Re: Reviews of Dan Tow's "SQL Tuning"?

From: Mark D Powell <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 07:59:07 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On Jan 12, 8:47 am, Charles Hooper <> wrote:
> On Jan 12, 7:49 am, Steve Howard <> wrote:
> > Hi All,
> > My apologies if this should have gone in CDOM, but it seemed relevant
> > here.
> > I have seen several posts that mention this book as part of a reply,
> > but I wanted to get a separate thread for it in case anyone has a
> > string opinion on it one way or the other.
> >
> > It seems pretty generic, so I wonder if it has value for an oracle
> > specific user?  It was printed in 2003, so is the methodology still
> > relevant, especially for Oracle?
> > Thanks,
> > Steve
> I have not personally read this particular book, but have read several
> other books on SQL and SQL tuning.  The Amazon reviews indicate that
> this is a well written book.  Most of the contents are visible through
> a Google book search:
> It appears that the book attempts to cover Oracle, SQL Server, and
> DB2, all in about 300 pages.  Based on a scan of the book contents
> through Google Books, there is no mention in the book about using
> 10046 traces nor DBMS Xplans nor 10053 traces, nor exploiting
> analytical functions to assist with SQL performance tuning.  Chances
> are, considering the copyright date, that the book does not cover
> differences which may be present in different Oracle releases,
> especially for Oracle 10g R1 and above.  However, it looks like the
> general concepts presented in the book would be very helpful to a
> typical developer.
> I suggest that you take a look at "Troubleshooting Oracle
> Performance", which is an Oracle specific book which covers 10046
> traces, 10053 traces, DBMS Xplans, and several other useful topics
> that are relevant to Oracle versions 9i R2 and above:
> You will find a review that I wrote describing that book in the above
> link, and I am preparing to write a review of "Mastering Oracle SQL
> and SQL*Plus".
> Charles Hooper
> IT Manager/Oracle DBA
> K&M Machine-Fabricating, Inc.- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

I bought the book when it was fairly new. It teaches an approach based on the author's experience tuning SQL that came from Oracle FORMS. The methodology is basically designed to choose the 'correct' join order using nested loops for the query. The advent of hash joins and other new features limits the approaches usefulness; however, in my opinion the approach still has merit as it can be used with a lot of SQL statements to help determine what you think thejoin order should be for comparison to what join order the optimizer chooses. For a rake beginner this may be a pretty good book to choose.

For someone with a little experience I like Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals which explains why the optimizer produces the plans it does based on the statistics given it and often shows where the CBO gets it wrong.

HTH -- Mark D Powell -- Received on Mon Jan 12 2009 - 09:59:07 CST

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