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Pro Oracle SQL (Expert's Voice in Oracle) 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1430232285
ISBN-10: 1430232285
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Morton is a consultant and educator specializing in application optimization in both shoulder-to-shoulder consulting engagements and classroom settings. She is a Senior Technical Consultant for Enkitec.

For more than 20 years, Karen has worked in information technology. Starting as a mainframe programmer and developer, she has been a database administrator, a data architect and now is a researcher, educator and consultant. Having used Oracle since the early 90s, she began teaching others how to use Oracle over a decade ago.

Karen is a frequent speaker at conferences and user groups, an Oracle ACE, and a member of the OakTable network (an informal association of "Oracle scientists" that are well known throughout the Oracle community). She blogs at

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

Jared Still is a senior database administrator at Radisys Corporation. Jared has been working with databases since 1988, and with Oracle in particular since 1994, beginning with Oracle version 7.0.13. During that time, he has participated in a wide range of database administration tasks, as is the norm at smaller companies. Data modeling, database design, and overcoming Compulsive Tuning Disorder (CTD) have all been part of the job. As part of the CTD recovery process, he began learning how databases and Oracle in particular actually work.

The revelation was that well-performing databases and applications do not happen by accident, but by design. And "by design" means that you must understand how databases work, and how to make efficient use of the SQL language to create scalable applications and databases. Jared's goal for this book is to make it easier for developers and database administrators to understand and use advanced SQL syntax. There are many features that have been introduced since Oracle 8i, and yet they seem to be seldom used. This book should help rectify that.

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.

Kerry Osborne began working with Oracle (version 2) in 1982. He has worked as both a developer and a DBA. For the past several years he has been focused on understanding Oracle internals and solving performance problems. He is an OakTable member and an Oracle Ace Director.. Kerry is a frequent speaker at Oracle conferences. He is also a co-founder of Enkitec, an Oracle-focused consulting company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. He blogs at


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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Oracle
  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430232285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430232285
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dean Alomerovic on February 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book is for Oracle professionals almost exclusively - the other RDBMS are not covered. I've found the book very useful to both developers and DBAs (I happened to be wearing both hats) in day to day activities.

The authors have assumed you are already in the Oracle field. If you are not, then the material may often overwhelm you. Novices can find more suitable books out here for sure. By the time you are through the book, you'll be up several levels when it comes to writing better SQL or understanding better already written SQL.

I give all 5 STARS to the authors of the book for the great job done on demystifying SQL execution plans. The book shows and analyzes execution plans over and over again until they become your second nature. It took chapters 2 through 6 to build the necessary background and take readers to the very hart of execution plans. The rest of the book also uses the plans as the main tool for SQL characterization and performance analysis.

Page 165 shows how to read an exec plan as a plain English narrative. In my experience, this is highly useful for:
1. Putting yourself in the shoes of Oracle Optimizer - think the way HE thinks.
2. Presenting in plain English the SQL execution problems to inquisitive but less-technical folks, from VPs and directors to functional users.

My experience has thought me that being able to understand, interpret, assess and compare SQL execution plans is a great skill to have.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hard-Hitting, Beyond the Basics Advice for Breaking the Black Box Approach to Database Programming, Leveraging the SQL Language on Oracle Database, and Improving Overall Performance of the SQL that You Write

I pre-ordered this book in October 2010 while searching for a way to learn some of the more advanced features of Oracle Database's SQL; I have been searching for a follow up book to the "Mastering Oracle SQL and SQL*Plus" book that I read a couple of years ago, and I think that I finally found that follow up book. Written as the Oracle Database 11.2 sequel to the book "Mastering Oracle SQL and SQL*Plus" (and that book's much updated revision titled "Beginning Oracle SQL"), this book is not written as a simple reference for the Oracle specific SQL dialect. This is not a book that you will want to use when trying to learn the basics of creating a simple SQL statement with a four table join. However, if you are able to create that simple SQL statement with a four table join in less than 30 minutes with the help of an entity-relationship diagram (ERD), and without using a DISTINCT clause, this book's contents will prove to be a valuable resource not only to expand your depth of knowledge of the SQL language, but also to extract the extra value that becomes visible when Oracle Database is viewed as much more than a black box dumping ground for data.

The authors of this book are all OakTable Network members and have between 15 and 29 years of experiencing working with Oracle products. This long term exposure to Oracle Database is quite clearly an advantage when discussing many of the subtopics that are simply missed by other Oracle specific SQL language references. While there was no discussion of the SQL language from Oracle Database 2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott on December 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is not a book for learning to write SQL - you need to know how to do that before you read this book. This is a book for learning to write better SQL with Oracle. Nearly every example is accompanied by SQL that enable you to determine that this specific example is in fact better and why. So you won't just learn that SQL technique, you'll also learn to investigate other SQL statements. It is also is solely focused on Oracle - it won't help you with other DBMS's.

Ignore chapter One - it's not indicative of the rest of the book. It covers only things you ought to already know and rightly redirects you elsewhere if you don't understand any of it.

You'll want to have an Oracle system available to you as you read this book, so that you can try out the examples. It should be a system where you can freely experiment because you will want to create tables, run the SQL and then look at the explain results in the Plan tables.

I did especially like Chapter 5 - "It's about the Question" -- you do really need to understand what you are trying to retrieve before you write the query. That chapter is about determining what the question really is. This is perhaps the only chapter that is independent of the database system.

There's a lot of information in this book and many times I found I was picking up things that were new to me, even though I have been working with Oracle for some years (and SQL for many more years).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Raj Daniel on September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few books shaped my approach to Understand Oracle architecture and systematize Oracle tuning. 1. Expert one on one -Tom Kyte 2. Effective Oracle by design -Tom Kyte 3. Optimizing oracle performance -Cary Milsap 4.CBO fundemantals -Jonathan Lewis 5. TOP -Christian Antognini. This book also should definetly be in one's Oracle Library. It covers a good skill range. One need not be an expert to read this.It has contents which provides information to the one with Basic skills,Intermediate skills or Advanced.A good understanding of SQL is a prerequisite before understanding advanced concepts like RAC,Exadata etc.
This books does a great job in refreshing what you already know and enriching with
lot of additional information.Though all the chapeters in the book were good. The chapters from Kerry Osborne is Excellent. Any developer/DBA working on a complex production system should read Chaper 16. Plan stability and Control. Trouble shooting Oracle perfomance from Christian Antognini addresses this topic in great length ,but still there are some additional information.
The scripts provided alongside is extremely useful as well.

The chapters from the other authors were also pretty interesting and well researched.

I am planning to write another review on Expert Oracle Exadata by Kerry Osborne,Randy Johnson,Tanel Poder which is the Bible for Exadata as of today.

Overall excellent value for money.
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