Book review: Kevin Meade, Oracle SQL Performance Tuning and Optimization


Excellent exposition of a very effective SQL tuning metodology

My review copy arrived a couple of days ago (thankyou for sending it over, Kevin). This is the review I've just put up on Amazon:

This book is the best book on SQL tuning that I have ever read. I do not say that because I was involved in the technical edit (I did one chapter) but because it is true. The author goes through what one might call the basics of tuning SQL, but that is not "basic" in the sense of "elementary": it is "basic" in the sense that these are things you must get right before doing anything else, or you will never get anywhere. Do not think that this book is for beginners. You need to know your way around SQL and DB admin already, and then it will teach you a lot.
For me, the highlight is the exposition of what I see as the three most critical decisions that the optimizer must make: join order, join method, and access method. This details why these decisions are so critical, how the optimizer makes them, why it sometimes makes the wrong decision, and how to prevent these errors. There is a very nice methodology (the "filtered rows percentage" method) presented for this.
The book does not go into more esoteric subjects, such as tuning non-mergeable views or using non-heap table structures, but it covers everything that you need to fix nine out of ten of your fixable SQL tuning problems. Next time you are looking for an enjoyable way to spend a Friday afternoon at the end of a hard week, find some horrendous query with an execution plan that takes a kilometer of continuous stationery to print, and use the techniques in this book to tune it from ten hours down to ten seconds. That's what you will get from this book: a method for doing just that.

This is the Amazon link,
John Watson
Oracle Certified Master DBA