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Java Programming with Oracle JDBC by Donald Bales

Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 932
<pre>
Author/s : Donald Bales
Publisher : O'Reilly
Category : Misc. Java
Review by : Frank Carver
Rating : 8 horseshoes
</pre>
A workmanlike book which achieves its aims.
This book is for Java developers who need to get the most out of using JDBC and Oracle (version 8.1.6). Choosing a specific database allows a lot more detail. Other JDBC books may skip database-dependent parts of the API; this book even gives code examples for the hard stuff. It is slow to read end-to-end, but "dipping" works well - there's almost always a helpful code example nearby.
There are problems, though. The author is obviously very familiar with Oracle, but lacks the experience to make comparisons with other products, this book won't help you choose when to use Oracle. Also I noticed other signs of lack of research - he sometimes gets abbreviations wrong, and the Java code is not particularly well-written.
The big problem for me is that the book assumes you only ever use Oracle. There is no consideration of code portability, it offers no wisdom about avoiding proprietary Oracle-specific extensions. The techniques in this book could easily lock your product into Oracle.
The book has minor discussion of extra features in Oracle8i and Oracle9i, but nothing about JDBC 3. It's less helpful if you are using a version older than 8.1.6, too.
If you have already sold your soul to Oracle, get this book. If you might use other databases, get a more generic book, and keep this one for emergencies.
More info at Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/059600088X/javaranch rel="nofollow"> More info at Amazon.co.uk
Jamie Robertson
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Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

I found this free chapter an excellent source for performance tips when using Oracle and jdbc.
Leslie Chaim
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Joined: May 22, 2002
Posts: 336
I have read this book from cover to cover and it has been one of my best books by O'reilly. I am not sure how the ratings work but I have nothing but great praise for this book.
Part II dealing with connections is super! I have solved all of my frustrations by reading and understanding about connections. Other parts are equally good as well. The text is not too boring/simple and yet simple and interesting enough. It has a perfect balance!
The title says clear '...ORACLE JDBC'. Books should be judged based on their title and preface if they follow what they promise, and this book most certainly does. Compare this to Multithreaded Programming with Java Technology by Bill Lewis.
In the author own words: The one thing which is very true is that this is NOT a book about Java, it's a book about multithreading. Why do we want to get more out of the book then it's title?
While its true that the author does not cover other databases, he does keep his promise and I think it�s a great book.
BTW, and while I am taking JDBC I am trying very hard to find More detail from SQLException. Maybe I can get some help here
Thanks
[ August 14, 2002: Message edited by: Leslie Chaim ]

Normal is in the eye of the beholder
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I have to admit that if I bought a book with "Oracle" in its name I would get annoyed if the author spent 25 pages telling me about other databases. Sounds to me like the author achieved his goal which was to write a narrowly focused book on a single database.


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Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
Maybe I just fell foul of the word limit on these reviews. I never meant to imply that it was somehow a "bad" book because it didn't cover these areas, just advise readers looking for a book which might help them decide whether to use Oracle JDBC, or maybe migrate a project from Oracle JDBC, or perhaps access other databases in conjunction with Oracle JDBC, that this is not a book which really covers those topics.
Does anyone actually disagree with my summary? "A workmanlike book which achieves its aims" ?
For information, I give 8 horseshoes to a book which is accurate, appropriate, acceptably-written and "does what it says on the tin".
I give 9 to a book which does that but has an extra something which lifts it above the herd, be it in the presentation, writing style, web support, code quality or whatever.
I only give a 10 to one which has all that and "lasting value". One that I can imagine I will still want and use in 10 years time. These are understandably very rare.
[ August 18, 2002: Message edited by: Frank Carver ]

Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Jamie Robertson
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Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

book was also reviewed by Ajith Kallambella here
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I didn't know we'd covered this one already!
However, I think the two reviews complement each other. Ajith's is more about what is there, mine is more about what isn't. I suggest both viewpoints have value.
The difference between 8 and 9 horseshoes is down to personal feeling. To me it shows that our reviewers are fairly consistent with each other - a good sign.
Jamie Robertson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

I think the difference was your expectations going in to the book. Ajith was expecting exclusive jdbc and Oracle book explaining how to effectively and efficiently program with java and oracle, where as you may have been expecting more of a how to effectively program java and jdbc in general with the implementation/examples shown using Oracle.
They are both helpful reviews. Thanks to all the book worm moderators who somehow find time between posts to finish reading a book!
Jamie
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Review by : Ajith Kallambella
Rating : 9 horseshoes

An excellent coverage of Oracle's implementation of JDBC, this book beats your expectations.

Meet the middle ground where the strengths of Java and Oracle work in synergy - the JDBC. Whether making simple database connections or using the Oracle 8i's sophisticated object-relational features, the authors peel the onion very well with detailed information and cleverly written examples. After a brief overview of JDBC, several different types of database clients are discussed in detail - the applets, the Servlets, the Server side internal drivers and those managed by J2EE using JNDI and connection pooling.

A whole section is dedicated to traditional uses of JDBC API such as cursors, submitting prepared statements and ResultSet manipulation. The chapter on Object-Relational SQL covers broad ground on both Weakly Typed Object SQL and Strongly Typed Object SQL.

Enterprise essentials such as Security, locking, transaction management supports for data encryption and SSL issues, performance tuning and testing strategies - are addressed in detail. This book is treasure trove if newer feats of Oracle are of Interest to you. I found immediate application for features such as creating object tables and column objects based on user-defined data types, support for really big streaming BFILEs and LONG RAW data types and batch processing for my project.

Overall, this book has everything you need to learn, know and master in order to leverage the essential two great technologies - JDBC and Oracle. Every serious Java developer should have this at arms reach.


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