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We have many people to thank. Here are acknowledgments from all three of us.


Help! I started writing big, fat books about PL /SQL and I just can't stop myself!

It almost feels that way sometimes. As I was finishing up my first book, Oracle PL /SQL Programming , I sighed as I thought about the summer of 1996: the workload would let up and I could actually enjoy the sun and the season. As my son, Eli, would say: "Yeah, right." By the summer of 1996, I was busy writing Advanced Oracle PL /SQL Programming with Packages , turning PL/Vision into an actual product people would buy, and, due largely to the enthusiastic reception for Oracle PL /SQL Programming , doing more and more training.

Now it is the winter of 1998 and I am at it again. So, yes, it is true that I just cannot stop myself (Debby Russell, my editor, is already talking about a Quick Reference), but it is also very true that I received loads of help in writing this book. A saving grace of my busy life right now is that I am getting help from sharp, enthusiastic PL /SQL developers from all around the world -- and it is time to name names.

First and foremost, I thank my coauthors: John Beresniewicz ("John B") and Charles Dye ("Daddy," being the father of a newborn -- I cannot even imagine writing a book in the midst of becoming a new dad, and he is already working on another book!). While there are challenges aplenty in a writing coauthorship, the rewards are also numerous. Charles explored and made available to all of us in great detail a chunk of Oracle technology about which I am ignorant. John B was my "dream come true:" an experienced developer with an orientation towards constructing generic, reusable components that will be enriching the lives of PL /SQL developers for years to come. And while they will without a doubt be heaping praise on their spouses, I would also like to thank Arlene Haskins and Kathy Dye for their toleration of my imposition on their husbands' time and attention.

Next! Even with Charles and John lined up to write significant chunks of this book, I was still more than happy to "share the opportunity" with others. Chuck Sisk ( ) and Chip Dawes , both consultants with SSC in Chicago, volunteered to take on the DBMS_LOB and UTL_RAW packages, respectively. Their involvement has enriched the book, and I deeply appreciate their willingness to help. I also thank Bert Scalzo for his very early efforts as a contributor. He was not able to continue, due to an illness in his family, but his enthusiasm and effort did have its impact on the book.

Several people got involved in the critical task of technical review. Any errors you discover in this book are the responsibility of its authors, but there are many fewer errors due to the hard work of Dan Clamage, Ken Denny, Ken Geis, Eric Givler, Shobana Gurumurthy, Dwayne King, Phil Pitha, Bill Pribyl, Kevin Taufner, Rick Wessman, Jay Weiland, and Solomon Yakobson. And when it comes to technical review, it is hard to beat the keen eye of members of the Oracle PL /SQL team (and elsewhere within Oracle). Many thanks to Shirish Puranik for coordinating the effort, as well as the detailed feedback provided by Sashikanth Chandrasekaran, Brajesh Goyal, Radhakrishna Hari, Susan Kotsovolos, Amit Jasuja, and Alex Tsukerman.

I promised Debby that my acknowledgments would be shorter in length than the chapter on Oracle Advanced Queueing, so let me simply add that I am grateful to:

  • Steve Hilker of RevealNet, Inc. for putting together an excellent Companion Disk resource, and to the rest of the crew at RevealNet for supporting my writing in the midst of aggressive, exciting productive development cycles.

  • Bill Hinman, Barrie Hinman, and Sandra Wilbert for providing a solid foundation from which I do all of my work here in Chicago.

  • Tony Ziemba for his continued support (and publication through Oracle Developer from Pinnacle) of my writing and PL /SQL evangelism.

Many thanks to the staff of O'Reilly & Associates for another wonderful effort: John Files, the production editor for the book; Nancy Wolfe Kotary, who copyedited this enormous book in record time; Claire LeBlanc, who coordinated the production work in Cambridge (and did a good deal of it herself); Mike Sierra, who converted the files to Frame and performed all kinds of system wizardry; Sebastian Banker, Kimo Carter, Mary Costulas, Will Plummer, and Susan Reinbold, who entered edits into the files; Rob Romano, who created the figures; Edie Freedman, who designed the cover; Nancy Priest, who designed the interior format; and Joel Berson, who prepared the index (and improved the text while he was at it); and finally Debby Russell, my editor and friend, whose enthusiasm for this book never wavered, even as the page count increased.

