> I am a recently laid off MS SQL DBA of five years. I would like to have to
> some advice on learning Oracle.
> 1)How difficult is it to learn Oracle? What are the differences between MS SQL
> and Oracle? I know both are ANSI-92 complaint RDBMS. What is the major
> differences between SQL, SQL plus, and PL/SQL?
1. You dont really start off learning 'Oracle' per say. You start off
learning the development programming side. Focus on SQL and PL/SQL.
SQL*Plus is a client program that allows you to access the database.
Has some decent scripting stuff, but it is NOT important right away
and you can just grab what you need out of a book anyway.
SQL is for manipulating the data and for making changes to the
PL/SQL is close to a full blown programming language. You can use SQL
with in it.
Focus on these two and learning the Oracle Forms tool as well. Its a
tool that allows you to make screens for users to access the database.
> 2)Given the fact that both DB2 and MS SQL are taking market share away from
> Oracle, how does its future look like? Is the declining marketshare due to
> lesser technology or dubious pricing schemes by Oracle?
I hear this alot. However, SQL Server jobs dont pay real well and its
lower end. You dont see the DOD run high end servers on SQL Server. I
dont see many DB2 jobs advertised at all.
> 3)How will someone like me benefit from learning Oracle? How will it increase
> my marketability in the job market?
You have IT experience which is VERY good. However, you must start as
a developer and NOT as a DBA. There are no entry level DBA jobs. You
have to be more of a programmer first for 2-3 years then you may be
able to move over. Anyone who says you can start as a DBA is either
lying or an idiot. Now this is a DBA forum, but its not like
developers are on welfare....
> 4)What are some of the best books to learn Oracle? What is the best way to
> learn Oracle?
There really arent any good ones unfortunately. Tom Kytes book is
recommended, but save your money. Its only good after you have been
working in the business for 6-12 months. Long time DBAs sometimes
forget what it takes to learn a brand new skillset.
Look for SQL and PL/SQL books that have actual exercises. I like the
Oracle SQL Interactive Workbook and the Oracle PL/SQL interactive
workbook. They have a database you can download that they teach from
and have assignments. Very important.
You can get the Oracle database off of otn.oracle.com for free.
However, you need Windows 2k to run it and they recommend 512 MB of
RAM(I think... cant remember).. still running 8i at home.
> 4)How important is Unix knowledge to a Oracle DBA?
Most of the really high end databases are run on some form of Unix.
Very useful. However, since you will start as a developer, you really
only need to know how to get around in it. Then pick up a little more
at a time. There are ALOT of development projects run on Windows
though, especially OLTPs. Many high budget ones too, but Unix is
invaluable to a DBA.
You will not be a DBA right away. You HAVE to start as a developer.
Which means do not start by learning about the architecture, or about
performance tuning, or about how the database actually works. Gonna
get flamed for that one... those are a bit more advanced.
Start with SQL,PL/SQL and Forms. Oh yeah you can download forms for
free too. Its part of the 'Internet Application Developer Suite' or
something like that. New one just came out so its probably gonna be
real buggy for 6 months and I dont think you can get the old one
> Thank you in advance.
> MCSE+I, MCDBA, MCSD, CCNA