high reviews from 7 people led me to believe it must be good. But now I'm convinced that the high reviews are from friends, family, or maybe the publisher's employees.

I am a programmer and DB guy, and I've read dozens of techie books. This is the worst I've ever read. The biggest problem--and this is huge--is that the author injects folksy chitchat all over the place. I mean it's everywhere. Conservatively, 30% of the text is blah blah. I feel cheated, because this text could have been filled with substance that will help me learn PL/SQL. Here's a direct quote from the book, to give you an idea what I mean:

"Wow! It's like SQL heaven, SQL nirvana! You can update multiple columns at the same time simply by grouping them with parantheses. Hang on a second! I've got to go splash some cold water on my face. OK, I'm back. The moral of the story is don't use PL/SQL to do something you can already do with SQL. I'll be harping on this soapbox throughout the book, so if you didn't get my point, relax, you'll hear it again and again in the coming chapters." -- top of page 21.

If you think this is an isolated example, thing again. This kind of useless drivel is literally EVERYWHERE in the book. You'll find it on every page. I bought this book thinking I was getting a substantitve tutorial on PL/SQL, but instead it's like listenting to Uncle Elmer ramble on at the family reunion.

Don't buy this book. I'm going to return it.

Hey publisher: Techies don't like this kind of BS. Cut out the fluff and just leave the good stuff.

So then I tried to "ignore" the fluff and skip to the good parts. Even that's not all that good. The substantive parts are extremely brief.
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