Oracle: The Complete Reference

Authors: George Loch and Kevin Loney
Oracle Press – Osborne McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0-07-882285-8

Oracle: The Complete Reference has been available for some time. I bought my first copy close to a half dozen years ago. It is now dog eared and somewhat worn, but as with many good books, I
can’t bring myself to throw it away. Interesting, considering I have bought every new release of this book since its first printing. I sometimes wonder why I keep that first edition. I guess
I may have a sentimental attachment to it. After all, this book and I have solved quite a few problems together over the years.

The book’s title accurately describes its intention, which is to be the complete reference book for Oracle users and developers. I think we can safely add DBAs to that list. George’s
book is no mere Oracle reference, it can only be described as an encyclopedia of Oracle information. The physical size of the book is somewhat awe-inspiring (over 1,000 pages in length). But
don’t let its physical size fool you into thinking that you won’t be able to use it to quickly find a specific piece of information. The book is well organized and has both an extensive
table of contents and index. It also has an alphabetical reference section that contains entries for almost every Oracle command in SQL, SQL/PLUS and PL/SQL as well as definitions for a multitude
of Oracle terms. The alphabetical reference contains hints, tips, restrictions and examples of each command. The topics are heavily cross-referenced, both within the alphabetical reference and to
other chapters. Readers can use the alphabetical reference to instantly look up and find almost everything they need to know about the Oracle database environment.

A CD-ROM is included that contains Oracle code, database tables and a complete, searchable version of the book. The electronic version makes searching for information quick and easy.

The book’s topics range from entry-level discussions to information that even the most experienced Oracle user would find enlightening. Here is a small sample of some of the topics contained
in George’s book: Critical Database Concepts, Database Design, SQL – Going From Beginner to Expert, Designing for Productivity, Developing with Oracle Products, the Hitchhiker’s
Guide to the Data Dictionary and Oracle New Features. Oracle: The Complete Reference covers everything from formulating a SELECT statement to creating and administering snapshots in a distributed
database environment.

All of this information would be useless if it were written in a manner that was hard to understand. The author has lost the battle of conveying his thoughts when readers spend more time trying to
understand the written prose than the underlying concepts. This is not the case with Oracle: The Complete Reference. George and Kevin are able to transform highly technical information into easily
understood (and interesting) text.

Over the years, I have found that the mark of a good developer or DBA is not knowing everything, but knowing where to look when you don’t. This task is much easier for those that have Oracle:
The Complete Reference at their side. When I am searching for a particular piece of information, I find myself going first to Oracle: The Complete Reference.


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About Chris Foot

Chris Foot is currently working for Contemporary Technologies as a certified Oracle trainer and remote database administration consultant. He has worked as a database administrator and distributed technology strategist for the Mellon Bank corporation and was the Senior Database and Server Architect for Alcoa. Chris has written several articles for Database Programming and Design, The Data Administration Newsletter and Data Management Review. Chris has also worked part-time for Platinum Technology as a client/server courseware creator and certification instructor. In addition, Chris has presented several times at the International DB2 Users Group, International Oracle Users Group and the Open Technology Forum.