Mastering Oracle SQL, 2nd Edition Review

Mastering Oracle SQL, 2nd Edition
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Those of you dealing with the latest Oracle 10g, and perhaps frustrated with the quality of the Oracle documentation, might want to consult this second edition. Its greatest difference compared to the first edition is simply that it deals with 10g, whereas the latter talks about 9g. Mishra and Beaulieu explain, with extensive detail and examples, the new features. Like support for unix-like regular expressions within SQL statements. Given that many Oracle users probably hail from a unix/C background, they will welcome this.
Also, for mapping between XML and SQL data types, 10g now integrates XML. This will reduce the impedance mismatch between the object oriented and relational outlooks that bedevil many programmers who have to deal with both.
The only problem I found with this book is its lack of mention of competing databases. Because the authors explicitly assume that you have already committed to using Oracle as your database. Fair enough. But perhaps occasional comments in the text, about how a given command or feature is not possible in another database would be useful and appreciated by Oracle users. Heck, to be fair, on this point, the book is at no relative disadvantage. For example, I have texts on dB2 and MySQL that likewise say zilch about their competitors.

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The vast majority of Oracle SQL books discuss some syntax, provide the barest rudiments of using Oracle SQL, and perhaps include a few simple examples. It might be enough to pass a survey course, or give you some buzz words to drop in conversation with real Oracle DBAs. But if you use Oracle SQL on a regular basis, you want much more. You want to access the full power of SQL to write queries in an Oracle environment. You want a solid understanding of what's possible with Oracle SQL, creative techniques for writing effective and accurate queries, and the practical, hands-on information that leads to true mastery of the language. Simply put, you want useful, expert best practices that can be put to work immediately, not just non-vendor specific overview or theory.

Updated to cover the latest version of Oracle, Oracle 10g, this edition of the highly regarded Mastering Oracle SQL has a stronger focus on technique and on Oracle's implementation of SQL than any other book on the market. It covers Oracle s vast library of built-in functions, the full range of Oracle SQL query-writing features, regular expression support, new aggregate and analytic functions, subqueries in the SELECT and WITH clauses, multiset union operators, enhanced support for hierarchical queries: leaf and loop detection, and the CONNECT_BY_ROOT operator, new partitioning methods (some introduced in Oracle9i Release 2), and the native XML datatype, XMLType.

Mastering Oracle SQL, 2nd Edition fills the gap between the sometimes spotty vendor documentation, and other books on SQL that just don't explore the full depth of what is possible with Oracle-specific SQL. For those who want to harness the untapped (and often overlooked) power of Oracle SQL, this essential guide for putting Oracle SQL to work will prove invaluable.

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