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A Note From Donald Burleson

Today s Oracle professionals are standing at the turning point. As Oracle technology moves into the twenty-first century we are seeing the complexity of database systems becoming almost unfathomable. Today s Oracle professional must be an expert in database performance and tuning, database administration, data warehousing, using Oracle with the Web, using OLAP and spatial data, and many other areas. These robust new features of Oracle present unique challenges to anyone who must use Oracle technology to deliver solutions to complex data-oriented challenges.

Oracle, the world s leading database management system, provides a mind-boggling wealth of features and options ”far more than one Oracle professional can easily digest. The Oracle market is filled with new possibilities as Oracle introduces the management of objects, data warehouses, and Web-enabled applications; Oracle professionals everywhere are struggling to understand how to exploit these new features.

It is no longer acceptable for Oracle professionals to be generalists ”they must become intimately familiar with all facets of Oracle technology and understand how these technologies interoperate . Rather than simply breadth of knowledge, the Oracle professional must have enough depth to effectively apply the technology. To get this knowledge we must rely on experts to guide us through the labyrinth of complicated tools and techniques, and we do not have the luxury of wading through mundane technical manuals.

What we need is clear, concise advice from seasoned Oracle professionals. That is the purpose of The Coriolis Group s High Performance Oracle series. As you are challenged to keep pace with this exciting new technology, we are challenged to provide on-point books to help guide you through the myriad of Oracle features and ensure your success.

Don Burleson

Rochester, New York

Acknowledgments

Long ago I decided that my life would involve writing, but I never anticipated that my first book would be a technical book, but, lo and behold, here it is.

The wonderful people at The Coriolis Group exhibited vast amounts of faith and patience with me and were instrumental in completing this book. I hope that I ve repaid that faith with a book that goes a long way towards my early goals of emphasizing design and testing skills as much as, if not more than, syntax. I certainly hope that you find this book useful for those purposes; I think that those skills are the meat and potatoes of any kind of application development.

Many people have helped me complete this project in one way or another; I want to take a few lines and thank them:

   My wife Sara has been patient, loving, and supportive throughout this project, understanding the pressures of deadlines and helping out in whatever ways I needed.
   My friend Mark Rife has served as a sounding board for ideas and has been an excellent technical editor. He also contributed ideas and snippets of code as well.
   My editor, Toni Zuccarini, has always been helpful and patient. Thanks Toni.
   My good friends and former coworkers Herald Williams and Doug Young were especially supportive throughout this project (albeit often in their own special ways).
   My co-workers have all provided support and opinions and are a constant inspiration, as well as a source of new and different perspectives. I don t think you can ever see something from too many sides.

There are many other people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude as well, but listing them all would take a book in itself. Suffice it to say that you are all very dear to me and that I couldn t have accomplished this monstrous undertaking without your friendship and support.


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