Wednesday, May 29, 2002

My Turn. Mike's been plowing through topics, and before he gets stuck in XML I am going to break his stride. I'm still in Oracle OCP training, and want to share a collection of books that I've found useful: OCP Oracle9i DBA Certification Boxed Set. This collection of study guides and the CD ROMs that come with it represent potential value, but the decision to go with this set versus buying 'best of breed' books on each subject area boils down to a personal choice. Factors include budget and how willing you are to endure some of the typos in most of the books in this set.

What you get: This collection consists of the following books, each of which I have reviewed on their product pages. I am summarizing the reviews to save time:

  1. OCP Introduction to Oracle9i: SQL Exam Guide. I rated this at 4 stars - be aware of the fact that this book does have errors, make sure you read the errata and you'll find it quite helpful.
  2. OCP Oracle9i Database: Fundamentals I Exam Guide. Another 4-star rating - there are editing flaws and inconsistent writing that do make this book ponderous at times. There have been times when I wished the authors and editors had paid more attention to the book, and other times when I silently thanked them for clarifying a concept.
  3. OCP Oracle9i Database: Fundamentals II Exam Guide. 4-stars. Among the strong points of this book are the self tests and practice exam questions. Weaknesses include poor editing, which seems to plague this series, and the inconsistent writing that is at times extremely clear and others quite obtuse. I prefer OCP: Oracle9i DBA Fundamentals II Study Guide by Doug Stuns and Matthew Weishan, which is better written, consistent and complete. It is also a 'best of breed' book.
  4. OCP Oracle9i Database: Performance Tuning Exam Guide. Unlike the others in this set this book is a 5-star gem. All of the key elements of performance tuning are covered, the illustrations are excellent and aid in understanding, and the drills, self tests and practice questions have been a tremendous help.

Pros: price, over 2000 pages of materials and CD ROMs with practice questions and other material.

Cons: with the exception of the Performance Tuning Exam Guide the guides in this set have editing problems and errors.

You choose.

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