Review by Gabor Szabo, November 2002
When you read a book review it is also important to know the
background of the reviewer. It is important to know his point
of view. So here is mine:
I have been working with databases for a couple of years now but I am not a DBA and in most of the cases I use Perl to access the database. I touch the user interface of the database mainly to try SQL statements and to debug my application. I have been using Oracle for a couple of monthes now as I am writing a Perl application with Oracle back-end.
This booklet is divided into two parts. The first 60 pages cover mainly the Oracle SQL and the next 50 pages are the SQL*Plus command reference. It covers Oracle 8 and Oracle 9i with clear marking which command is available only in the new version of the database.
Going through the book gave me an opportunity to learn about a number of SQL statements that are not available in other databases. Of course you don't get any deep understanding of commands but you get the idea and this helps later. Among lots of other details I read about number and date formating which already saved me some time when I needed that info a few days later.
Actually - and this should be another disclaimer - I am not a fan of Pocket Reference books. I think their content should be part of the help available with the application. But I had to wait in a queue for 3 hours somewhere so it was also a life saver that I could have this booklet with me.
In general I recommend this book if you are a new or practicing Oracle DBAs and if you are not satisfied with the on-line help or if you are a database programmer and need a quick overview of the Oracle SQL and the command line interface to the database.