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Expert PL/SQL Practices: for Oracle Developers and DBAs 1st Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430234852
ISBN-10: 1430234857
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Rosenblum is a Software Architect and Senior DBA at Dulcian, Inc. where he is responsible for system tuning and application architecture. Michael supports Dulcian developers by writing complex PL/SQL routines and researching new features. He is the co-author of Oracle PL/SQL Performance Tuning Tips & Techniques (McGraw-Hill, 2014) and PL/SQL for Dummies (Wiley Press, 2006), contributing author of Expert PL/SQL Practices (Apress, 2011), and author of a number of database-related articles in IOUG Select Journal, ODTUG Tech Journal, and OTech Magazine. Michael is an Oracle ACE, a frequent presenter at various Oracle user group conferences (Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG, IOUG Collaborate, RMOUG, NYOUG), and winner of the ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2009 Best Speaker Award. In his native Ukraine, he graduated summa cum laude from the Kiev National Economic University where he received a Master of Science degree in Information Systems.

Dominic Delmolino is the lead Oracle and database technologist for Agilex Technologies, a consulting firm specializing in assisting government and private enterprises to realize the value of their information. Dominic has more than 24 years of database experience, including more than 20 years as an Oracle Database engineering and development professional. He is a member of the OakTable Network and regularly presents at conferences, seminars, and user group meetings in Europe and the U.S. He also maintains, a site focused on database coding and design practices related to database application development. Dominic holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Cornell University.

Lewis Cunningham has been working in IT for more than 20 years, and has worked with Oracle databases since 1993. His specialties are application design, database design, and coding of high volume, very large databases. He is a senior database architect at a financial services company in St. Petersburg, Florida, working on very large, high transaction rate analytical databases and applications. He spends an inordinate amount of time keeping up with current technology and trends and speaking at user groups and doing webinars. Lewis is an Oracle ACE Director and Oracle Certified Professional. He has written several articles for the Oracle Technology Network and maintains an Oracle technology blog at Lewis has written two books: EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference (Rampant Techpress, 2007) and SQL DML: The SQL Starter Series (CreateSpace, 2008). He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons. You can contact him at

Riyaj Shamsudeen is an industry-recognized RAC expert and performance tuning specialist with 19+ years of experience in implementing, using, and tuning RAC and Oracle products. He is an Oracle ACE Director and proud member of the OakTable network. Riyaj has co-authored many books about Oracle Database. He is an active blogger (at and frequent international speaker in major conferences such as UKOUG, HOTSOS, Open World, and RMOUG.

Connor McDonald has worked with Oracle since the early 1990s, cutting his teeth on Oracle versions 6.0.36 and 7.0.12. Over the past 11 years, Connor has worked with systems in Australia, the U.K., southeast Asia, western Europe, and the United States. He has come to realize that although the systems and methodologies around the world are very diverse, there tend to be two common themes in the development of systems running on Oracle: either to steer away from the Oracle-specific functions or to use them in a haphazard or less-than-optimal fashion. It was this observation that led to the creation of a personal hints and tips website ( and more, presenting on the Oracle speaker circuit in an endeavor to improve the perception and usage of PL/SQL in the industry.

Melanie Caffrey is a senior development manager for Oracle Corporation, providing front-end and back-end Oracle solutions for the business needs of various clients. She is co-author of several technical publications, including Oracle Web Application Programming for PL/SQL Developers, Oracle DBA Interactive Workbook, and Oracle Database Administration: The Complete Video Course, all published by Prentice Hall. She has instructed students in Columbia University's Computer Technology and Applications Program in New York City, teaching advanced Oracle database administration and PL/SQL development. She is a frequent Oracle conference speaker.

Sue Harper is a product manager for Oracle SQL Developer and SQL Developer Data Modeler in the Database Development Tools group. She has been at Oracle since 1992 and is currently based in London. Sue is a regular contributor to magazines, maintains a technical blog, and speaks at many conferences around the world. She has authored the technical book Oracle SQL Developer 2.1 (Packt Publishing, 2009). When not at work, Sue is a keen walker and photographer. Sue takes time out to work with a charity in the slums of New Delhi, where she works with women and children.

