Author: Ben Forta
Audience: Novice database developers
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank
This is an Oracle-focused version of the author's more general SQL In 10 Minutes title.
Although this is aimed at users of Oracle, the nature of SQL means it starts off covering general SQL before going further into more specific Oracle PL/SQL advanced topics such as triggers, cursors, stored procedures and transactions.
As with other books in this series, the book is a set of 26 chapters each taking around 10 minutes to work through. The book opens with chapters introducing SQL, Oracle and PL/SQL, and how to work with Oracle database servers - at least as far as setting up a connection and finding out what Oracle SQL Developer looks like.
Having set the scene, Forta then gets down to the basics of SQL with chapters introducing Select, Order By, and Where. Operators such as In, Not, and Like are introduced, and so far, the SQL chapters of the book contain nothing Oracle specific because the heart of SQL is the same no matter which version you're working with.
By Chapter 9 Forta gets to using Oracle PL/SQL regular expressions, or at least RegExp_Like, one of Oracle's four regular expressions that you can use in Where clauses.
From this point onwards the material is more advanced, with good chapters on creating calculated fields, using data manipulation functions, and summarizing data. Forta then moves on to grouping data, subqueries, joining tables, and advanced joins. Insert, Delete and Update all get their appropriate coverage, along with creating and manipulating tables.
The final group of chapters are where the book moves away from the more general equivalent. Forta gives good clear examples for views, stored procedures, cursors and triggers. The book closes with chapters introducing transaction processing and security management. These are good in as far as they go, but obviously (and as with the rest of the book), can only give the briefest of introductions.
As you'd expect given Forta's success with his more general Teach yourself SQL title, this book is well written and explains the topics well. The early chapters aren't (and can't really be) Oracle-specific, but that's not a criticism, it's just how SQL is.
I'd have liked more material on the more advanced topics, but what there is should be enough for the intended audience of novide database developers.
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Oracle PL/SQL Programming, 6th Edition
Oracle PL/SQL by Example, 5th Ed
Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes 4th Ed