A while ago I said that I’d be posting a product review here. Unfortunately work got in the way of me posting the review as quickly as I would have liked. The nice people at Ucertify sent me a review kit for the OCA Oracle Database 11g: Administration 1 exam.
I very much like the structure of the software which provides a wealth of study aids as shown below.
The notes are generally clearly written and well supplemented with links to, for example, sections from the Oracle 11g Concepts Guide. Each section allows you to add your own notes, discuss with other users online and tag for later review. Overall then the product provides a wealth of different sources of relevant study material and provides tools that allow you to use that material in conjunction with the way you learn.
In addition the product allows you to assess how you are doing against the exam objectives via multiple scheduled tests that can be taken in either learning or timed mode.
Intelligent use of the test system in conjunction with good source material ought therefore to ensure that you arrive at the test prepared properly for the exam. In principle then I think that this is a fine product for preparing for the OCP exams. I do however have some concerns. These are largely to do with content. I didn’t do a thorough walk through all of the hundreds of notes, but I saw enough examples of dubious content to be a little concerned, for example the note “What is the Shared Pool” contains the following statement.
The shared pool contains the following three components:
- Library Cache
- Data Dictionary Cache
- User Global Area
The thing is that the UGA ought really to live in the large pool (and will do so unless it isn’t configured ) Indeed a later note correctly states that the UGA can live in the SGA if so required.
Similarly the note on direct path load states correctly that the buffer cache is not involved and then adds
It does not generate UNDO data and generation of redo can also be switched off
this is not quite correct, and is in fact a common misunderstanding. It is true that undo and redo generation requirements are reduced, but any recursive SQL required (for example extent allocation) will be protected in the normal way.
Overall then the product probably deserves an 8 out of 10 from me. The structure and approach to test preparation are excellent, but I’d want to review the study notes pretty carefully for accuracy and completeness. That said I’d expect the target audience (those wishing to pass the exam) to get full value from the product.