Oracle 8 DBA Handbook (Oracle Press Series)

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9780078824067: Oracle 8 DBA Handbook (Oracle Press Series)

This is an Oracle8 revision of a core book for Oracle database administrators. It provides an easy-to-follow methdology for effectively managing databases of every size, whether in a standalone or networked environment. Revised to cover Oracle8, the book contains almost 100 pages of new material focusing on key areas, such as managing Very Large Databases, implementing Net3 (the updated version of SQL NET - used by most DBAs to link the pieces of their Oracle database together), and other sections specific to Oracle8.

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Review:

Oracle8 DBA Handbook is a classic. This sounds like the highest possible praise, but in this fast-moving world it can be a double-edged sword. The previous version of Loney's book covered the seventh version with references to the sixth: this one feels like a re-write of that book with additions to cover the new features of Oracle8. The net result is a rather bitty book that tends to be skimpy on the new features and to cover them in appendices rather than the main text.

One positive result of this segmentation is that it is well-suited to those DBAs (DataBase Administrators) who are familiar with seven and are upwardly mobile. Indeed, Appendix A ("Migrating from Oracle7 to Oracle8") is a gem, with paragraphs titled "Where did init.ora go?" and "Where is the Alert Log?", which sound like genuine cries for help from a migrating DBA. The answers to these questions alone could make the book worth buying. At times, however, the coverage is patchy. Objects, an important addition to Oracle8, are mentioned in the same Appendix, but beyond telling the reader that there are four types--LOB, BLOB, CLOB and NCLOB--there is sparse extra detail, so the reader gains little besides the sense that these might be characters in a new children's television programme.

Earlier editions of this book succeeded because the basic structure is good and Loney explains how to be an Oracle DBA with skill and readability. That hasn't changed. This edition remains highly useful to people who want to become basic DBAs of an Oracle system. Be advised that this book is about Oracle8, not Oracle8i, so readers who want to know about the use of Java and the Internet extensions to the newest version of Oracle should look to other books such as the Oracle 8i DBA Handbook. Oracle8 DBA Handbook is a good book if you are moving from Oracle7 to Oracle8 and it's also worth a look if you need to administer a basic Oracle8 system. --Mark Whitehorn

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