Oracle data warehousing and business intelligence books

December 7, 2009

Today I continue in my series on Data Warehousing books. In a previous post we have had a look at data warehouse design and architecture books. We have also had a look at data warehousing and business intelligence books for project managers and business analysts. We will focus on Oracle data warehousing books this time. If you know of any other good Oralce business intelligence books that I have not listed below let me know and I will add them here. Also let me know if you diasgree with any of the evaluations of the books.

Must have

In my opinion there aren’t really any brilliant Oracle data warehousing books out there. So what I recommend first of all is to read the Oracle Database Data Warehousing Guide.

I also recommend all of Tom Kyte’s books. Even though they are not specific to Oracle data warehousing they are a must read for anyone working on the Oracle RDBMS. What I love about all of Tom’s books and articles is the scientific no nonsense approach.

For similar reasons I recommend to get your hands on anything by Cary Millsap. I really recommend Optimizing Oracle Performance if you want to understand extended trace in Oracle. It’s a bit older but brilliant. And you can get your hands on a used copy for a couple of quid.

Two other books I have come across recently and found to be quite useful are (1) Troubleshooting Oracle Performance by Christian Antognini from Swiss consulting firm Trivadis. While this does not offer many new insights into the subject it is a valuable overview and reference book. (2) Oracle Performance Survival Guide: A Systematic Approach to Database Optimization. The chapters I found particularly useful here are on minimizing contention, optimizing memory, and optimizing IO. The last one has very useful information on SSDs (in my opinion one of the emerging trends in Data Warehousing for the next decade) and Exadata.

Recommended Read: Inmon – DW 2.0. Book Review

Should Have

If you are implementing a data warehouse in Oracle Oracle 10g Data Warehousing will give you a good technical overview. It touches on all the relevant areas you need to take into consideration when building your data warehouse on Oracle. It will also serve you well as a refresher or lookup for individual areas.

However, don’t expect too much detail. You will need to consult other books, the Oracle documentation, and the blogosphere for advanced topics and more detail.

As a technical introduction and reference to Oracle data warehousing this book has done me a good service over the years.

The Oracle DBA Guide to Data Warehousing and Star Schemas is a bit older, but contains some useful formulas for hardware sizing of an Oracle data warehouse. Does what it says on the tin, but fairly limited in scope.

Oracle Warehouse Builder 11g: Getting Started does pretty much what it says on the tin and gives a good introduction to novices in the area of data warehousing and Oracle Warehouse Builder. So if you have never used Oracle Warehouse Builder this book is for you. If you have used OWB before you will not learn anything new here. Also this book can only be a starting point for your OWB career. A lot more OWB features than are outlined in this book need to be learned to become a master in the area (if you think about it the OWB user manual in PDF format has about 1000 pages and in some areas only scratches at the surface). Also the timing of the publication of the book is a bit unfortunate as only recently OWB 11GR2 was released with a lot of important new features and a redesigned User Interface. Hopefully there will be a 2nd edition soon that addresses this shortcoming. Mark Rittman has also a review of this book on his blog.

Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Dashboard & Report Best Practices is the only book currently out there on OBIEE. Mainly around dashboard design. I haven’t read this myself so if anyone of my readers has I would be grateful for a comment.

I am not too familiar with Essbase myself and have not read the following two books. But from what I hear and looking at the credentials of the authors, both books should be a good read. The first one is Oracle OLAP and Essbase and has only been published recently. The other one is The Multidimensional Modelling Toolkit. Mark Rittman has a review of this on his blog.

Could Have

I had a very disjointed reading experience with Oracle Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Solutions. There isn’t really a central a central theme in this book. This book is a patchwork of data warehouse related stuff at a very high level. Oracle Data Warehouse Tuning for 10g really is a rehash of the Oracle Performance Tuning for 10g by the same author. The book covers mostly very basic stuff here. I found that everything you find here is better explained in the documentation.