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This may be the smallest book I have ever written, but that doesn't mean I didn't need any help getting it done! A number of Oracle professionals took time out of their busy schedules to review various chapters, and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you for your efforts: Richard Bolz, Darryl Hurley, Dwayne King, Vadim Loevski, Vasanthi Nagareddi, Rudresh J. Rana, Chuck Sisk, Kasu Sista, and Solomon Yakobson. Bill Pribyl, my coauthor on Oracle PL/SQL Programming , read every chapter closely and identified numerous opportunities to improve the text -- thanks, Bill! The Oracle PL/SQL development team improved the quality of this book through their feedback and prompt responses to my inquiries; many thanks to Usha Sangam and the other developers out at Oracle HQ who looked over this text: Chandrasekharan Iyer, Neil Le, Kannan Muthukkaruppan, Chris Racicot, Ajay Sethi, and Ian Stocks.

On the O'Reilly side of the aisle, this book was shaped and guided to publication by my friend and editor, Deborah Russell. We've been working together since 1994, and she never fails to impress me with her devotion to the Oracle line at O'Reilly and her insights on how to tighten up and focus a technical book. Steve Abrams of O'Reilly also worked hard to get this book done on time and to support both my writing and training activity.

1999 has been a long, intense year for me (and it sure ain't over yet!). I have been reminded of how important it is to lead a balanced life and to live it fully. Man (this man) does not live by PL/SQL alone. As I begin to cruise through my 40s, publish my fourth full-length text on PL/SQL, and put finishing touches on my fifth ( Oracle PL/SQL Programming: Developer's Workbook ), I thank my wife, Veva Silva, and my children, Chris and Eli, for the continual flow of challenges and happiness into my life.

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