Good info on transactions. Lots of detail, great overview. The example of a bank and financial transactions is a great analogy and fits well with the discussion. The statements about asynchronous commits was rather interesting. I had my doubts, so I looked up the referenced Oracle Database Application Developer's Guide - Fundamentals. Chapter 2 of that book (http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/appdev.102/b14251/adfns_sqlproc.htm#sthref182) informed me about the commit_write parameter. I found out that one could specify NOWAIT - as the caveats mention, one has to be aware that when using this parameter data could potentially be lost. I wonder how many folks have "accidentally" set this parameter thinking they were getting better performance for free.
Naming transactions - I had no idea LogMiner could search for named transactions. That is really cool, and I'll have to keep that in mind.
I have to reread the part on two-phase commit and distributed transactions.
The coverage of autonomous transactions and pl/sql is really helpful as well. This is the kind of stuff that crosses the lines between DBA and Developers - clearly, the text states that developers are responsible for avoiding deadlock conditions. A "pure" DBA is an oxymoron in the sense that any DBA worth his/her salt is going to have to know a little about sql and pl/sql. And the more one knows, the more effective of a DBA one can be. Which cements my belief, and one of the few areas in which I agree about the recent changes in Oracle Certification, that SQL and PL/SQL need more limelight as a fundamental DBA skill.
Short chapter. But a great chapter. Whitespace on 3-9 and 3-10??