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Review by David Haertzen
If you want to learn Oracle SQL this is here is the book for you. This 600+ page book lives up to the tradition of Murach Books which specializes in publishing books that teach database and software development. Murach's Oracle SQL and PL/SQL is a current book - it supports all recent Oracle versions through Oracle 11g.
First, Joel Murach provides an overview of databases and SQL. This would be useful for the database. Then he introduces the use of Oracle tools because learning by doing is an effective way to gain skills. Instructions are provided to download no cost software versions to enable hands on experience. Oracle Express, a free version of Oracle, and Oracle Developer, a free development environment are used as platforms for training.
Next it is time to learn basic SQL skills. There are a number of skill levels for querying data, starting with querying a single table, the multiple tables followed by summary queries and subqueries. Next, the book shows how to maintain Oracle databases using the insert, update and delete statements. Use of data types and functions rounds out the basic SQL skills.
What if you need to perform DBA functions such as create a new database? The next section shows how to design a database. The emphasis is more on physical data modeling than conceptual and logical data modeling. Here you learn about creating and managing tables, indexes, sequences and views. The final chapter of this sections shows how to manage security.
What if you need to perform Oracle software development functions? PL/SQL is the Oracle language used to create stored procedures, functions and triggers. This section will help you to gain database software development skills such as managing transactions and locking.
Do you need to understand advanced or newer Oracle datatypes? The final section of this book helps you move to advanced use of Oracle datatypes such as timestamps and large objects.
In summary, Murach's Oracle SQL and PL/SQL is a terrific book for both learning and using Oracle databases.
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