Torben Holm has been in the computer business as a developer since 1987. He has been working with Oracle since 1992 his first four years as system analyst and application developer (Oracle 7 and Forms 4.0/Reports 2.0 and database administrator), then two years as developer (Oracle6/7, Forms 3.0 and RPT, and database administrator). He spent several years working for Oracle Denmark in the Premium Services group as a senior principal consultant, performing application development and database administration tasks. He also worked as an instructor in PL/SQL, SQL, and database courses. Torben now works for Miracle A/S ( as a consultant, with a focus in application development (PLSQL, mod_plsql, Forms, ADF) and database administration. He has been at Miracle A/S for more than 10 years. He is an Oracle Certified Developer and a member of the OakTable Network.

Robyn Sands is a software engineer for Cisco Systems, where she designs and develops embedded Oracle database products for Cisco customers. She has been working with Oracle since 1996, and has extensive experience in application development, large system implementations, and performance measurement. Robyn began her career in industrial and quality engineering, and has combined her prior education and experience with her love of data by searching for new ways to build database systems with consistent performance and minimal maintenance requirements. She is a member of the OakTable Network and co-author of two books on Oracle: Expert Oracle Practices and Pro Oracle SQL. Robyn occasionally posts random blog entries at

John Beresniewicz is a consulting member of the technical staff at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. He joined Oracle in 2002 to work on Enterprise Manager in the database performance area, and has played significant role in the design of diagnostic and tuning packs, real application testing, Support Workbench and Exadata. He has been a frequent speaker on database performance and PL/SQL programming over many years at Oracle OpenWorld and other conferences. He is co-author of Oracle Built-in Packages (O Reilly & Associates) with Steven Feuerstein, and is a founding member of the OakTable Network.

Ron Crisco has been a software designer, developer, and project leader for 28 years, and has worked with Oracle databases for 21 years. He works at Method R Corporation, designing and developing software, managing software products (like Method R Profiler, MR Tools, and MR Trace), consulting, and teaching courses. His specialty is simplifying complex work, which is especially valuable in helping the people around him accomplish extraordinary things.

Martin B chi has worked since 2004 as lead software architect for Avaloq, a provider of a standardized banking software built on the Oracle RDBMS with 11 million lines of PL/SQL code. Together with two colleagues, he defines the system architecture and reviews the designs and code of 170 full-time PL/SQL developers, looking for simplicity, efficiency, and robustness. Martin regularly speaks at Oracle conferences. In 2009, he was named PL/SQL Developer of the Year by Oracle Magazine. Before getting into Oracle database, Martin worked in object-oriented systems, formal methods, and approximate record matching. He holds master of science degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the Turku Center for Computer Science in Finland. In his spare time, Martin enjoys various outdoor sports with his family.

Adrian Billington is a consultant in application design, development, and performance tuning who has been working with Oracle databases since 1999. He is the man behind, a website full of SQL and PL/SQL features, utilities, and techniques for Oracle developers. Adrian is also an Oracle ACE and a member of the OakTable Network. He lives in the U.K. with his wife, Anji, and three children: Georgia, Oliver, and Isabella.

Stephan Petit began his career in 1995 at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, located in Geneva, Switzerland. He is now in charge of a team of software engineers and students delivering applications and tools to the laboratory and beyond. One of these tools is the Engineering and Equipment Data Management System, also known as the CERN EDMS. Projects like CERN s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have a lifetime of 40 years or more. The EDMS is the digital engineering memory of the laboratory. More than a million documents relating to more than a million pieces of equipment are stored in the EDMS, which is also used as CERN s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Asset Tracking system. EDMS is based almost entirely on PL/SQL and is intended to have a lifetime at least as long as the LHC.

Stephan and his team of have been polishing coding conventions and best practices in PL/SQL in order to meet their very interesting mix of challenges: maintainability over decades, reliability, efficient error handling, scalability, and reusability of the modules. These challenges are compounded by the frequent rotation of team members, most of whom are students only temporarily at CERN. The oldest piece of code was written in 1995 and is still in use with success! Apart from polishing PL/SQL, Stephan also enjoys being on stage from time to time, as rock band singer at the CERN's rock & roll summer festival, or as actor in various plays.

