Two months ago I got mail from PACKT Publishing to review Oracle 10g/11g Data and Database Management Utilities by Hector R Madrid under their free blogger review program. Initially, I promised to finish it by beginning of October, but due to personal reasons, I can only finish it by today. Till I do my review, Hemant K Chitale and Anantha Narayan from Oracle blogosphere already mentioned about the book in their blogs so you can go and check their opinions as well (able to find different opinions, before buying something is definitely a good option)
After marketing and excuse section, now it is time to review the book,
This book promises us to learn (taken from the back cover);
- to optimize time-consuming tasks efficiently by using Oracle DB utilities.
- perform data loads on the fly and replace the functionality of the old exp/imp utilities using data pump or SQL*Loader
- boost defences with Oracle Wallet
- Improve Performance of RMAN backups
- Perform more than just ETL process by taking advantage of the External Tables feature
Can it keep it’s promise ? I think Hector did very well about keeping his promise.
I liked the way he wrote the book, it is again very well organized with very simple easy to understand language. (If you have read my old reviews probably you already know that, I like the books I can finish, so in my opinion a good book must be a page turner as well as being technically satisfactory)
Who should have this book ?
There is already a who is this book written for on the back cover but I have to add some words on top of it.
If you don’t like to read Oracle Official Docs very much, if you can easily get bored or lost during your official docs journey and you want to have a reference on your desk about available Oracle Utilities, this book is definitely written for you.
If you are DBA at the same place more than 5 years (where things are stable enough) and started this job with version 7 or 8 and due to the nature of your company or yourself you don’t have to learn new things that much and can still pay your mortgage this book is a MUST for you. At least you can ease your life, save gazillions of time and look wiser to the new junior DBA when you can able to compare exp with data pump because if you can’t do it they wont trust your experience at least I don’t. Market is very tight and this book gives you enough knowledge to cope with market conditions.
If you are a junior DBA who doesn’t know where to start Oracle Utilities, I strongly recommend this book for your personal development.
Do I happy to have the book ? Sure I do. I did not learn new things that much but it worth reading for just couple of tips and tricks and learning some of the topics I have no experience on.
Now, is the time to go over the summary of topics. (What Hector did was he tried to cover every topic with average 30 pages and enough screenshots and code samples this make book easy to read and avoid boredom of long topics. )
1-Data Pump: This topic is well covered. There is enough information for started. I wish Hector covered the compression and encryption options of 11G, with examples. I liked tuning Data Pump performance section where he covers factors other than parallelism which affects datapump performance.
2-SQL*Loader: I have to confess that SQL*Loader is something very old in Oracle but I am kind a new for it because I never needed to use it at job so my knowledge was depending on simple tests. It was very nice to learn what it is capable of with loads of examples.
3-External Tables: I love and used external tables very much for mostly data and this section brought new areas of usage to my knowledge like reading listener and alert log via external tables.
4- Recovery Manager Advanced Techniques: I think this topic is named wrongly because when you see advanced you expect more but I did not get that much. It basically covers what RMAN can do instead of your old manual backup techniques. If you already an RMAN user and don’t know the new feature called faster backups through intra-file parallel backup restore operations in 11G it will be a good learning for you.
5- Recovery Manager Restore Recovery Techniques: This is the second part of RMAN managed backups which is RMAN managed restore recovery. Nothing new for me and I have to say TSPTR which is the most important feature is missed.
6- Session Management: Overall session monitoring for wait and lock analysis is covered with addition of resource manager. Old school boys will definitely find something new in this chapter.
7- Oracle Scheduler: This chapter can convince you to use this tool more. Job Chains should be covered with a little detail I think.
8- Oracle Wallet Manager: This chapter was new to me and probably new to most of you. I can say that is a good introduction to Oracle Wallet Manager.
9- Security Management: Again good introduction for encryption options available in Oracle. It is mostly practical usage of previous chapter.
10-Database Configuration Assistant: I use DBCA very much and this chapter was a bit fast reading but it is a must for guys who are not aware of what this tool can do other than creating a DB.
11- Oracle Universal Installer: Basically, Hector tried to mention that this tool is not just doing next next next. Cloning Oracle home using OUI was a new learning for me.
12- Enterprise Manager Configuration Assistant: There are nice tips and tricks about emca troubleshooting. You will like this topic if you have problems with this tool and don’t know where to look.
13-Opatch: This chapter is very well detailed and it adds Enterprise Manager usage for opatch utility. A must read for the ones who use opatch when applying patch.
Biggest problem of this book is lack of references. I really don’t like something without references. The author cannot know them by himself, he should have learned them from somewhere and it would be very nice if he shared them with us too so the book can point the users to the right directions to finalize their journey about utility they look for.
If I can find time to read, Next Book review probably will be Practical Oracle 8i :Building Efficient Databases , which I finally got my copy of it and willing to read it asap. Luckily Christmas coming and it will be quite at work :)