This easy-to-read book provides quick lessons on relational database terminology and normalization with very little effort. Updated for Oracle 9i, its thorough coverage of Oracle's SQL and PL/SQL and introduction to advanced SQL topics makes this a must for busy professionals. The many examples, with output shown as screenshots, provide ample opportunity for the reader to easily understand and learn to use Oracle and SQL. First introducing relational database concepts, the book covers SQL (Structured Query Language); Programming Language (the extension to SQL); and then proceeds to advanced topics, which include Oracle architecture and database administration with enterprise tools. For any IT professional who needs to understand SQL or Oracle database systems.
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Nilesh Shah, Ph.D., has been teaching for more than a decade. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the New Jersey campus of DeVry. He also works as a systems analyst at Monroe College, New York. Dr. Shah is associated with many prestigious technology companies as a freelance consultant.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is the most important database model today. The Oracle Corporation has established the Oracle database product as the prime database package in the world. Structured Query Language (SQL) is the universal query language for relational databases. Programming Language/Structured Query Language (PL/SQL), an Oracle extension to SQL, brings all the benefits and capabilities of a high-level programming language to the database environment.
This text is designed for use as a primary textbook in a database course at the college level or as a self-study guide for the information systems or business professional. With its in-depth coverage of relational database concepts, SQL, and PL/SQL, the textbook serves as an introductory guide as well as a future reference resource. The textbook can be used in a course that concentrates on database design and uses SQL to complement it. It also makes a perfect textbook to teach SQL only. Another use of this book is in an advanced database management system course, where more advanced features of SQL, along with PL/SQL and database administration, are emphasized. In a classroom environment, it is not possible to cover all 14 chapters in one semester. The book serves as a great resource to expand on the topics learned in the classroom.
The first part of the book provides adequate knowledge of relational concepts and database designing techniques to allow students to design and implement accurate and effective database systems. The second part concentrates on the primary nonprocedural relational database language SQL. SQL is supported by most relational database software packages installed on various platforms. The book primarily concentrates on Oracle 8 and points out the features available in Oracle8i. In reality, the SQL part of the book can be utilized in Oracle release 7.x, 8, or 8i. The third part of the textbook is devoted to the procedural language PL/SQL, which is Oracle's proprietary language extension to SQL. PL/SQL features data encapsulation, error handling, and information hiding, which are the capabilities of a typical high-level programming language. The fourth part of the textbook introduces the architecture and administration of Oracle 8, as well as new features of Oracle8i and the concept of object orientation.
Throughout the text, the general syntax of SQL and PL/SQL are supplemented by simple examples and illustrations. Each chapter in the textbook includes a brief summary, exercise questions, and lab activities. The textbook is supported by sample databases—one a typical college's student database with demographic, schedule, and registration information, and the other a corporation's employee database with employees' demographic and job-related data. In most cases, the examples are based on one of the sample databases and the lab activity is based on the other to test a student's ability to apply queries in a different scenario. A separate section on supplementary examples is included at the end of the SQL part of the textbook.
As the book is primarily designed as a college textbook, it also includes (exclusively for instructors) answers to the exercise questions and SQL queries and PT./SQL blocks for the lab activities. The script to create both sample databases is also included for the instructors.
Oracle comes in many flavors. At your business or in college laboratory, Oracle might be implemented in a Windows NT, Unix, Linux, Solaris, or Novell Netware environment. The version of Oracle might vary from Oracle 7.x to Oracle 8 to Oracle8i. The beauty of this textbook is its versatility. The SQL and PL/SQL features covered in this text work with all versions, and the exceptions are pointed out in the individual topics, wherever necessary.
The reader is advised to join the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) by using the URL technet.oracle.com. One of the benefits of being a registered OTN user is access to a free download of Enterprise, Personal, or Lite version of Oracle 8i software. A user can also order a free Oracle software CD from the OTN site.
USING THE TEXTBOOK
The book is designed for sequential reading from Chapter 1 through Chapter 14. If you are familiar with relational database concepts, you may skip the first two chapters. From my personal experience with students, Chapter 2 on data modeling and normalization helps students tremendously in designing effective databases. You will need access to the computer system to practice SQL statements and PL/SQL programs from Chapters 3 through 12. The fourth part of the text contains reading material on the architecture and administration of Oracle, and the object and Internet features of Oracle8i. Many popular SQL*Plus commands are also covered in Chapter 13. The reader must perform exercise questions and labs at the end of each chapter before moving over to the next chapter. Whether it is procedural or nonprocedural, you cannot learn programming by just reading about it. You need to practice to master the material.
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