Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What I learned about deadlines...

I learned that I am not the only one :) Seth's blog is one of the ones I read every time. They are short, to the point and almost always meaningful to me. Deadlines are the greatest motivator for me - if I do not have a deadline for something, I can pretty much guarantee you I will not finish it. I set my own little deadlines for things just to get finished. Whenever someone asks me to do something for them - write a foreword, make a recommendation, whatever - I typically say "sure and what is the drop dead date". If they know me, they'll give me a date before the true 'drop dead' just to have it in a timely fashion (because the odds they see it before then are slim to none).

Speaking of deadlines, I just finished the 2nd edition of Expert Oracle Database Architecture. Right now, this minute. Just have to dot I's and cross T's now - a few final copy edits and it'll be done. This will be the blurb on the back of the book (which you can expect to see soon)

Expert Oracle Database Architecture

Dear Reader,
I have a simple philosophy when it comes to the Oracle database: you can treat it as a black box and just stick data into it, or you can understand how it works and exploit it fully. If you choose the former, you will, at best, waste money and miss the potential of your IT environment. At worst, you will create nonscalable and incorrectly implemented applications—ones that damage your data integrity and, in short, give incorrect information. If you choose to understand exactly how the Oracle database platform should be used, then you will find that there are few information management problems that you cannot solve quickly and elegantly.

Expert Oracle Database Architecture is a book that explores and defines the Oracle database. In this book I’ve selected what I consider to be the most important Oracle architecture features, and I teach them in a proof-by-example manner, explaining not only what each feature is, but also how it works, how to implement software using it, and the common pitfalls associated with it. In this second edition, I’ve added new material reflecting the way that Oracle Database 11g Release 2 works, updated stories about implementation pitfalls, and new capabilities in the current release of the database. The number of changes between the first and second editions of this book might surprise you. Many times as I was updating the material – I myself was surprised to discover changes in the way Oracle worked that I was not yet aware of. In addition to updating the material to reflect the manner in which Oracle Database 11g Release 2 works – I’ve added an entirely new chapter on data encryption. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 added a key new capability – transparent column encryption – and Oracle Database 11g Release 1 introduced transparent tablespace encryption. This new chapter takes a look at the implementation details of these two key features as well as manual approaches to data encryption.

This book is a reflection of what I do every day. The material within covers topics and questions that I see people continually struggling with, and I cover these issues from a perspective of "When I use this, I do it this way." This book is the culmination of many years’ experience using the Oracle database, in myriad situations. Ultimately, its goal is to help DBAs and developers work together to build correct, high-performance, and scalable Oracle applications.

Thanks and enjoy!



Blogger jc said....

Can't wait to read the new book.

Is there any pusblishing date ?

Wed Jun 09, 10:45:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

@JC -

"soon" is the best I know, hopefully before July is out.

And remember - this is a 2nd edition - it is not entirely "new", just want to set expectations...

Amazon does have it for pre-order now.

Wed Jun 09, 10:52:00 AM EDT  

Blogger jc said....

Yes but it would be a good "side to bed" reading book, waiting for Jonathan Second book :).

I've reading again and again the first edition.. so I can read again and again the second.

Thanks for all this new material !

Wed Jun 09, 11:07:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Alberto Dell'Era said....

Are the (11g-related) modifications highlighted somehow ?

It would be "a tad" convenient for readers of the last edition(s) ...

Wed Jun 09, 11:25:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


no, not at all - it is like any 2nd edition, it just "is" - no revision bars or anything like that.

Wed Jun 09, 11:33:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Pierre said....

Any chance you start (or restart) Expert Oracle Programming ?

If not, it would be very interested to know which topic you would have handled and especially those not already mentioned in Oracle Efficient By Design or official Oracle Database Development Guides.

Maybe you would write about exception handling and transactional APIs ?

Wed Jun 09, 12:36:00 PM EDT  

Blogger amol said....

Will the book be available in India around July as well ...

Wed Jun 09, 01:35:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Uwe Hesse said....

Hi Tom,
your book is definitely on my list of things to buy - and I hardly buy Oracle-books anymore. In the courses I teach, I always make fun about the "generic application approach" that doesn't use the best features of any database. So I really like your prologue! Also, I always point my students to "Ask Tom", but mostly, they already know it :-) Keep up the good work!

Wed Jun 09, 01:39:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Connor McDonald said....

Douglas Adams summed it up best...

"I love deadlines, especially the wooshing sound they make as they fly by"

Wed Jun 09, 11:04:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Baig said....

Cant wait to get hands on it

Wed Jun 09, 11:54:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Abdul said....

Hi Tom,
This is my first ever post on your blog. I have to let you know that I am a big fan of your work. I have your other books and I will definitely buy this one. Greetings from Pakistan/Canada.
Keep up the good work!
Abdul Abbasi

Thu Jun 10, 10:21:00 AM EDT  

Blogger al0 said....

Very happy to hear that 2nd edition is prepared - it is really a great news for the Oracle community.

But what about the 2nd volume - is the deadline for it set?

Thu Jun 10, 04:54:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

“A man on a mission is far different from a drone on a deadline” - Rheta Grimsley Johnson

word: sesirds

Thu Jun 10, 08:25:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Is the content of this book centered more around what you wanted to do or what you had time for?

