Sebastopol, CA--Learning how to write code in Oracle PL/SQL can be a challenge; learning how to write code well is another battle altogether. At one time, Oracle programmers faced a dearth of information on how to write PL/SQL code. According to Steven Feuerstein, author of Oracle PL/SQL Best Practices (O'Reilly, US $19.95), the only sources available were the product documentation and the occasional paper and presentation at Oracle user group events. Today, the community of PL/SQL programmers has grown in size and maturity, and access to information about PL/SQL is no longer a hurdle; rather, making sense of the features, tools, and resources available can often leave developers yearning for advice on the best way to proceed to write code well.
"There is a big difference between learning the syntax of a computer language and figuring out how to write applications in that language that are efficient and can be easily maintained and enhanced," says Feuerstein. "The response to my previous books indicated to me that many PL/SQL developers want guidance on how to write high quality software."
Feuerstein, who is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on the Oracle PL/SQL programming language, sets forth his recommendations in a set of best practices for the Oracle programming community. Each chapter in his book addresses a particular area of functionality in the PL/SQL language, with an explanation of the best practice and a summary of the benefits and challenges of adopting that practice. Rich with examples, Oracle PL/SQL Best Practices contains easily accessible, quickly located advice on how to write code that is readable, maintainable, and efficient. Considering the predominance of Oracle-based applications in the business world, producing quality code is critical.
Feuerstein explains: "Although Java has received lots of press in the last few years, the number of Oracle PL/SQL developers and, even more importantly, the number of PL/SQL-based applications continue to grow. As long as Oracle dominates the world of databases, particularly on the Internet, PL/SQL will be a essential component of the software that supports the world-wide economy and much of human activity."
"Given the central role of PL/SQL, it is absolutely critical that developers write their applications with care," Feuerstein adds. "There is a price to be paid--and not always just in dollars and cents--for software that runs slowly or cannot be easily fixed. I believe that this book will have a significant impact on the ability of PL/SQL programmers to improve the quality of their code, the quality of their coding experience, and as a result the quality of life for millions of people who use their software."
Steven Feuerstein is a respected expert on the Oracle PL/SQL language. He is the author or coauthor of Oracle PL/SQL Programming, 2nd Edition; Oracle PL/SQL Programming: Guide to Oracle8i Features; Oracle PL/SQL Developer's Workbook; Oracle Built-in Packages; Advanced Oracle PL/SQL Programming with Packages; and several pocket reference books (all from O'Reilly & Associates).
As one developer says of Feuerstein's writing, "I was pleasantly surprised to find his style engaging, comprehensible, humorous, and practical. Sometimes the book feels like advice from an experienced mentor and at other times like a fellow developer saying, 'Hey cool, take a look at this!' I was soon able to produce some high quality results that impressed my client and my employer alike" (Brad Neufeld, Architect Senior Analyst, Unisys).
Oracle PL/SQL Best Practices is a concise, easy-to-use reference that PL/SQL developers will turn to again and again, and a book that no serious developer can afford to be without.
Chapter 4, "Control Structures," is available free online.
More information about the book, including Table of Contents, index, author bio, and samples.
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