This book is intended to complement numerous other resources for PL/SQL developers. It is, to my knowledge, the first collection of best practices specifically for the Oracle PL/SQL language. On the other hand, it doesn’t stand on its own as a comprehensive resource, either for PL/SQL, in particular, or for Oracle application development, in general.
What follows is by no means an exhaustive list of resources for developers. However, I find that a 15-page bibliography is more intimidating than it is helpful. So I offer this short list of the resources that I have recently found most useful and interesting:
A classic text, this “practical handbook of software criticism” should be on the bookshelf of every developer or at least in your team’s library. Chock-full of practical advice for constructing code, it shows examples in many languages, including Ada, which is enough like PL/SQL to make learning from McConnell a breeze. Don’t start coding without it! The web site for Steven McConnell’s consulting practice, http://www.construx.com, is also packed with lots of good advice.
According to this book, “refactoring is the process of changing a software system in such a way that it doesn’t alter the external of the code, yet improves its internal structure.” Sound great, or what? This excellent book uses Java as its example language, but the writing is clear and the Java straightforward. There is much to apply here to PL/SQL programming.
This book is a highly readable and concise introduction to Extreme Programming (XP), a lightweight software development methodology. Visit http://www.xprogramming.com or http://www.extremeprogramming.org for a glimpse into the world of this interesting approach to development.
And then, of course, there is my own oeuvre, the Oracle PL/SQL Series from O’Reilly & Associates, which includes:
The complete language reference for Oracle PL/SQL.
A companion volume describing the Oracle8i additions to the PL/SQL language.
A workbook containing problems (and accompanying solutions) that will test your knowledge of Oracle PL/SQL language features.
A complete reference to the many built-in packages provided by Oracle Corporation.
A description of how to write your own PL/SQL packages, including a large number of packages you can use in your own programs.
A quick reference to the PL/SQL language syntax.
A quick reference to the calls to the Oracle built-in functions and packages.