And what about my family? Don't I want to thank them, too? Sure! Thanks, Veva, for putting up with me being around the house so much this past year -- except when I was on the road, and then thanks for never forgetting what I look like. Thanks, Eli, for becoming an adolescent at the same time that I got really busy and travelled too much. You had and have more important things in your life going on than seeking out Dad for entertainment. Though we did, come to think of it, play lots of darts and pool and ping pong.

From Charles

At last the fun part has arrived: acknowledging those who have helped me to nurture my contribution to this book from an enticing proposition to a finished product. While I may have shouldered the responsibility for actually researching and writing about the distributed database packages, there are several individuals without whose assistance I would not be a position to pen this acknowledgment.

My wife Kathy has been unwavering in her support and enthusiasm for my work with O'Reilly & Associates. It's one thing to come home from the salt mines each day to work on a project like this, and another to come home to somebody who encourages you when you just don't feel like it, and who understands when her mate overlooks domestic responsibilities such as washing the dishes. Also, at about the same time that this book project was hatched, Kathy assumed the role of mother, and brought little Natalie into this world on December 19, 1997. Happily, that date corresponds favorably with the completion of this book!

Of course, without Steven Feuerstein, I would not have had the opportunity to contribute to this book in the first place. Even before this project, I had a great deal of respect for Steven's work: all of his other O'Reilly titles adorn my shelves, well thumbed. Needless to say, it was a tremendous honor when he selected me to assist him with this book. And, after working with him for the past several months, I have found that he is a friendly, helpful, and reliable guy, in addition to being an outstanding technical resource. I hope we have the opportunity to collaborate on future projects.

Debby Russell, our editor from O'Reilly & Associates is the person who put Steven and me in touch with each other. Now, I seriously doubt that Debby spends much time administering replicated Oracle databases or cutting PL /SQL code, and I think that's precisely the reason why she has been able to craft this book into something you would want to purchase. She has been both a referee and a cheerleader as Steven, John, and I have agreed and disagreed on format and organization. Debby is also supporting my writing of another O'Reilly book: Distributed Oracle Systems .

The person most responsible for sparking my interest in Oracle's replication technology is Jenny Tsai of Oracle Education. She was my instructor for the Symmetric Replication class, which I took back in 1995. Besides successfully teaching a complex and perhaps esoteric topic to students of varying aptitudes, Jenny has also provided clarification and confirmation of various Oracle replication functionality as I have deployed the technology in the real world. Additionally, Jenny has reviewed my material for this book with the utmost diligence and has found answers to the most obscure conundra. Many thanks as well to Sue Jang, Gordon Smith, and Norman Woo from Oracle, who helped me a great deal in reviewing this book. I am also very grateful to two technical reviewers from outside Oracle Corporation: Lu Cheng and Peter Grendler.

Finally, I thank John Sullivan. I do actually have a real job. When I was writing this book, I was the DBA for The Dialog Corporation (formally Knight-Ridder Information, Inc.), and John Sullivan was my boss. Unlike Dilbert's pointy-haired dolt boss, John understood that a happy employee is a productive employee. He granted immeasurable latitude in how I met my workday responsibilities, and indulged my requests for the equipment and time required to research the topics covered in this and my upcoming book.

From John

There are so many to thank and acknowledge: my parents first of all for their guidance, love, and support; my friend, and first Oracle mentor, John Cullen; my employer (and friend) Bill Wynn, founder of Savant Corporation, whose confidence in me often exceeds my own. Thanks also to Steven, Charles, and Debby Russell for making this book happen; it's been hard work, but well worth it. Very special thanks and so much more to Arlene, whose personal sacrifices for this book and my career exceed all others. Her love and support have been heroic. Finally, I offer the greatest praise and recognition to my Guru, Avatar Adi Da Samraj. It is my sincere hope that the great event of His appearance in this time will soon be widely recognized worldwide.

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