Systems Engineering and RDBMS

Learning Oracle

Posted by decipherinfosys on June 20, 2008

One of our junior team members posed this question some time ago. He was hired as a SQL Server Developer/DBA and wanted to now expand his knowledge and also learn Oracle and Unix. This is one of the common questions from many folks even at client sites so we thought it will be good to post the information on the blog on what we consider to be a good way to learn Oracle. Here goes:

1) The starting point is either Oracle documentation (the Oracle Database Concepts) or a good book like the ones from Tom Kyte. This is because if you are a SQL Server or a DB2 DBA, Oracle is pretty different than what you are used to so getting the concepts right is the first step in the process. Here are the links:

Oracle 10g Database Concepts Documentation, Oracle 11g Database Concepts Documentation, Tom Kyte’s book on Oracle Database and Architecture, Tom Kyte’s book on Effective Oracle by Design and Steven Feuerstein’s book on PL/SQL programming.

Also, download the Oracle 10g Express Edition from here and install it on your system since the only way to learn is to play with the product. 11g Express Edition is not available right now.

The download of the express edition and the install is very straight forward and the download is pretty small – around 160MB only.

2) Participate in forums. That is the way to learn – since you will learn from others and others will learn from you. Since you are just starting in this area, chances are that the issues that you will be facing, someone else also faced them while going through the same path and can help you out. Be courteous and follow the forum etiquettes properly. Here are some good forums:

Oracle-l: This is an excellent list. If you take a look at the list, there are contributions from people like Jonathan Lewis, Cary Millsap, Pete Sharman, Niall Litchfield, Tim Gorman, Tom Kyte and many other respected Oracle professionals.

Oracle Users Co-operative FAQ: This is maintained by Jonathan Lewis and you will find a lot of good information in these FAQs.

OTN Discussion Forums: These are like the MSDN forums in the case of Microsoft. You might even get the actual product managers or the development leads or support analysts to directly help with your question(s).

Oracle Metalink: This has a wealth of information. When working on Oracle projects or even when helping colleagues with their Oracle issues, we use this very extensively. You will need to register for this one.

IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group): This is not so good on the forums side of things but is excellent for networking, for conferences and for the technical content on the site.

3) Some other web sites:

Tom Kyte’s site is one of the best – you will find answers to most of your questions over there and if you do not, you can post it out there but search the forum first to see whether it has already been answered before.

Ora FAQ’s: There is a wealth of information available in these FAQs. And there are a lots of very good groups and categories.

Don Burleson’s site: Read the newsletters and subscribe to them. A lot of very good tips and tricks for the DBAs and Database Developers.

This list is by no means complete but for a person starting in Oracle or trying to take his/her skills to the next level, this is all you need and then a lots of practice. Keep at it and if we can help, let us know. If you would like us to cover certain topics that you would like to learn, we would be more than happy to do that on our blog or as a whitepaper. We have not started a full fledged forum yet to answer questions because of time constraints but we do plan to do that in the near future. So, keep those questions coming through e-mails to:

2 Responses to “Learning Oracle”

  1. bert said

    If it’s just for personal learning (and not training others), I believe you can download and use Enterprise Edition under the terms of the Development License (

  2. Karrox said

    I found the Link for the PS/SQL Programming interesting and useful.

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