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Oracle Core: Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers: Essential Internals for DBAs and Developers (Expert's Voice in Databases) Paperback – 6 Dec 2011
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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 jonathanlewis.wordpress.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall though, exactly what youd expect if you have any familiarity with Mr L.
Good to read and then refer back to.
If I could have asked for more it would have been a 'create an artificial scenario to show this area in action/failure' examples. But that would, for me, just be icing. Certainly not an omission.
Not quite on a par with but to me like my old K&R book. Ie not sure you can get much more authorititive on a subject.
Cant really fault it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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. I think far more people would benefit if there were more pages with overviews of a topic first, before showing hex dumps and details of x$ tables.
The point is, being technically correct is not good enough. When trying to explain complex subjects, presentation is not just an option--it is critical. For example, on page 27, discussing transaction tables and undo, there is a small visual at the top of the page, with scant discussion--then, a few lines later, the author immediately dives into hex dumps. The point is, most readers need to understand overall concepts first. The hex dumps can be supporting data--but not the primary focus of the discussion. So, in this section, without this preliminary, it took me some time to get the gist of what the author was saying. All the data got in the way. I wanted to know how something worked, not what the column "wrap#" means. Maybe afterwards I'll look over the raw data--but that should be secondary, not primary.
The smallish text didn't bother me too much. I guess my reading glasses were powerful enough.
I agree with the reviewer who questioned the "Beginning to Intermediate" note on the rear cover. I seriously doubt that any beginner DBAs are ready for this book (and probably no Intermediate either.) Also, I wonder if the book is really suitable for "DBAs and Developers," as stated on the back cover. I know of zero developers who would be able to follow the discussion on read consistency. Of course, I must admit that the developers who work with the author may be far more proficient than the ones I know.
Despite the above criticism, this is really a great book. The investigations and tests that the author present are really stellar, and I think the Oracle community really owes a debt to Jonathan Lewis. I'm pretty sure that much of this information is not easily available anywhere else (maybe nowhere else?)
This book sits on my desk with several "sticky notes" stuck in it. Still trying to figure out that hex dump on page 27 ...
It doesn't make one better programmer, but helps one to understand what his/her code does ( or might do ) and why ( or why it can't ). I like are the summaries at the of each chapter, refreshers before next topic.
From my developer's point of view I can recommend the book to all who want not just to write a pl/sql code, but want to understand why Oracle is behaving the way it does.
His books, like "Practical Oracle 8i" and "Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals", and the so many documents that you can find in the web, are really a must for everyone who wants to learn how Oracle works under the covers.
Oracle Core is simply perfect. It explains very well how transactions work and how locks and latches are acquired and managed.
You can learn the internal structure of the Database Buffer Cache, the Library Cache and how are implemented the LRU algorithms.
Undo and Redo mechanisms are really well cleared and they constitute my favourite Chapter in the book.
I think that the User level declared for the book (Beginning-Intermediate) is not really correct.
I don't want to say that a Beginner cannot read it, but I think that a Beginner may lose some important details that make this book simply unique.
I suggest a previous reading, to well understand the Oracle architecture and get the right background (Tom Kyte's book "Expert Oracle Database Architecture" is a perfect and detailed resource).
Infact, this book cannot explain some basics (this is a 250 pages book) because it's not been written for that scope.
Finally, I strongly recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn more, and more, and more...