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Oracle Developer Starter Kit

Oracle Developer is one of the most powerful database application tools available today, with excellent Internet and middle-tier capabilities. Oracle Developer Starter Kit provides a solid working introduction to using this tool effectively. Stressing a hands-on tutorial of the major features of this product, plus plenty of tips for successful programming, this book is all you need to be productive.

The hands-on focus is a real strength of this text, which does a good job of explaining how Oracle Developer works, and offers plenty of advice about following Oracle-recommended conventions. (Readers are reminded that effective Developer programming means cooperating with the excellent built-in functionality of the product. By following a few principles in Developer, you can write database applications that will scale to hundreds or thousands of users effortlessly--this includes the ability to deploy to the Internet.) Early chapters introduce the basics of using Oracle Forms, the form-design tool, to create screens for data entry and reports (by using Oracle Reports), along with graphics and charts.

This book follows a database schema that is based on the records of a farm from the turn of the 20th century--an intriguing sample database. After a tour of the basics, it turns to an excellent discussion of PL/SQL, the language that is used in Oracle for writing triggers and stored procedures. PL/SQL has its own distinctive conventions, and the introduction here is good. (One caveat is that, although this sample database and code are shipped on the accompanying CD-ROM, you'll need to get a trial copy of Developer from Oracle; a large download.)

Later sections zero in on more advanced aspects of Developer, such as tips and techniques that promote code reuse with forms and other objects. The introduction to using PL/SQL for stored procedures, a sure way to boost performance, is particularly outstanding. The text also succeeds at explaining the nuts and bolts of deploying your finished Oracle Developer application, whether on the Web or off, and combining Developer with other technologies, like Java, ActiveX on the client, and CORBA on the server.

Besides being an effective manual on thinking in Oracle, this comprehensive reference lists every object and method that is available in Developer. Filled with practical hints and written in a surprisingly engaging style, Oracle Starter Kit is all you need to begin writing robust database applications by using Oracle's powerful programming tool. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to Oracle Developer (Forms, Reports, and Graphics)
  • Programming tutorial with Forms, including master-detail forms and Lists of Values (LOVs)
  • Using Reports (basic report styles plus grouping, summary columns, and interactive and matrix/crosstab reports)
  • Adding graphics and charts to your Developer applications
  • UI-design guidelines
  • Data block basics
  • Triggers for common form events
  • Adding security to Developer applications
  • Tips on design for reuse, including modules, templates, subclassing, and form parameters
  • Tutorial for PL/SQL, including basic database queries, cursors, and stored procedures
  • PL/SQL exceptions, subprograms, local packages, and libraries
  • Debugging and tracing tips
  • Installing Oracle Developer Server
  • Deploying Internet and traditional client/server applications
  • Using Developer with ODBC, Java, and ActiveX components
  • Internationalizing Developer applications
  • Reference for all objects and methods for Developer Forms, Reports, and Graphics