Book Review: Mastering Oracle SQL

Mastering Oracle SQL Cover
Title: Mastering Oracle SQL, 2nd Edition
Authors: Sanjay Mishra, Alan Beaulieu
Publication Date: June 2004
More info can be found at website of O’reilly. There’s also a sample chapter for download.

This weekend I finished reading this book on Oracle SQL. So it’s time to write a review.

After following the 7Up workshop given at AMIS (see: Description Oracle 7Up Workshop in Dutch) I was triggered to read more on the new syntax since Oracle 7.

Throughout the book they use the new JOIN syntax, so by the time you’re done reading, the syntax will be an old friend. In the Appendix the old Join syntax is explained.
The first five chapters are pretty standard, and is a great introduction for those of you learning the Oracle SQL language.
The chapter on Regular Expressions is simply marvelous. When I first looked at regular expressions, they looked they could come from outer space, but now… they look like fun. Too bad I don’t have access to a 10g database (yet). The same goes for Model Queries, I can’t wait to try my hands on that….
“Objects and Collections” gives a complete coverage regarding, well… Objects and Collections. Like the new MultiSet operators. Very nice.
Like said before, most chapters are entry level but some can be quite complex. If you want to learn more on Analytical Function, this book is NOT the place to be. Analytical Functions is a very difficult subject, especially if this would be your first encounter, and the introduction to it in this chapter becomes quickly incomprehensible. The first thing you need to get used to is the syntax of Analytical Functions, like: sum(sal) over (partition by deptno). One of the first examples they show you is similar to: sum (sum(sal) over (partition by deptno)). I think that the extra SUM adds clutter to the examples.

I’m still puzzled, why do always include a chapter in Oracle SQL books to cover PL/SQL? It’s not like they can cover all nuances in just a single chapter? If that was the case, then why did Steven Feuerstein and Bill Pribyl spend 1018 pages on it? 😀

This book is a nice reference when you start working with Oracle 9i (and up), and you want to take advantage of the new features and syntax. And, be honest, who doesn’t what that?


  1. Sreedhar July 11, 2007
  2. jametong March 1, 2005