on 2 July 2002
I have been an Oracle programmer for some years and own a copy of the PL/SQL Programming book for Oracle version 7. I thought it about time I updated, having seen the Oracle 8i version of the book. I wish I hadn't as this version of the book covers much less than the Oracle 8i version.
The first eleven of the chapters give little more information than in the Oracle 7 version of the book and covers the basics of PL/SQL. The SQL functions are updated (of course) and there's a fairly nice section on third-party development environments.
The last chapter describes the features that were new to Oracle 8 and 8i. The in-depth view of the features that was given in the Oracle 8i version of the book is missing and has been reduced to a couple of examples.
The Guide to the PL/SQL package libraries, so useful in previous versions, is now useless. The appendix has been reduced to a description of the package and the version it's available in. All of the syntax information has gone. This is true even for the libraries which are new in Oracle 9i.
In conclusion, I would say that if you are thinking of buying this book then don't. If you are a beginner then you would benefit much more from the Oracle 8i PL/SQL Programming book. If you are already a PL/SQL programmer and want an updated reference, go for the same - there's nothing new and the 8i version of the book has more syntax reference and description.