Arup Nanda has been an Oracle?Database administrator?since 1993, which has exposed him to all facets of database administration, from modeling to disaster recovery. He currently leads the global DBA team at Starwood Hotels, the parent of chains such as Sheraton and Westin, in White Plains, New York. He serves as a contributing editor of SELECT Journal, the publication of Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG); speaks at many Oracle Technology events such as Oracle World and local user groups such as New York Oracle User Group; and has written many articles for both print publications such as Oracle Magazine and online publications such as Oracle Technology Network. Arup has co-authored two books: Oracle Privacy Security Auditing (Rampant, 2003) and Oracle PL/SQL for DBAs (O'Reilly, 2005). Recognizing his professional accomplishments and contributions to user community, Oracle chose him as the DBA of the Year in 2003. Arup lives in Danbury, Connecticut, with his wife, Anindita, and son, Anish. He can be reached at


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (July 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430234857
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430234852
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,608,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Yan Li on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was a little bit puzzled when I got this book: who is the author? There are 15 of them! After reading it, I now believe it is a very good idea to combine knowledge from multiple experts into a single book, especially for a technical book. I would like to see more of these kinds of books coming.

The writers of this book are all very active in the Oracle community, most are authors, Oracle ACE, members of the OakTable network, etc. I actually met a few of them at seminars and user group activities. One of them, Arup Nanda, was once my RAC class instructor, and I've always been impressed by his ability to explain complicated issues in a simple and interesting way. In this book, he discussed dependencies and invalidations with the same clear logic.

The book has 15 chapters, with each author contributing one. Every chapter has a brief summary. Almost all of them go deeply into the topic using very good sample codes, traces, and tkprof output to prove their points.

You may read it as a book focusing on the newest and most powerful PL/SQL features, or you can treat it as 15 top level technical articles - each concentrates on a specific PL/SQL field and digs deeply into it. You'll learn the best practices from their expertise; real experiences and lessons. You can also gain lots of TTTs: Tips, Tricks and Traps to avoid. Many new data dictionary views mentioned by the authors are also very useful.

Based on the needs of my current work, I went through some chapters in close detail, and browsed others for future reference. The book touches the most recent Oracle version, including many new features of 11gR2.

This book is not for beginners. You will need some PL/SQL background to start with.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Doug Duncan on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a book written by 15 of the top PL/SQL experts and each of them gets to take you deep into their chosen subject matter. Books like this are great in the fact that you get in-depth coverage of the material being presented by someone who is passionate about the subject.

The authors show you what you can do to help make your code better for not only your benefit, but for the benefit of those that will come later and have to maintain your code.

Here is a brief description of some of my favorite chapters:

Chapter 1 shows why using PL/SQL might not be the best choice in a given situation. If you can get the job done strictly with SQL, then PL/SQL just adds unnecessary complexity and resource use. If you're coming from a programming background and haven't done much database work, this chapter would be a great reference for you.

Chapter 2 covers dynamic SQL and the pros and cons of working with it. In my experience this technique is underused, and too many people try to make a single general purpose (static) query that is hard to tune and work with. When done right, dynamic SQL can offer significant performance benefits without introducing complexity or security issues.

Chapter 7 talks about knowing your code. This is not only the code you write, but the code you must maintain. When your manager comes and asks you to make a change to some code, you need to know how that data is being used, what calls that code, and how the change will affect anything using it downstream. By putting the practices mentioned here into use, you will make it easier on yourself when making those changes and will have the confidence to know where and how to test your changes to verify nothing broke with the changes made.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. PANDIT on August 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a MUST READ book for all DBAs & Developers. This is like having 30min 1-on-1 session with 15 subject matter experts.

As a DBA I always face challenges when explaining to developers the DOs & DONTs in SQL & PL/SQL.
The reasons being -
1. PL/SQL & SQL (oracle) has evolved a lot in last few years sometimes we don't keep track of new features.
2. Most of the developers practice either Java & or C++,C# religion, hence they look at PL/SQL with prejudiced view.

Even DBAs also get away with their jobs using their ancient knowledge about PL/SQL from 7.3 era.

Some of us do try to keep our knowledge up-to-date with white papers/articles, and try to make use of it but not effectively.

This book explains developers how/when to use SQL vs PL/SQL effectively. It explains the coding styles/standards & their use. It not only explains DOs, but it explains DONTs as well.

DBAs - One of the biggest challenge we normally have to deal with is code review...... making sure that it is not violating standards, compliance guideline and that we get it right when it is ready for implementation.... This book has tips to develop automated scripts/queries... just by running these we will be able to catch most of the violations.

Developers - Even though most of them have knowledge about the PL/SQL objects & standard SQLs, but one tend to loose the touch as
- They get pressured by deadlines
- Busy gaining business knowledge
- Keeping up with new features of their native programming languages.

This book will provide you in-depth knowledge on using SQL and or PL/SQL "effectively".....Please note this book is not for beginners as it assumes you know the syntax & feature.
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