I bought this book with the aim of extending my own use of SQL, which I have used for 10 years or more. I especially wanted to make more use of Oracle enhancements since I first used SQL. At first I wondered if I would get anything from the book, since it started off with explaining simple select/insert/update statements, but it very quickly got more in-depth. I found the depth to be excellent, but be warned if you are new to SQL: the writers very quickly start using technical terms without explanation, so if you're not already at least marginally confident with SQL, find a basics book first. I will be returning to this book repeatedly, it opened my eyes to so many more features that I'm dying to get to use!
Can I say what a great book this is. I am an oracle developer of 7 years experience who has spent the last three concentrating on object orientated Java development. As of two months ago I found myself back in the world of Oracle SQL for reporting and it dawned upon me how rusty I was with Oracle SQL. There have been great advances across 10 and 11g and unless you regularly work with advanced reporting functions it can be difficult to appreciate that it is possible to output varied data in one SQL statement rather than resorting to a logical breakup in PL/SQL. This book covers all depths, from what may appear to be too basic to extremely specialised and complex operations and is always well thought out and clearly explained.
This is an excellent addition to your SQL book library for the very simple reason it teaches you HOW to write SQL queries. Its not a SQL reference book in the sense it doesnt teach you what all the basic functions do, but it does teach you how to write quality SQL i.e. the concepts behinding writing SQL statements.
My main gripe with this book is the insistance of the authors (and Oracle for that matter) to force the new ANSI join down your throat, it is used in every single join with no examples using the old syntax. On top of this, there is not one actual example of this super new syntax joining more than two tables together, in fact almost all the examples given avoid any serious complexity.
Where the book is useful is perhaps in the introduction of topics which you may be unfamiliar such as XML or if you are a relative newcomer to Oracle.