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Oracle Core: Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers [Paperback]

by Jonathan Lewis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 22, 2011 1430239549 978-1430239543 1

Oracle Core: Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers by Jonathan Lewis provides just the essential information about Oracle Database internals that every database administrator needs for troubleshooting—no more, no less.

Oracle Database seems complex on the surface. However, its extensive feature set is really built upon upon a core infrastructure resulting from sound architectural decisions made very early on that have stood the test of time. This core infrastructure manages transactions and the ability to commit and roll back changes, protects the integrity of the database, enables backup and recovery, and allows for scalability to thousands of users all accessing the same data.

Most performance, backup, and recovery problems that database administrators face on a daily basis can easily be identified through understanding the essential core of Oracle Database architecture that Lewis describes in this book.

  • Provides proven content from a world-renowned performance and troubleshooting expert
  • Emphasizes the significance of internals knowledge to rapid identification of database performance problems
  • Covers the core essentials and does not waste your time with esoterica

What you’ll learn

  • Oracle's core architectural foundations
  • How much overhead is reasonable
  • How to recognize when you're doing too much work
  • How to predict bottlenecks and why they will happen
  • How to minimise contention and locking
  • Why concurrency can slow things down significantly

Who this book is for

Oracle Core: Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers is aimed at database administrators ready to move beyond the beginning stage of doing work by rote towards the mastery stage, in which knowledge of what needs to be done comes not from a set of recipe-style instructions, but rather from the intimate knowledge and understanding of the system to be managed. Experienced database administrators will also find the book useful in solidifying their knowledge and filling in any missing pieces of the Oracle Database puzzle.

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started...
  2. Redo and Undo
  3. Transactions and Consistency
  4. Locks and Latches
  5. Caches and Copies
  6. Writing and Recovery
  7. Parsing and Optimizing
  8. RAC and Ruin

Frequently Bought Together

Oracle Core: Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers + Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Performance Tuning Tips & Techniques (Oracle Press) + Expert Oracle Database Architecture: Oracle Database 9i, 10g, and 11g Programming Techniques and Solutions
Price for all three: $102.72

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Lewis has been working in the�information technology�industry for nearly 25 years, and has been using the Oracle relational database management system for more than 20. For the past 16 years, he has�worked as a freelance consultant, often spending only one or two days at a time with any client to address critical performance problems. He also advises on design and implementation problems, and on how to make best use of the most appropriate Oracle features for a given project. Jonathan is also renowned throughout the world for his tutorials and seminars about the Oracle database engine and how to make best use of it. Having visited 42 countries at�last count, his exceptional ability has earned him an O1 visa from the United States, allowing him to do consultancy and lecture work there. Jonathan has written two books about Oracle (Practical Oracle8i, Addison-Wesley, 2000; Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals, Apress, 2005), and has contributed to two others (Oracle Insights, Apress, 2004; Oracle Database 10g New Features, Oracle Press, 2004). He also writes regularly for the UKOUG magazine, and occasionally for other publications around the world. In the limited amount of time he has leftover, Jonathan also publishes high-tech Oracle articles on his blog at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430239549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430239543
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered a paperback copy of this book three months ago from Amazon and also purchased a PDF copy of the book from Apress. It was a long, nearly six year wait since the publication of the author's "Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals" book, and I am fairly certain that many of those who read the "Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals" book were looking forward to reading volume two in the anticipated three part series.

The author of this book is a well known Oracle Ace Director who has written at least three books since the year 2000 and contributed to a handful of other books. In addition to writing books, the author has also maintained a technical Oracle Database blog since 2006, and contributed to a number of Oracle focused Internet forums (Usenet, Oracle-L, AskTom, Oracle OTN) dating back to at least 1994. The book's primary technical reviewer is also a well known Oracle Ace Director and Oracle Certified Master who also maintains a technical Oracle Database blog and "living" Oracle reference site with deeply technical articles.

