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As it seems it has become popular to give his readers a glimpse on the bookshelf like it has been practised by many before me (see here , here or here) I will also reveal what is “behind” me.  Literally the books are place on top of a locker behind me…

Books about databases seem to be very useful. Most of them are so thick that you can use them to insulate your house if you just buy enough of them – so they must contain everything about everything, right?

Unfortunately, as most of us will have encountered over time, most often the books just reiterate over and over the same already well known content. Sometimes the books are nothing more than an annotated version of the documentation.

So here is my list of book that I think may help people to get a good foundation about databases. The large bias towards Oracle titles in this list just represents the situation on the book market: there basically exists no valueable book about MaxDB up to now. If anybody like to spend some time to write one: go ahead! I guess it will be quite a seller once it’s available.

Ok, now here goes my list (order has no special meaning here):

Jonathan Lewis, Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals, Apress
If you want to get a profound understanding about how the oracle cost-based optimizer works, this is the book you should go for.

Lex de Haan and Toon Koppelaars, Appliead Mathematics for Database Professionals, Apress
Database in Depth, C.J. Date, O’Reilly
Both books are rather database independent (especially the latter one). They’re all about the idea of relational databases and set theory; something that many people miss out in their db education. Thus these people tend to think “tables” where “releations” or “sets” would be appropriate.
Most often the knowledge of these books will come in usefull when you’re going to understand and develop databases.

Expert Oracle Database Architecture, Thomas Kyte, Apress
Effective Oracle by Design, Thomas Kyte, Oracle Press
Both books by the famomous Tom behind Very good explanations about the most important features and functions and when and how to use them properly.

That was it about the books I’d recommend. They are not a prerequisite for successful working with databases but they may help. (Besides: I don’t get anything for putting them here on my list. It’s just my personal list – anybody may disagree ont the compilation!)

Much more important than having AND reading (!) the books in my opinion is that anybody that is working with databases reads the manual of his/hers DBMS first.
Databases are based on very abstract ideas. They are very elaborated computer system infrastructure components that are far from beeing easy to cope with.
I cannot understand how any company could let somebody, who did not even red the manual, touch the very core of their technical process infrastructure.
But – as it seems – it happens far too often yet…

Therefore this list is just out for those who always take excuses like: “I did not find the documentation…” or “nobody around knew where to look…”:

Oracle Documentation:
Database Concepts – link
Database Reference – link
Database SQL Reference – link
Database Backup and Recovery Basics – link
Database Administrator’s Guide – link

MaxDB Documentation:
Basic Information
Concepts of the Database System –link
SQL Reference Manual – link
Database Administration for MaxDB – link
Database Administration Tutorial – link
SQL Tutorial – link

#592393 – FAQ: Oracle
#820824 – FAQ: MaxDB / SAP liveCache Technology

Use these notes as Starting-Points. They reference many other notes and if you perform a notes search for FAQ (just in the shorttext) + BC-DB-SDB resp. BC-DB-ORA you’ll find many more.

I hope this gives some of you a hint where to look ans what to read and understand BEFORE doing something with the database of your company. (BTW: most actions can be tried and tested on very small test instances. For example I’ve 5 SAP DB/MaxDB instances and 2 oracle instances on my laptop and it works out fine).

Best regards,


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