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I'm thinking of learning Oracle SQL and PL/SQL. So what softwares do I need

  • Oracle 12c DB
  • SQL Developer and Data Modeler

or both.

Any feedback will be appreciated.

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You need both, Oracle 12c DB is the database engine, while SQL Developer and Data Modeler is the client you will use to connect to the database.

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You could download Oracle developer VM to learn. It comes with lot of learning material and you don't need to do setup yourself.

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Depending on how you as an individual learn best and what skills you wish to gain, you may want to look for something to add some practical context and realism - ultimately you can do this right up to the point where you are struggling with many of the same "undocumented features" as Oracle professionals.

  • If you code at all you could get a toolchain that allow you to interact with the database from your favourite language, if you don't you may want to look for an interesting application that can run on Oracle database.
  • Books, hands-on-labs, whitepapers often suggest useful tools or other software relevant their particular topic.
  • If you have an interest for operations, you may want to play with Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control (I believe there is a nice VM template with everything preconfigured on Orale Technology Network). if only to feel extent of the pain before looking into more widely used automation tools like Ansible or Salt and start looking at how they can do Oracle for you. Check out disruptive new technologies such as Docker and Vagrant, and see if you glimpse their future in an Oracle context. Even if you can't they have the potential to be fantastic learning tools.

  • Check out RAC Attack and Rep Attack to quickly build complex, production like lab environments in virtual machines. Unless you also have some hardware capable of production like performance, the likeness is of course limited to mean architectural concepts and software configuration.

  • The RAC Attack gyus also offer a Vagrantfile these days, that while
    increasing rather than decreasing the total time to deploy, will let you deploy a RAC environment with a single command. I think most that have a good idea of everything involved find the idea a bit impressive. I know I do.

  • While you are at it, get a hold of the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance Simulator. It will let you play with a very nearly fully featured virtual edition of a ZFS-SA that you can even be upgraded with the same official software images you would use on the real deal. Follow some hands-on labs or take closer look at at least a couple of technologies for state of the art database and storage integration.

Looking at this short list alone, it's clear that the tools available today allow learning and testing on a level that until very recently was completely unachievable outside of the enterprise datacenter.

Good Luck!

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