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Perl for Oracle DBAs [Paperback]

Andy Duncan , Jared Still
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 29 2002 0596002106 978-0596002107 1

Perl is a very powerful tool for Oracle database administrators, but too few DBAs realize how helpful Perl can be in managing, monitoring, and tuning Oracle databases. Whether you're responsible for Oracle9i, Oracle8i, or earlier databases, you'll find Perl an invaluable addition to your database administration arsenal.You don't need to be a Perl expert to use the excellent applications and scripts described in Perl for Oracle DBAs. The book explains what you need to know about Perl, provides a wealth of ready-to-use scripts developed especially for Oracle DBAs, and suggests many resources for further exploration. The book covers:

  • The Perl language -- an introduction to Perl, its rich history and culture, and its extensive text processing and data transformation capabilities.
  • The Perl/Oracle architecture -- Detailed information about Perl DBI, DBD::Oracle, the Oracle Call Interface (OCI), Oracle::OCI, extproc_perl, and mod_perl, the modules that allow Perl programs to communicate with Oracle databases.
  • Perl applications for Oracle DBAs -- Profiles of the best Perl open source applications available for use and customization by Oracle DBAs: Perl/Tk, OraExplain, StatsView, Orac, DDL::Oracle, SchemaDiff, Senora, DBD::Chart, SchemaView-Plus, Oracletool, Karma, Embperl, and Mason.
  • The Perl Database Administration (PDBA) Toolkit -- a comprehensive suite of specialized, ready-to-use scripts designed to help Oracle DBAs perform both routine and special-purpose administrative tasks: monitoring the Oracle alert log and databases, creating and managing Oracle user accounts, maintaining indexes and extents, extracting DDL and data, troubleshooting and tuning database problems, and much more.
The book also explains how Oracle DBAs and developers can extend the toolkit and solve their own database administration problems using Perl.

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About the Author

Andy Duncan is the coauthor of Oracle & Open Source (O'Reilly, 2001), as well as Perl for Oracle DBAs (O'Reilly, 2002). The first book arose after Andy's creation, in 1998, of the Orac Perl/Tk tool for Oracle DBAs. Since then, he has worked mainly as an independent development and DBA consultant, and has counted both Oracle Corporation and Sun Microsystems among his long-term clients. In addition to performing Oracle, Perl, and Java consultancy work, Andy teaches as a senior instructor for Learning Tree International, covering both introductory and advanced Perl courses. He lives in Oxfordshire, England.

Jared Still has been an Oracle DBA in health insurance and manufacturing environments since 1994 (and version 7.0.13 of Oracle). He first began dabbling with Perl in 1993 and it was love at first sight. Perl became an integral part of his Oracle toolkit when it was used to rapidly prototype and implement complex reporting based on data in Oracle databases. Jared has been working with databases of various ilks since 1988, and along the way has also worked as a Unix system administrator. When not riding herd on the databases at the OK Corral, he likes to spend time tinkering on his car, fly fishing, or sitting on the deck in the backyard at his home doing absolutely nothing. He can be reached at

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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Coverage June 1 2004
These authors have taken two somewhat diverse topics and combined them into an easy-to-read and cohesive book.
The examples are especially helpful and the authors take great care to explain the issues in Plain English.
Overall, a highly recommended book.
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This is NOT a book for learning Perl if you're a DBA. The whole book is devoted to describe a lot of free DBA utilities written in this language, and it doesn't give you any roboust help to build your own Oracle-Perl scripts. There's a very little (about 40 pages) APPENDIX devoted to look at the language grammar and programming issues. The only chapter that deserve the only star I give for this book is CHP7 - OCI Calls with Oracle::OCI. But, is this a book written for DBA's or developers?
If someone publish a book saying "UNIX Korn shell scripts for Oracle DBA's", what do I expect? Simply! learn about UNIX Korn shell and how to write DBA scripts for my Oracle system. But if the book talks about utilities written for Oracle in Korn shell scripts, then, clearly it fails its purpose.
Maybe those tools described can be useful for DBA tasks, specially because they're free... the bottom line is that this book doesn't teach you how to programm in Perl. Get something else, devoted just to Perl programming, like "Perl 6 Essentials" from Allison Randal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AS FINE AS A PEARL COULD BE Jan. 12 2003
"Perl for Oracle DBAs" is indeed a real pearl. This 600-plus paged volume was designed to be a reliable friend of any administrator, whose responsibilities include the oiling of Oracle database machinery.
The book, which comes with a toolkit package that contains more than a hundred ready-to-use programs, bared all the mysteries that surround Oracle/Perl software: including Oracle Call Interface (OCI), Perl DataBase Interface (DBI), as well as all the other modules that commune with both software.
This book runs as smoothly as any pearl could run.
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I've always loved perl and wrote a lot of utilities to monitor and manage databases when I worked as a full time DBA (using oraperl & perl4). However, over the years as my focus shifted to wider software architecture I found it difficult to keep up with new releases, modules and so forth. From time to time I would visit CPAN but the sheer volume of modules and the limited time I had was preventing me from taking full advantage of modern perl.
Jared and Andy's book neatly solved this problem. Within an hour of opening their book I had fully upgraded my perl and added heaps of fantastic utilities that I never even knew existed. Sometimes perl can be hard to install and configure but this book makes it a breeze.
This book is indispensable if you are trying to get started with perl - and every DBA should! If you are already a perl user I'm sure you'll learn about new features or find utilities that will repay the cost of the book many times over.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for all oracle DBAs Nov. 6 2002
The book is clear, concise and to the point. Style is excellent as I would expect from Andy and Jared. The book covers rare and hard to find topics like installing mod_perl and installing OWA toolkit. The PDBA collection of scripts is very comprehensive and enormously useful. This is certainly a must-have for any Oracle DBA. Great book!
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