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Perl for Oracle DBAs Paperback – Aug 19 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 622 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Aug. 29 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596002106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596002107
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 998 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,374,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
Over time, as we develop systems, cut code, administer data bases and perform myriad other tasks, we tend to build up a 'kit bag' of useful tricks, code snippets and techniques.
This book makes a welcome contribution with its numerous code examples and clear explanations.
Although, as the title suggests, this is aimed primarily at Oracle administrators, there is much here for those with more than a passing interest in the rich text-processing language that is Perl.
With library modules also available for Sysbase and MySQL, for example, connections across disparate databases are a simple matter of appropriate API calls.
Indeed, in the excellent appendices, there is a code example showing simultaneous connections to both an Oracle and a MySQL database and how to extract and process data between them
using Perl code and embedded SQL. The ability to do this easily and efficiently without resorting to dump and re-loads using ASCII flat files was a small revelation.
With their clear real-world approach, incisive and, often witty, explanations and observations, the enthusiasm of the authors for their subject is clear.
This book is not only a boon to data base administrators but should also prove to be very useful to those who simply want to learn more about the power of Perl.
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By A Customer on Sept. 16 2002
Format: Paperback
Perl is the ideal language for Oracle DBAs. Those who are already aware of its strengths will have implemented it to some degree on their servers. For DBAs who may have heard rumours of its magic, then Part I of Andy Duncan and Jared Still's "Perl for Oracle DBAs" will prove to be a substantial grounding in the synergy that can arise between Oracle and Perl's virtues of Laziness, Impatience and Hubris. This section provides information on Perl's background, its strengths and provides instructions for installing the language on UNIX, Win32 and Cygwin. (For those not in the know: Cygwin is a free UNIX emulation layer for Windows that includes a substantial collection of GNU tools). Perl is the ideal language for DBAs in a heterogeneous environment.
Experienced Oracle DBAs with a Perl bent should feel free to skip straight to Part II, Extending Perl. Here the authors provide information on Perl GUI and Web extensions, plus some Open Source tools for Oracle that make use of these features. They also discuss a feature I really like: the ability to call Perl routines from PL/SQL, but as the authors point out, you should be aware of the security implications.
To my mind, Part III: The PDBA Toolkit is the most valuable part of the book. The authors have kindly provided a set of superb Perl tools for the Oracle DBA. Everyone will have their favourites, but mine include the ability to monitor alert logs in real time and a password client/server combo for centralised, encrypted management over the network. Last but not least: the ability to monitor SQL and store explain plans for historical comparison over time.
This book is a like a Tardis - its much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside. The volume of information could have been overwhelming, but the authors have taken the time to patiently explain the topics from first principles without ever patronising the reader. That's a rare skill, and this is a fantastic book.
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Format: Paperback
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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