Thursday, August 04, 2005

Oracle Job Scheduling

Managing jobs in Oracle 9i and below was a pretty straight forward process; start the job queue processes and submit a PL/SQL Block using dbms_job. If you wanted any level of detail you had to wrap the dbms_job functionality around a package and some other tables. Job scheduling was basic and it generally worked. Any complicated scheduling or interaction with the OS and you were out of luck and had to revert to cron.

I'm not sure what I expected when I started reading Oracle Job Scheduling, by Dr. Tim Hall, a few days ago. I've got a decent handle on dbms_job and have used it extensively for all sorts of maintenance tasks. How different could job scheduling in 10g be? Believe me, it's different.

Dr. Hall explains how the new dbms_scheduler packages works and the details of each call. In addition he explains in detail how the new INTERVAL type works and gives very through examples. Chapter 4 is by far the most valuable chapter as it explain four different methods to schedule dependant jobs. The examples in this chapter are an extension of Tims experience in the real-world implementing solutions. Later on, the book explains about how to monitor the new scheduler and how to view the job logs.

I've got to admit I breezed over the sections on OEM and OS Scheduling. I don't use OEM and there's nothing I really need to know about cron.

This book was a good read. Don't get me wrong, it's no A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs and Me. It's a technical book through and through. I would definitely recommend it if you are planning on using the Oracle job scheduler to implement complex business schedules.

Oh, and by about the third time I saw:

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I was ready to barf.


Tim... said...

You're too kind.

Any chance of putting that review on Amazon for me? Of course the big dilema you have then is picking a star rating :)

Jeff Hunter said...

Any chance of putting that review on Amazon for me?
Already submitted it.

Tarry said...

Hmm..No warranties

Tarry said...


I haven't read/reviewed your book yet(I do intend to after seeing HJR's review on that book, ok that guy's written one book himself which unfortunately also floated freely around).

The review seemed a bit strong anyways I'm curious if the observations(such as passive style etc)were your's or more the editor's choice.

I hope my comment is not taken out of context.

Tim... said...

Regarding Howard's review:

Howard sent me a very large review, with several pages of observations and advice. It was really valuable and I'm very grateful to him for spending the time. It's going to be of great help to me in the future.

He gave me the final say on whether he should publish it or not, and I said go for it. After all, asking someone you respect to review your work then telling them to keep it a secret is a bit hypocritical.

That said, one mans meat is another mans poison. I sent the book to a handful of people and as more reviews come in I guess the book buying public will be able to make their own minds up. You can already see that Jeff had a different opinion on the book. That's the way life is :)

Regarding passive voice:

As I said to Howard, I guess some of this comes down to a lack of self confidence at times during the process. Although I've been publishing on the web for many years, this is the first book I've written (apart from my PhD thesis) and it is a little daunting at times. I guess many people wouldn't even notice this aspect, but Howard is really up on writing style and technique so it stands out for him.

Regarding editors influence:

Of course there are aspects of the process that were beyond my control, as would be the case with any publisher, but I was given total control over technical content. Overall I'm pleased with the book and I'm very greatful to Don and everyone at Rampant for giving me the opportunity and helping me through the process.

Regarding the context of your question:

Sounds like a perfectly valid question to me. You can ask me anything, but I might not give you an answer to some questions :)



Tarry said...


It's very good to see that you take it with such grace. Howard is indeed *rather* picky when it comes to grammer.(I just has a little encounter with the *odd* guy)

And me and my last couple of years in Holland has not done any wonders to my written English.

I personally think that the guy could mellow down a bit and still propogate the idea(if you will)or assist other fellow authors of following a stricht discipline when it comes to grammer in a good technical writing.

I personally am willing to take any criticism(yea..ok sure when someone points too many things, you just wanna grab the guy by his neck, in fact I just had HJR answering on that blog of his)as long as you learn from each other.

But again, there's nothing wrong at all to be a little nice to one another.

We all have our own ways of carrying ourselves on the web. Some are more tactful than others.

Tim... said...

It's difficult. If you let standards slip it's not long before you are left with a load of mumbo-jumbo, but if you are too picky you marginalize people. I guess each person has to walk their own path.

I tend to be a little like, "This is what it is. This is how you code it. This is what it proves." It's not Harry Potter, but it's how I like things and if you can cut & paste examples I'm in heaven.

Fun, fun, fun :)

Tarry said...

And exactly you shouldn't forget that. It should be fun, dangit!

And indeed one must try to prevent and if possible correct(like the *has* in 3rd line, above in my post where it was a typo, it should've been *had*) all the errors but never forget that people want to listen to how they *know* you write. And they'll tell others who don't *know* you yet about how good or not good your book is.

So the balance is indeed very crucial.

Howard J. Rogers said...

It's very good to see that you take it with such grace. Howard is indeed *rather* picky when it comes to grammer.(I just has a little encounter with the *odd* guy)

At the extremes, I grant you, you can get into fascinating discussions about the subjunctive and the proper use of the gerund. But merely being able to spell grammar with an 'a' and not an 'e'... well, you're either right or wrong, and it's a bit difficult to be picky in a binary situation like that.

Is it trivial to point out typos? Yup, which is why I generally don't.

But whatever: the review you read was the last paragraph in a very, very long review I wrote entirely for Tim's benefit. That he found it helpful was all I could have asked for.

It should be fun, dangit!

Of course it should. But whoever said fun and accuracy were mutually exclusive?!