Coskan’s Approach to Oracle

May 20, 2009

TOP by Christian Antognini

Filed under: Book Reviews, Diary, Performance — coskan @ 4:29 pm

I finally finished “reading” of Troubleshooting Oracle Performance by Christian Antognini.

The book is already reviewed as a blog post by many other bloggers like Carry Millsap, Jonathan Lewis (they  also wrote forewords for the book), Jason Arneil and  Tonguc Yilmaz.

Now it is my turn to say something about this invaluable book.

First of  all this review is based on what I read because I read the book mostly when I am on train and I did not try %90 of what is written on the book yet. After I go over the book again and try all the scripts,  I will write more posts about the book which is going to be, what I learned from TOP by Christian Antognini series.

The book is  very well structured and ordered,  you don’t loose yourself by references to upcoming topics that much.  It is not written by a native English speaker,  so you don’t struggle with language,  it is simple and easy to understand as much as it can be.  Everything he explained is supported by a proof. The best part of this book among other two performance related bibles (Cost Based Oracle Fundamentals and Optimizing Oracle Performance which are also very much recommended) you never get lost from the math. I graduated as an Computer Engineer but sometimes I really struggle to understand where all those numbers come from when I look at the other books.   the way Christian explains the Math in TOP is very understandableand there is no way you can complain about too much math in this book.

Apart from all these general readability issues, TOP gives you a method for designing a better application and a method to solve most of the common problems on Oracle Databases.  It covers all available supported Oracle versions, so you also find chance to see the differences on Oracle Troubleshooting and optimal design from 9i to 11g.

What TOP doesn’t give,  is magic. If you expect magical internal ways for troubleshooting Oracle, this book is not right for you. You need to look other definitive books 🙂

Christian covered nearly everything ,  The only problem is that ,he doest give step by step approach like Tanel does. It would be excellent, if Christian add one more chapter and give step by step approach in case of a problem. Although Last chapter does something smilar , I still think it is a bit small.

I have a dream that Christian and Tanel work on a book together 🙂 It would be great to have a  book which covers nearly everything you can face while troubleshooting Oracle. Coincidentally their masterclasses at UKOUG were one after the other and during reading this book I attended Tanel’s class,and I found the chance to compare them twice, My conclusion is,  I think their work deserves to be combined. Just a feedback from audience 🙂

Last word about this book it is excellent piece of work. I recommend it to everyone who wants to learn Troubleshooting Oracle Performance and optimal Oracle design for better performance.

Many  Thanks goes to  Christian for sharing his work with community.



  1. Coskan, thanks for useful review. I’m glad you’ve mentioned some book names for those whose seeking to dig into Oracle performance and optimizer concepts.

    Comment by Onat Oglakcioglu — May 21, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  2. IMHO, there is no “step by step approach” and I could be wrong, but Tanel doesn’t really provide you with an “step by step approach”. What Tanel shares is based on a decent understanding of the concepts off multiple layers, as does TOP… but … every environment is unique and there also will be sometimes a issue that can not be caught via “step by step approach”. The golden bullet here is that with the knowledge about the concepts at hand you can deduct your “step by step approach” that matches your unique issues and gives you (or choose) the appropriate tools to solve the problem.

    Comment by Marco Gralike — May 21, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

    • Hi Marco, thank you for your comment. I think I am misunderstood , I used the term step by step to mention where to look next after the session activity. TOP gives you principle concepts of this approach but AOT by Tanel is a bit more practical . You are right there isnt and wont be one simple way to solve things on every system but I wasnt talking about this. I hope I made myself clear this time.

      Comment by coskan — May 22, 2009 @ 7:43 am

  3. Hi Coskan,

    I have an ebook copy of the book and already downloaded the scripts, even the recent scripts Christian uploaded on his blog :p I will allot time to read this, I know it’s a must read 🙂

    – Karl Arao

    Comment by karlarao — May 26, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

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