I was very excited to get this book. I like to stay current on Oracle database product changes. There is a great deal of information here (I have the other New Features book from Freeman but have not read it yet).
I have found a few problems with the text (I'm still reading it to be honest). First, several of the examples have errors in the code and generated errors when I tried to run them.
One such case is on page 146. A SQL query demonstrated there has some two obvious SQL errors. Clearly it was not tested, because it could not have run without an error (it bombed on me).
Another example is on page 166 where we find dbms_scheduelr instead of dbms_scheduler. A typo, yes, but one easily caught if the examples were tested.
Another example is on page 165 with a call to dbms_scheduler.set_attribute which has a typo. There are others, but you get the idea. It would also be nice if the code was available online somewhere.
The bottom line is that it seems that at least part of this code was not tested.
It also seems that the authors wrote part of this book on the 11g beta. I ran into one problem with the discussion on invisible indexes. The book indicates that you can use hints to force the use of an invisible index. When I tried this, it did not work (this drove me crazy as I was wondering what I was doing wrong!). After some research I found out that this was true in the beta but was not true in the final production cut of Oracle. Another example of what I think is a beta leftover has to do with SQL Query Result Caching. When I was trying this feature I found I could not set result_cache_mode to AUTO as documented in the book (page 176). When I looked in the Oracle documentation I found that AUTO was not a supported value.
Another problem I have is that examples are incomplete. For example, on page 162 there is a discussion on lightweight jobs. The examples are incomplete. I had to go figure out how to create a program (I had not used the scheduler before to be honest) before I could create the lightweight job. I spent about an hour fiddling with this, because another thing not pointed out by the author (or clearly in the documentation to be honest) are the restrictions on lightweight jobs. I know it's a new features book, and maybe I should know the scheduler, but I think at least the examples should be self-contained if possible.
Another twist appears on page 329. The author talks about a new feature that will eliminate failed loads on external tables. The only problem is that he does not give us any detail on how to actually use this new feature. Instead we get an example of how to create a table in Oracle 10g and he moves on to other features.
In the end, 3 stars seems about right to me. A lot of work went into this book, and I think I learned quite a bit about 11g, but I question now some of what I learned based on problems I've run into. I'll be reading the Freeman book mentioned by another review, shortly. It should provide a good contrast and check and balance.