Why We Wrote This Book

Our motivation for writing this book stems from our own experiences learning how to use the Oracle database and Oracle's implementation of the SQL language. Oracle's SQL documentation consists of a reference manual that doesn't go into details about the practical usefulness of the various SQL features that Oracle supports. Nor does the manual present complex, real-life examples.

When we looked for help with SQL in the computer book market, we found that there are really two types of SQL books available. Most are the reference type that describe features and syntax, but that don't tell you how to apply that knowledge to real-life problems. The other type of book, very few-in-number, discusses the application of SQL in a dry and theoretical style without using any particular vendor's implementation. Since every database vendor implements their own variation of SQL, we find books based on "standard" SQL to be of limited usefulness.

In writing this book, we decided to write a practical book focused squarely on Oracle's version of SQL. Oracle is the market-leading database, and it's also the database on which we've honed our SQL expertise. In this book, we not only cover the most important and useful of Oracle's SQL features, but we show ways to apply them to solve specific problems.