Fri Jun 11, 03:08:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


The table of contents and most of the content was developed for the first edition . I added what was needed to update to 11gr2 - including adding a chapter on encryption... I was not constrained by time - I just need deadlines to motivate me :)

Nothing like the fear of getting yelled at to make me work....

Fri Jun 11, 05:27:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Ajay said....

I bought the alpha version from Apress's site a couple of weeks ago. Looking forward to the completed book!

Mon Jun 14, 10:34:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Christopher said....

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." - Douglas Adams

Tue Jun 15, 10:51:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Richard said....

In the send last sentence "This book is the culmination of many years’ experience using the Oracle database, in myriad situations." - the apostrophe after years is incorrect - the years were many (plural), but they do not own the experience.

If you were keen to use an apostrophe, you could do something like this:

"This book is the culmination of Tom’s many years of experience using the Oracle database, in myriad situations."

Hopefully your proof readers picked this up - I think this is not the first time you have been nit-picked :)

Wed Jun 16, 01:00:00 AM EDT  

Blogger mathewbutler said....

Congratulations on completing the 2nd Edition.

Looking forward to reading it.

Yours is some of the best technical writing in the Oracle space. By that I mean it flows and is enjoyable to read (inclusing the simple to follow test cases to support your words).

Best Regards,

Wed Jun 16, 07:22:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous SeanMacGC said....


The apostrophe is absolutely correctly used in this instance: another way of saying what Tom said would be "the experience of many years", therefore the experience does indeed belong to those years, necessitating the apostrophe use.

Sometimes the Apostrophe Police act with a tad too much alacrity, and a tad too much inaccuracy, methinks ;o)

Fri Jun 18, 10:06:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

In the plethora of books on Oracle, Tom's book is always a refreshing change. Most Oracle books I see are a repetition of Oracle documentation, no real knowledge or experience in using the product on author's part are reflected in the material.

Tom's books on the other hand, have solid information, the kind I need to better understand the underlying mechanism of the Oracle engine that I am working on.

I wish someone would write a similar kind of book on RMAN internals. It still remains a black box.

Fri Jun 18, 11:48:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Charlie 1 木匠 said....

Hi Tom,

May I reference your slides page 2,3 and 10 in StorageTechniques.ppt for our local Victoria Oracle user group meeting?
Sorry, I don't have your contact information, this might work. ^_^


Mon Jun 21, 02:10:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

@Charlie -

Yes, not a problem...

Mon Jun 21, 02:21:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Anand Singh said....

Anand from India.....
Hi Tom, all of ur previous books were very good... great knowledge I earned from them... hope this new one will set a benchmark...

Pls tell me when it would be published in India.


Tue Jun 29, 10:49:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Karl said....


I have your book Effetive oracle by design and I love it, I have read it three times and nearly all I know about Oracle I have learned from it. I will probably buy your new edition of Expert oracle architecture as well, but I wonder, what are the main differences between the two books?

Tue Jul 06, 02:45:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Effective Oracle by Design is more about "design" - how you want to approach certain things. If Oracle were a car - this would be the driving/operating manual.

Expert Oracle Database Architecture is more about "this is how it works". If Oracle were a car, this would be the technical reference manual - to understand how it all works together.

Wed Jul 07, 06:21:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Enayet said....

Will there be a snippet about Analytics? I wish you write a book about analytics, but, that far fetched!

Wed Jul 28, 10:17:00 AM EDT  

OpenID Kamran Agayev A. said....

Hi Tom

Your book is wonderful! I've already bought its second edition and reading it daily. It should cost its weight in gold. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge.
Can't wait meet you at OOW-2010. BTW-Will you be at ACE Dinner? :)

Kamran Agayev A.
Oracle ACE

Tue Aug 31, 05:44:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Ben Prusinski said....

I am the same way. Without the chapter deadlines, I probably would never finish writing anything. Pressure keep me motivated and productive.

Wed Oct 06, 03:17:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Will it be available for the Kindle as was the previous version?

Thu Oct 28, 09:25:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....


I wasn't even aware the previous edition was available as a kindle book.

I'm out of the loop on those decisions - that is entirely up to the publisher - the authors don't really have anything to do with the mechanics of publication....

Mon Nov 01, 04:39:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Rich Soule said....


Your book is excellent. I recommend it to all my students! (I'm teaching the DBA OCP courses at Austin Community College.)

I did notice that Oracle's changed the site structure for Oracle Magazine, so your "Trouble With Triggers" article link is now broken. The book has while the new URL is You might want to ask the team to put in a redirect for you.

Again, it's a great book!



Sat Jun 09, 01:55:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Oren Nakdimon said....

Hi Tom.
Reading again (for the god knows which time) your excellent book "Expert Oracle Database Architecture" 2nd edition, I've noticed (for the first time) that on page 256,you wrote that "a query that has an aggregate with no where clause always returns at least one row and at most one row".
You actually meant "with no group by clause", right?

Sat Aug 04, 05:42:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

@oren - if it doesn't say "group by", it is incorrect.

if you do not have a group by, an aggregate will return at most one and at least one row.


Sat Aug 04, 05:46:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi Tom,

Eagerly waiting for Indian edition of this book .. First edition is available in India but second edition is not yet .. Could you check with publisher ?



Wed Nov 28, 01:29:00 PM EST  


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