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Oracle XML Handbook (Book/CD-ROM package)

The Oracle Corporation has made XML a key component of its overall strategy and product architectures. Unfortunately, like most Oracle technologies, XML is multifaceted and adorned with numerous names and acronyms. The Oracle XML Handbook is a small title with a big mission: to put XML in perspective as it exists in the Oracle universe.

The book follows the familiar style of other Oracle Press documentation, presenting the "big picture," followed by chapters devoted to the various individual products and technologies involved. This title is meant for those already familiar with Oracle; it would be confusing for readers looking for an overview of Oracle's XML capabilities.

This isn't a tutorial per se, but there are plenty of small code examples that illustrate the basic techniques involved. For example, in the discussion of the Simple API for XML (SAX), the authors include Java code that illustrates how to use SAX to pluck information from an XML document. The higher-level topics, such as development for Oracle8i databases by using the XSQL Servlet, are accompanied well by flow and architectural documents.

One of the most useful sections of this book is the "Oracle and XML in Action" chapter, which presents some real-world examples. An accompanying CD includes Oracle's XDK for Java components, as well as trial versions of Oracle8i and JDeveloper for Windows NT and Windows 2000. Oracle developers--especially those working on the Web--should make a little room on their bookshelves for this new handbook. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered: XML Parser for Java, Java Class Generator, XML-related beans, XML Parser for PL/SQL, XML Parser for C, XML development with Oracle8i, development with Oracle Application Server, Oracle Internet File System (iFS), XML and interMedia text, and XML on the Oracle Technology Network.