That brings me to the book review of Joel Murach’s Oracle SQL and PL/SQL training and reference manual. The breadth and depth (it’s well over 600 pages) look at SQL addressed the creation of database tables as well as retrieving that data via countless query options. Also, it shows how to use Oracle’s SQL Developer tool for such tasks. With some MySQL experience- I found the SQL statement walk-throughs to be very helpful and clarified many questions I’ve had in regards to their abilities and limitations. Additionally, working with user-defined PL/SQL functions and triggers was new ground for a self-taught coder like myself. Inner and outer joins have never made as much sense as they did after completing the book. Overall, the content is great, but a few learning features applied throughout the book made me a big fan. These include (please excuse my quick phone photos):
1. Oracle SQL Developer walk-through: Oracle’s database development tool that helps beginners and experts alike is an industry standard. The book uses screenshots to show readers how to install and use the tool. Step-by-step how to’s helped me utilize the software more effectively. Having never used Oracle SQL Developer it was simple to install, load examples and perform test queries. Using the examples from the book, I was able to try queries and practice creating tables, edit rows and pull information from one or more table. Additionally, it makes editing data types (character, numeric, date/time, etc.) and creating views fairly simple. If you read the book and don’t utilize Oracles developer tool you will only be missing out on much of the value offered in the book.
2. Information layout: Almost every page is separated into three sections. The first is the detailed explanation of the topic. The second includes code examples of the topic. The final, and my personal favorite, is the ‘Description’ area on the bottom left side of each section offering a nice summary of the topic. I found the summary to be sufficient for many topics I read through- and a great review for topics I generally understood, acting as a cliff-note like condensing of the most essential information.
Taking the information and applying it to MySQL isn’t difficult (MySQL being such a popular DB solution for websites) and is a great reference manual that all quasi-developers should have on hand.
Used copies can be purchased online for as little as $20.00.