A Worthy PL/SQL Workbook
The book provides the foundation needed to perform routine tasks using PL/SQL such as creating and maintaining program blocks as well as error and exception handling. Authors Benjamin Rosenzweig and Elena Silvestrova also cover higher end subjects such as triggers and advanced cursors. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in improving their understanding of and day-to-day use of Oracles PL/SQL product.
I found the layout of this book very comfortable, with exercises at the end of each chapter to help me test what I absorbed. Having personally worked with PL/SQL for a number of years (helping to manage a financial system for a government agency in Canada), I found this book helped me to strengthen and reinforce my basic skills. It helped in the work I was doing. At the same time, it provided excellent advice on fine-tuning and optimizing some of the more advanced techniques that are not often used. It helped point out some of the things I was doing that could have been handled more efficiently.
Particularly useful were chapters on Packages (collections of PL/SQL objects grouped together), Advanced Cursors (stored collections of data retrieved from the database for later use or processing) and Triggers (blocks of PL/SQL code that are triggered when certain events occur.) Each of these chapters offered great information on how, when, where and why you would use these specific tools and techniques.
This book would be great as a textbook for learning PL/SQL interactively in a technical course, but it can also be helpful for self-study. The authors take their time and explain the subjects with clear and concise wording. There are, of course, some assumptions made about the reader: That he or she is familiar with the Oracle environment and is willing to dive more deeply into the realm of its commands and tools. If that describes you, this book can help.
Other reviews by Steven Myers can be found at http://wwrg.cjb.net.