Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Review of two J. Gennick books

In April I blogged about good books for my Oracle Team. One of the books was "Oracle Regular Expressions Pocket Reference" by Jonathan Gennick. Coincidence or not, but I met Jonathan at Oracle Open World this year! We went for a drink and had a really nice chat.
I find Jonathan a man with a lot of knowledge and he's a great story teller/writer ;-)
I also promised to write a review of two his books, so here we go.

SQL Pocket Guide (Second Edition)

Quoted from the Introduction of the book:

This book is an attempt to cram the most useful information about SQL into a pocket-size guide. It covers data manipulation and transaction control statements, datatypes and table creation and modification for the following platforms:

  • Oracle DB 10gR2 & XE
  • IBM DB2 8.2
  • MS SQL Server 2005
  • MySQL 5.0
  • PostgreSQL 8.1
I find it an excellent description what this book is about.
I would recommend this book to every DBA or Developer working on multiple database flavors!
You can quickly find how you can do something. For ex.: What Datetime Functions are available in Oracle or SQL Server or ...?
Not all implementations of SQL are the same in the different databases and not every SQL is available in the same way. This book not only tells you about SQL but it also proofs it on the hand of a sample schema. The sample schema can be downloaded from the O'Reilly site.
Next to the little "tips & warnings", I find this the biggest PRO for this book! THE PROOF! You can test and see the result yourself, which is important as things change... (although maybe for SQL a bit less)

Oracle Regular Expressions (Pocket Reference)

Quoted from the Introduction of the book:

This little booklet describes Oracle's regular expression support in detail. It's goal is to enable you to take full advantage of the newly introduced regular expression features when querying and manipulating textual data.

As above, I find it an excellent description what this book is about. The book explains the use of the regular expressions very well with clearly written examples.
For this book too, you can download a sample table with data to test the regular expressions yourself. I find regular expressions really powerful and one of the most underestimated/(used) features of the database. I used for example regular expressions to check for a valid email address in the registration page of the World Cup 2006 application.

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