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Re: SQL Book Recommendation

From: Bob Jones <email_at_me.not>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 01:20:00 GMT
Message-ID: <4lfli.9785$>

> > > Guys,
> > > I'm not a developer or a DBA. I'm a Business Analyst. I need a book
> > > that will keep me some concepts that are new to Oracle and lot of
> > > syntax/differences between transact sql and pl/sql. I understand
> > > databases fairly well for not being a DBA of any sort. I need a book
> > > that will teach me how to extract data out of the server by querying
> > > it.
> > Why waste your money on commercial books? The Oracle manual and a test
> > database are all you need.
> I seriously disagree with this. This is how bad code and habits
> propagate. Do you really think someone from a transact SQL
> background, especially someone who isn't primarily a developer, isn't
> going to see things from that skewed perspective?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Why do you think that will not be the case reading commercial books?
> Actually, I find the official manuals to be less likely to mislead, more
> accurate and comprehensive.

It can indeed be the case with commercial books. There are many books that just regurgitate bad classes, overgeneralize etc. However, there are a few books that do indeed add value and proper examples. One problem with the manuals is they are too comprehensive - there is just a lot of stuff in there - how can a newbie comprehend the model clause, for just one small example that may be a solution for the OP? Another problem is they aren't always accurate or not misleading. Oracle manuals are good for what they are, but they are not a learning tool or much of a practical example. It is a very important skill to be able to look up stuff like syntax, but a completely different - and uncommon - skill to abstract practicality out of the manual.

Sure, any material can be misleading, but I think the manuals are less likely to do so than the books. They are more objective and straight to the point because they are written by people who have no sales incentive. There is no such a thing as "too comprehensive". The manuals are divided into topics which contain chapters. It is really quite easy to read. OP will have much better chances to find answers from the manuals than a book or many books.

> Transact SQL ad PL/SQL are very similar in concept. The best place to
> learn
> from is the manuals. There is not need to buy any books, especially just
> for
> extracting data.

Concepts are fine, concepts are important. Some concepts between the two are quite different, see my response to Mark Powell. The OP is looking for details like subquerying, and the particulars between T and PL are quite different when you start actually doing stuff beyond select * from emp, see the original post. In fact, show me if I'm wrong, it may not be obvious from the manuals that you would want to not use PL/SQL where you can use SQL, and the OP may not even realize he is asking for some advanced SQL rather than PL/SQL.

That's what I like about the manuals. It tells you all the facts and let you make the decisions. If OP cannot tell the difference between SQL and PL/SQL after reading the manuals, then reading anything else would not help. Received on Wed Jul 11 2007 - 20:20:00 CDT

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