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Expert Oracle Practices: Oracle Database Administration from the Oak Table (Expert's Voice in Oracle) 1st ed. Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Despite being a seasoned DBA (at least I'd like to think that way after having spent decades with Oracle), I've found plenty of new-to-me, hard to get and harder to verify useful info in the book, such as:
a) Execution plans stability - why does my SQL performance suddenly deteriorates and how to control that?
b) Histograms, bind variables, statistics, and exec plans - all are interrelated, but how - get ready for surprises.
c) Transactions - Oracle isolation levels form default up and what are possibilities for tuning.
d) Instrument your SQL code - Oracle RDBMS has done it for the world's benefit; you can do the same!
e) Index partitioning and access paths - From Fast Full Scan to Virtual and Invisible Indexes, amazing stuff!
f) Index/attribute cardinality and selectivity - cousins or in-laws?
g) All about joins - Hash-joins through Anti-joins
h) Analytic functions, Model clause - Cube, Rank and Spreadsheets, just to get you started.
g) You are on SQL code quest - get your offense and defense lines in order - brief but very insightful.
This book covers a wide variety of critically important topics. Each chapter author is a recognized expert in their field, and each chapter is infused with practical, real-world experience. Each chapter includes illustrative and informative examples. The topics cover a very wide range: design, troubleshooting, monitoring, tuning, firefighting, very large databases, running on Windows, cloud computing, and security. Most of the chapters are technical, but plenty of organizational and collaborative advice is also included. Although it is unlikely that your work spans all of these topics, you will certainly find direct and immediate benefit from one or more of the chapters. Reading the other chapters is an excellent and easy way to broaden your outlook and improve your skills.
A book like this, written independently by sixteen authors, with each chapter addressing a different topic, has a real potential to be scattered and incoherent. This book does not fall prey to that danger. Instead, this book has a very coherent and cohesive flavor, probably due to the shared vision of the Oak Table Network. What seems to bind these authors together is a scientific spirit, grounded in empirical, verifiable, real-world experience. Also, these authors are all very active contributors to the Oracle community, so they know how to collaborate, explain, and educate. Moreover, they do this with a sense of fun and adventure! This spirit of joyful sharing, combined with practical expert advice, sets this book apart. It is required reading for all serious DBAs.