“Troubleshooting Oracle Performance” is the most thorough, yet physically compact book covering performance tuning with Oracle 9i R2 through 11g R1 on the market. It is quite clear that a great deal of effort was made by the author to carefully verify the tips and test results contained in the book and to organize the material in a logical progression, thus building a bridge between the reader’s current understanding to the understanding of complex tuning approaches.
What this book accomplishes, which most other performance tuning books seem to miss, is to indicate which performance tuning features are available in each Oracle release (and which are available at no additional licensing cost) as the various performance tuning approaches are discussed. Not only does the book indicate when a feature would be appropriate, but also potential problems (“Pitfalls and Fallacies”) associated with each feature.
The depth of coverage of Oracle 11g R1 features is surprisingly thorough given the short amount of time which that version has been on the market. A little more detail in a couple areas, such as hacking stored outlines, would have been helpful; at the same time, everyone who reads the book might have a different opinion of what needed additional detail, the book could have grown to 2500 or more pages, and likely would have been obsolete by the time it was published.
The Apress Roadmap on the back cover of the book indicates that this book should be read before “Forecasting Oracle Performance”, “Expert Oracle Database Architecture”, and “Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals”. The “Troubleshooting Oracle Performance” book seems to assume that the Oracle database concepts are well understood. As such, it is probably wise to read “Expert Oracle Database Architecture” first, followed by this book, “Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals”, and finally “Forecasting Oracle Performance”.
(Section added December 13, 2010): Related blog articles that discuss the contents of this book: