Top critical review
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Bordering on Useless - AVOID!
on October 4, 2008
I concede that writing a technical book which is 100% complete and accurate is virtually impossible. However, that does not detract from the author's and technical reviewer's responsibility to strive for that level of perfection. Especially for an exam guide.
I have been taking the OCP DBA exams since Oracle7 and have bought an exam guide every time to help me with my studies. This book is by far the worst one I have ever used due to its missing content, errors and confused explanations. And I'm barely a third of the way through. Sounds harsh? Here are some examples:
One page 5, it states the default ADR directory is of the form $ORACLE_BASE. WRONG!
It's $ORACLE_BASE/diag. This error is repeated several more times in the book.
Also on page 5, it gives an example of the location for trace files for a database called orcl2 with an instance name of orcl2. The example given is /u01/app/oracle/diag/rdbms/orcl2/orcl2. That's fine, but it doesn't explain if the first orcl2 is the database name or the instance name.
On page 11, it defines an init parameter called DDL_TIME_LOCKOUT. WRONG!
It's actually called DDL_LOCK_TIMEOUT.
On page 15, point #7 mentions you are offered the choice of listeners for the new database you're creating using the DBCA. That's true only if there are some listeners already configured which use that ORACLE_HOME. If there aren't, which is more likely if you've just installed 11g and are creating an 11g database for the first time, you get a warning message. This message tells you there are no listeners and that you'll need to configure one using Netca in a separate session before you can continue (assuming you want to configure Database Control for your new database). Thus point #7 is incomplete.
On page 17, it defines some profile resources for passwords, including PASSWORD_REUSE_MAX and PASSWORD_REUSE_TIME. The definitions for these two are the wrong way around.
That's 5 examples in the first 17 pages! Another reviewer mentioned the author's thanks given to April Wells for her "expert technical vetting" which allowed the author to "avoid errors and improve the quality of the presentation". The technical vetting either wasn't done at all or was done in such a hurry that many, many errors, omissions and confused explanations got as far as the publisher. That is wholly unacceptable and in my view Oracle Press should withdraw this edition of the book immediately. What makes it worse is the author, Sam Alapati, is the co-author of the Oracle Database 11g New Features for DBAs and Developers book published by Apress. I'm finding the things which are wrong in this exam guide are also wrong in the other book. Unbelievable!
My advice is to avoid this book altogether. If you have to verify virtually everything you read with Oracle's own documentation, you may as well just read Oracle's documentation. It'll save you time and money. You'll also benefit from the knowledge that what you're reading has actually been proof read by someone with the necessary amount of time and prerequisite level of competence.
I shall be writing to Oracle Press to demand a refund of my purchase price and a heavy discount or free copy of the second edition. We'll see how seriously they take their customers views and how well they stand behind their publications.
Well, the 11g OCP upgrade book published by Sybex never materialized, which makes this book still the only one available for studying for exam 1Z0-050. Predictably, Oracle Press ignored my complaints and has still not issued a corrected second edition. However, someone has put up an errata web page. If you Google "errata oracle 11g new features sam alapati" you'll find it. I am referenced as having submitted errata which I did NOT! The errata web page goes some way towards correcting the obvious errors, but does not address the incomplete or confusing explanations. Use with caution. I passed exam 1Z0-050 back in May and did so using Oracle's software and documentation along with "Oracle Database 11g The Complete Reference" by Kevin Loney (it's not a complete reference, trust me) and the Student Guide from Oracle University's "Oracle Database 11g: New Features for Administrators" course (which also had a ton of errors). Hope that helps.