Did the book's contents meet the level of expectations provided by the book's cover and the publisher's description of the book? Shortly before the book arrived, I assumed that the book was targeted at people who might have struggled with the "Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals" book. The back cover of this book states that the book targets readers with knowledge ranging from beginners to intermediate. I was surprised to find that chapter one lasted all of four pages, and that page seven introduced the reader to the first of many symbolic block dumps.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Diusappointing format for an Apress title June 9, 2013
By RodL
Charles Hooper has provided an excellent technical review of this book.
I would also agree with the reviewer below who points out that it really is for advanced developers and DBAs. It is not for the faint-hearted (or for intermediate users).
However, none of the reviewers below have addressed the major problem with this book - its readability. I refer not to the technical content (which is of course well up to the usual standard of Jonathan's books and others published by Apress). But why oh why did JL/Apress decide to:
(a) use a smaller font for this book (as compared with the usual font in say 'Tales of the Oak Table' and Antognini's excellent 'Troubleshooting Oracle Performance' or even his own 'CBO Fundamentals')
(b) reduced spacing between paragraphs?
This all makes this book so much harder to read (so that it is rather like wading through a student thesis). Which is a pity - because JL's work is usually so readable and informative, but for this book the poor formatting really is an unnecessary hindrance.
I suggest that you wait until a new version of this book is published with the usual Apress font and spacing - but I suspect that this will not happen...
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Oracle in 10 years February 20, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Certainly the best book on Oracle internals since Steve Adams book (Steve has unfortunately left the field). I remember a friend with a PhD in math and a chess master who felt intimidated by Jonathan's "Cost-Based Oracle". What makes is work more impressive is that it it based on personal investigation - dumps and testing. It is unfortunate that Oracle Corporation, in it's pursuit of galactic domination, has closed many doors to information and has threatened writers with "attempting to reverse engineer their product". Fewer and fewer technical papers come out of Oracle every year. The RDBMS, application software, training, consulting... May I use the word "monopoly"? I want to create BI software/hardware that uses Oracle. Do you seriously think Oracle wants to help me? Bill Gates is trying to eradicate childhood diseases, Larry Ellison is trying to eliminate anyone not generating income for him. If I weren't so lazy (one of Larry Wall's virtues of a programmer), I'd switch to SQL Server or dive into the noSQL fray. Pardon the flame there. It's a very good book .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SHOCKING, ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING! July 24, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yes, I was shocked by this book. Had absolutely no idea it would be as comprehensive as it is. Where does this guy get the time to do all this research? I agree with other reviewers who suggest this book sets the standard for Oracle internals. This book is definitely one of a kind.

The greatest value for me was Chapter 3, "TRANSACTIONS AND CONSISTENCY." I was investigating performance issues with a flashback query, and this chapter had the answer. It was due to the "Transaction Table" rollback. I have not found this valuable information anywhere else. There was not one DBA amongst the 24 I work with who knew this information (I admit I certainly did not.) The author gave me several good tips on how to identify when your database is performing lots of transactions table rollbacks. This was all excellent and very practical.

The main suggestion I have is on the writing style. The effort required to read this book is formidable. That is what kept me from giving the book six stars, instead of just five. Here's the point--we techies have difficulty presenting complex subjects in an understandable fashion--we just want to get into the details, and not waste time on preliminaries. That's why presentations by techies at conferences are often terrible and unreadable. (To clarify, I've attended talks by the author, and he does NOT make that mistake at conferences.)

When discussing a complex topic, the text sometimes goes quickly into very detailed specifics, with just a sketchy overview beforehand. The author is so anxious to get into the nitty gritty data, he doesn't give us a chance to catch up with him. This makes it tougher for mere mortals to follow Mr Lewis.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about how Oracle really works
Understanding how Oracle really works is essential for any one working with Oracle. This book is furthest you get (in a book) when it comes to Oracle internals. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Lasse Jenssen
5.0 out of 5 stars very readable and helpful
The book is extremely readable and understandable even for non-native engl. speakers. It gives a lot of insights and facts of how things work in a perfect way, as author says... Read more
Published 1 month ago by daniel zika
4.0 out of 5 stars Oracle Core Review
I completed reading JL's Oracle Core Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers. I knew what I was in for because I also read his first book on the Oracle Optimizer. Read more
Published 11 months ago by George Loewenthal
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for every DBA from novice to expert
Jonathan is the master of undertanding Oracle. He strips the core of the Oracle transaction architecture down to its essentials in a very clear manner.
Published 12 months ago by Dennis W. Willaims
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for Oracle related
It proved again Jonathan Lewis is worth the O1 VISA to the US. I'm very surprised that it can go so deep without the source code. It's really amazing.
Published 13 months ago by Hongyuan Han
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - Great book, great author
It is a great book on oracle internals with an exceptionaly easy and understandable approach. Even not that good of a DBA like me can actually understand and get a glimpse into the... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ludmil Johnev
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply perfect
Every Oracle expert knows Jonathan Lewis and all his work about internals.
His books, like "Practical Oracle 8i" and "Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals", and the so many... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Corrado Piola
5.0 out of 5 stars great for juniors too
I agree with all the positive reviews present here on Amazon as of today.

I would elaborate on the "experience level" that is allegedly required to read this book: this... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Alberto Dell'era
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent walk through for Oracle internals
Jonathan has written an excellent and concise text on database internals for Oracle 11g.
My favorite part is the quick tips on how to understand the nuts and bolts of the... Read more
Published on February 29, 2012 by Benjamin S. Prusinski
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