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Book Review: Oracle Warehouse Builder 11gR2: Getting Started 2011

As being the embedded option of Oracle relational database engine, OWB is still my favourite ETL (or to correct ELT) tool. In addition, although Oracle positions ODI as their strategic tool for this purpose, they still keep investing on OWB  at least in 11g Release 2.

I have recently had the chance to review a new book by Packt Publishing, namely Oracle Warehouse Builder 11gR2: Getting Started 2011. Book is  a good introductory book for newbies willingness to learn more on OWB by playing with it in a playground.

Book is organised to let you build your own OWB environment and work on a toy problem namely ACME Toy and Gizmos. You design and create your source and target structures and implement you ELT.

The book will help those who wish to learn more on OWB and look for a practical guide.


Book Review: Oracle GoldenGate 11g Implementer’s Guide


As being a consultant in VLDB domain, one of the most popular questions of today is “How can I feed my data warehouse/reporting environment in real-time?” Yet another one is “How can I offload my reporting activity over my OTP environment without generating any time gap between reality and what is being reported?” In addition, I am a bit depressed to see people taking CDC (Change Data Capture) products as DR (Disaster Recovery) solutions.

It was two years ago in ACED briefing when Thomas Kurain declared that GoldenGate is Oracle’s strategic real-time integration solution. After that, I have spent quite a few time to understand merits and drawbacks of this product. I have talked customers want to use it, already using it, and suffering it. Almost all sites annoyed with the same problems

  • It is very hard to configure GoldenGate
  • It is very hard to monitor&manage GoldenGate
  • Oracle documentation is still not sufficient for them.

To be honest it is hard to say that they are wrong.

Last week I have read John P. Jeffries’s Oracle GoldenGate 11g Implementer’s Guide and I can easily say that it is a nice piece of material built just to make reader a successful GoldenGate implementer. There is no dictionary-based definition of GoldenGate concepts like Extract, Trail File, Data Pump, etc. as it is in Oracle formal documentations. The book is structured in “Let me show what I define above” fashion. The book is full of details to show you the way of implementing up and running GoldenGate systems. However, I will continue to write on my favorite sections.

Chapter 6: Configuring Golden Gate for HA is on how to configure GoldenGate on a RAC database. Chapter covers to integrate GoldenGate with clusterware software to enable automatic failover. I have seen customer sites still writing custom scripts for this. Therefore, this chapter is a good how to for RAC implementers.

Chapter 8: Managing Oracle GoldenGate is a chapter mainly about reporting performance metrics and errors of functional GoldenGate systems. Chapter explains to report your GoldenGate errors, latency, and throughput and interpret them.

Chapter 9: Performance Tuning is on tuning GoldenGate using parallel extracts and replicates and tuning GoldenGate storage and network for best performance.

To sum up, if you are a newbie in GoldenGate but responsible with implementing a new GoldenGate environment or maintaining an existing one, this book might be a good resource for you.

Book Review: Oracle 11g Streams Implementer’s Guide

After attending the CDC implementation session of CERN team in UKOUG 2009, new features of Oracle Streams technology introduced with 11g got my attention. While searching for a suitable resource, I came across with this extremely helpful resource.

The problem about many Oracle books is that they either paraphrase Tahiti (or Oracle My Support notes although it is illegal) or they are built on some pseudo examples generated just to create a problem to find a solution.This book is definitely an exception and it is not for my book-shelf but for my briefcase.

Thanks to Ann L. R. McKinnell and Eric Yen start with a few warm up chapter (Chapter 1) explaining the underlying concepts of streaming idea and its proper usage, Oracle CDC components, and a brief introduction to XStreams which will be detailed in Chapter 6.

Chapter 2 is for database architects who are responsible with designing the replication system such that it will work smoothly for their business. There is an invaluable check list  including almost everything that should be taken into consideration before starting.

Chapter 3 is a kind of implementation chapter of Chapter 2. In order to satisfy the checklist given in previous chapter, this chapter defines the necessary configuration details.

Chapter 4, Chapter 5, and Chapter 6 explains different ways of replication in detail. Keep in mind that you can read Chapter 5 online.

Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 are my favorite ones and I believe those are the reasons why this book is an excellent reference for all implementors. Chapter 7 is explaining the importance of documentation in a replication environment and explain how you can automatically generate your environment map and how you can gather performance data with Oracle utility packages. Chapter 8 is all about troubleshooting in Oracle Streams environment. I think this is the most important part because people keep on changing what you have implemented. The methodology and toolkit to track,diagnose, and solve a problem in your streaming environment is put very clearly in two sub-chapters and 13 bulletins.

To sum up, Oracle 11g Streams Implementor’s Guide is a really niche reference for not only those try to implement an Oracle CDC environment but also  wish to understand essence of replication concepts (almost all are the same with slight changes in terminology and the way they have been implemented).