Murach’s Oracle SQL and PL/SQL

Product Description
If you’re developing applications that access Oracle databases, you can save time and work by having SQL do more of the data handling for you: This new book shows you how. It teaches you how to create effective SQL queries to extract and update the data in an Oracle database. It teaches you how to design and implement a database, giving you insight into performance and security issues. It teaches you how to use PL/SQL to take advantage of powerful features like stor… More >>

Murach’s Oracle SQL and PL/SQL

5 thoughts on “Murach’s Oracle SQL and PL/SQL”

  1. Got stuck on one of my Oracle 9i assignments and it took just one look in this book and I was all set and ready to take on this other assignments. It is really a reliable reference book. One you should always have at your fingertips if you use the Oracle database system or if you are learning about the system. I wish I had this book as a backup to my textbook when I first bagan the class or even before I begin. Save the stress and don’t fall into my misfortune of stressing over something that could be solved easily with this book.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Murach books have a reputation for accessibility to the novice user. Murach’s Oracle SQL and PL/SQL is just as accessible to the novice, but also contains plenty to assist other Oracle users.

    The first section is truly non-threatening and is possibly too basic to be of real use in the context of the whole book. It is a short introduction to databases and the Oracle tools but doesn’t contain much depth. The second section digs deeper into interacting with databases and is primarily aimed at standard and Oracle-specific SQL syntax. Section 3 introduces good (and essential) database practices such as normalisation, user and role management, indexes, foreign keys and other aspects of database design. Section 4 covers some PL/SQL basics and finally Section 5 covers the more complicated data types.

    I mention all of that since I found the name of the book slightly misleading, but in a good way. The focus of the book is on building and maintaining the skills required for running Oracle SQL and PL/SQL and while Sections 3 and 5 could have been omitted, the book is better because of the inclusion.

    Sections 2 and 4 are the main sections and both are well written for both teaching and reference resources, and Section 2 in particular highlights the important information for each piece of knowledge.

    The result is a book that is great for Oracle novices, although possibly not if you are a complete database novice, but also great for intermediate users casual users like myself. Personally I use the database dictated by clients, so I look forward to having this on hand when making the next switch back to the Oracle database. It won’t get you an Oracle DBA job, but it will help you get more out of your database.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. I bought this book to take my SQL skills up a notch or more. This book really does that. It moves from the basics to advanced queries. The advanced queries are very well explained and you get useful skills and understand how to extend this to other queries. You learn to break down advanced queries into smaller queries and how to make complicated aggregate queries (the hardest for me).
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Joel Murach’s Oracle SQL and PL/SQL book is written to teach application developers the SQL and PL/SQL skills they need to when interfacing with an Oracle database. The author writes in the books preface that this book was written to help developers know how to efficiently and effectively interface with an Oracle database; teach them standard SQL skills; and to serve as a good first book for those wanting to become a DBA. I feel that this book effectively covers each of those purposes.

    When you first open this book you will notice that the books layout is different then most other Oracle reference books. This is due to the unique layout that is common over all Murach books. Their books use what they call a “Paired Pages” layout. The right page of the book contains information about essential syntax, examples, and guidelines. This page is designed so that anyone can quickly scan the page and learn the essentials. The left page expands on the right page by providing more detailed information, perspective, and extra explanation. It is on the left page where the detailed descriptions are placed that helps the developer learn the important information they need.

    This book gives general introductions to many different topics Application developers need to know. This include an introduction to basic application structure; how to design a database; normalization rules; how to create tables, indexes, and sequences; how to create views; how to manage database security; essential PL/SQL skills; how to work with timestamps, intervals, and large objects; and many other important topics.

    But where this books shines is in its coverage of the general SQL data manipulation language commands of INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and especially the SELECT command. This book is worth its cost just for its detailed and complete description of the SQL SELECT statement. The book takes 4 chapters (129 pages) to cover all aspects of the SELECT statement. Even the simplest of topics usually gets a complete “Paired Page” discussion (e.g. There is a whole “Paired Page” discussion on how to name columns in the result clause of a SELECT statement). I have not found any other book, including Oracle’s own documentation, which more completely describes the how to use SELECT statement.

    Unfortunately, this book does not cover every subject a new developer needs to know about. This book did not contain information on how to use the MERGE command, Materialized Views, or how indexes can be used to optimize queries. Of these topics not describing how to use the SQL MERGE command is the most important thing missing in this book. I also wish that the author had included a listing of references at the end of each of the books sections where the reader could go to learn more about the subject matter the book had just discussed.

    Overall, I feel that the author truly created a great reference book on the basics of interfacing with an Oracle database. I think the book would become an often-referenced book in anyone’s technical library of books.

    Rating: 5 / 5

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