When we wrote the first edition of Oracle Essentials in 1999, our goal was to offer a new kind of book about Oracle, one that would clearly and concisely cover all of the essential features and concepts of the Oracle database. In order to keep our focus on those essentials, we limited the scope of the book. For instance, we decided not to cover SQL, or PL/SQL, in depth; these complex topics would have required a level of detail that would have run counter to the purpose of our book, and they are amply described in other books.
The latest release of the Oracle database, Oracle Database 10g, contains an enormous number of new features. Most of these features build on the existing foundation of Oracle database technology. We have tried to add details about these features in the chapters in which their discussion seemed most appropriate, but there are of course some enhancements in the new release that are outside the scope of this book.
The following sections summarize the new features of Oracle Database 10g that are covered in this new edition, chapter by chapter. Although many of these features are mentioned in multiple chapters, they are listed here according to where the most relevant discussion occurs.
This introductory chapter was extensively updated to reflect the packaging changes in Oracle Database 10g. It also briefly mentions features described in more detail in other chapters.