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Pro Oracle SQL

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    Master Oracle SQL and Execution Plans - Highly Recommended

    The book is for Oracle professionals almost exclusively - the other RDBMS are not covered. I've found the book very useful to both developers and DBAs (I happened to be wearing both hats) in day to day activities. The authors have assumed you are already in the Oracle field. If you are not, then the material may often overwhelm you. Novices can find more suitable books out here for sure. By the time you are through the book, you'll be up several levels when it comes to writing better SQL or understanding better already written SQL. I give all 5 STARS to the authors of the book for the job done on demystifying SQL execution plans. The book shows and analyzes execution plans over and over again until they become your second nature. It took chapters 2 through 6 to build the necessary background and take readers to the very hart of execution plans. The rest of the book also uses the plans as the main tool for SQL characterization and performance analysis. Page 165 shows how to read an exec plan as a plain English narrative. In my experience, this is highly useful for: 1. Putting yourself in the shoes of Oracle Optimizer - think the way HE thinks. 2. Presenting in plain English the SQL execution problems to inquisitive but less-technical folks, from VPs and directors to functional users. My experience has thought me that being able to understand, interpret, assess and compare SQL execution plans is a great skill to have. Despite being a seasoned DBA (at least I'd like to think that way after having spent decades with Oracle), I've found plenty of new-to-me, hard to get and harder to verify useful info in the book, such as: a) Execution plans stability - why does my SQL performance suddenly deteriorates and how to control that? b) Histograms, bind variables, statistics, and exec plans - all are interrelated, but how - get ready for surprises. c) Transactions - Oracle isolation levels form default up and what are possibilities for tuning. d) Instrument your SQL code - Oracle RDBMS has done it for the world's benefit; you can do the same! e) Index partitioning and access paths - From Fast Full Scan to Virtual and Invisible Indexes, amazing stuff! f) Index/attribute cardinality and selectivity - cousins or in-laws? g) All about joins - Hash-joins through Anti-joins h) Analytic functions, Model clause - Cube, Rank and Spreadsheets, just to get you started. g) You are on SQL code quest - get your offense and defense lines in order - brief but very insightful.

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