I recently came across the book called “Oracle Database Transactions and Locking Revealed” by Tom Kyte and Darl Kuhn. Usually, any new book by Tom Kyte is a big deal and acquires a huge following very quickly. Strangely enough there was only a single review on the Amazon, before I added my own.
For the reasons unknown to me, this book is literally ignored. I haven’t seen posts on the oracle-l about it, on the LinkedIn forums or Usenet. This book is relatively new, became available in November 2014, but it’s enough time for the book to be widely commented or recommended. There are no reasons not to recommend the book. The book is very short, 150 pages, and is not one of those 700+ pages monsters that Oracle books of today frequently turn into. I would wholeheartedly recommend the book to developers, developing Oracle applications. It deals with critically important subjects like locking, transactions, undo and redo. The only thing missing from the book, which in my opinion should have been there, is flashback.
However, the book is primarily dedicated to applications developers, not meant as an in-depth study for the aspiring DBA hopefuls. The main strength of the book lies precisely in its brevity and clarity. It covers the topics of critical importance for the application development. How many times did I hear the myth about the need to commit frequently? How many times did I see “WHEN OTHERS” exception handler in its most atrocious form (“WHEN OTHERS THEN NULL”)? Tom and Darl do an excellent job explaining these things. They also provide tools to investigate redo and undo, all in 150 pages. Excellent job, must have for any application developer.