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Oracle Insights: Tales of the Oak Table

Oracle Insights: Tales of the Oak Table

by Cary Millsap, Anjo Kolk, Connor McDonald, Tim Gorman, Kyle Hailey

Announcing a new book from Apress and the OakTable Network:
Oracle Insights: Tales of the Oak Table presents eleven world-renowned industry specialists proffering their own highly experienced views, input, and insights on Oracle—where it's been, where it's going, how (and how not) to use it successfully, the software and techniques


Announcing a new book from Apress and the OakTable Network:
Oracle Insights: Tales of the Oak Table presents eleven world-renowned industry specialists proffering their own highly experienced views, input, and insights on Oracle—where it's been, where it's going, how (and how not) to use it successfully, the software and techniques that they’ve introduced to help people achieve their goals, and some frightening tales of what can happen when fundamental design principles are ignored.

The collaborating authors have solved many of the worst Oracle performance problems in the world, and they've each saved at least one doomed flagship project. Over many years they've been sharing their unique knowledge with each other at conferences, around the OakTable, and in coffee shops, restaurants, and bars on five continents. Now they want to share their key insights with you.

A major focus of this book concerns the ways in which you can avoid common and debilitating mistakes when building Oracle software projects. From these stories, you'll learn the simple steps that will help you avoid real pain on your next (or current) Oracle project.


About the author:

 Dave Ensor spent over 35 years in IT, almost all of it in a hands-on role as a programmer, a designer, or a researcher into the performance characteristics of specific pieces of software. He worked with Oracle databases for 15 years in all three of these roles, also building a worldwide reputation for his ability to present technical material with clarity and humor. He is coauthor of the books Oracle Design and Oracle8 Design Tips, and he's an Honorary Oracle9i Certified Master. Dave holds undergraduate degrees in both mathematics and law.

Tim Gorman began his IT career in 1984 as a C programmer on UNIX and VMS systems, working on medical and financial systems as an application developer, systems programmer, and systems administrator. He joined Oracle Corporation in 1990 as a consultant, then became an independent consultant in 1998, and has worked for SageLogix since 2000. Gorman is the coauthor of Essential Oracle8i Data Warehousing and Oracle8 Data Warehousing. He specializes in performance tuning applications, databases, and systems, as well as data warehouse design and implementation, backup and recovery, architecture and infrastructure, and database administration. Gorman still considers himself a pretty good coder, although the market for C programs has dried up somewhat lately.

Kyle Hailey - No biography is available for this author.

Anjo Kolk worked for over 16 years at Oracle and now runs Oraperf.com. He is the inventor of the YAPP technique.

Jonathan Lewis has been using Oracle for more than 17 years and has been acting as an independent design and troubleshooting consultant for more than 12 years. He runs JL Computer Consultancy and specializes in knowing how the database engine works. He has given a number of presentations to the UK Oracle User Group, both at the annual conferences and at meetings of the UNIX-related SIG. He also writes regularly for the UK user group magazine,and occasionally for other publications such as the Oracle magazine, Select magazine, and Don Burleson's web-based Oracle Internals. He is a director of the UKOUG.

Connor McDonald has worked with Oracle since the early 1990s, cutting his teeth on Oracle versions 6.0.36 and 7.0.12. Over the past 11 years, Connor has worked with systems in Australia, the UK, Southeast Asia, Western Europe, and the United States. He has come to realize that although the systems and methodologies around the world are very diverse, there tends to be two common themes in the development of systems running on Oracle: either to steer away from the Oracle-specific functions or to use them in a haphazard or less-than-optimal fashion. It was this observation that led to the creation of a personal hints and tips website and to do more presenting on the Oracle speaker circuit in an endeavor to improve the perception and usage of PL/SQL in the industry.

Cary Millsap is the former vice president of Oracle's System Performance Group and the cofounder of Hotsos, a company dedicated to Oracle system performance. Hotsos provides performance-improvement tools for Oracle environments and also delivers training in the form of clinics and the very successful Hotsos symposiums.

With 15 years' experience in professional computing, James Morle has been personally responsible for the architecture and implementation of some of the world's largest and most complex business systems, including a 3-node Oracle Parallel Server configuration that services 3000 online users. James is a well-respected member of the Oracle community and is the author of the critically acclaimed book Scaling Oracle8i. He is the cofounder of Scale Abilities, a specialist consulting and training company focusing on aspects of system engineering related to building very large and complex computer systems.

Mogens Nørgaard is technical director at Miracle A/S, a database knowledge center and consulting/training company based in Denmark, and is the cofounder and "father figure" of the OakTable Network. He is a renowned speaker at Oracle conferences all over the world and organizes some highly respected events through Miracle A/S, including the annual MasterClass (2001: Cary Millsap, 2002: Jonathan Lewis, 2003: Steve Adams, 2004: Tom Kyte) and the Miracle Database Forum, which is a 3-day conference for database people. He is also the cofounder of the Danish Oracle User Group (OUGKD) and was voted "Educator of the Year" in Oracle Magazine's Editor's Choice Awards, 2003.

David Ruthven - No biography is available for this author.

Gaja has more than 12 years of technical expertise, with over 11 years of industry experience working with Oracle systems. His key areas of interest include performance architectures, scalable storage solutions, highly available systems, and system performance management for data warehouses and transactional systems. He holds a master's degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He has presented many papers at various regional, national, and international Oracle conferences, and is the coauthor of Oracle Performance 101 from Oracle Press.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Imagine yourself sharing a late-night beer with 11 of the world’s leading Oracle experts. You’ve just imagined Oracle Insights: Tales from the Oak Table. The “OakTable Network” is an elite, invitation-only organization of consultants, architects, and developers who are determined to delve more deeply and scientifically into Oracle technology than anyone else ever has. When it comes to Oracle, they’ve seen it all, done it all. These are their stories.

Here are stories of failed projects and resurrected ones, of superior methodologies and major disasters. Best of all, these tales offer direct lessons for your next project. (There are some patterns. One is the urgent importance of application design -- as crucial now as it was when the relational database was first invented. Another is what happens when folks fail to understand the technology and create “brick walls” that make scalability difficult or impossible.)

We especially liked Connor McDonald’s discussion of optimizing databases by making sure the database isn’t wasting time on work that it needn’t be doing. Along the way, McDonald discusses everything from read consistency to lookup functions, domain loss to XML parsing. Also worth noting: Cary Millsap’s insider’s look at using extended SQL trace data; David Ruthven’s views on testing and risk management in large Oracle projects; and not least, Gaja Krishna Vaidyanatha’s wry discussion of “compulsive tuning disorder.”

Oh, and if you haven’t spent decades in the trenches, you’ll also appreciate the book’s “brief history of Oracle,” which tells you exactly how we got here and pulls no punches along the way. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
1st Corrected ed. 2004. Corr. 3rd printing 2004
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 7.50(d)

Meet the Author

Complete list of authors include: Dave Ensor, Tim Gorman, Kyle Hailey, Anjo Kolk, Jonathan Lewis, Connor McDonald, Cary Millsap, James Morle, Mogens Nørgaard, David Ruthven, Gaja Vaidyanatha

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