Oracle databases have long handled the publicly invisible task of managing large corporate data stores. With the release of Oracle 9iAS Portal, the company has made it much easier to securely share the contents of data warehouses with appropriate audiences. You can, for example, use Portal to give suppliers Web access to inventory levels of parts they supply to your organization, while preventing them from seeing the price you're paying other suppliers of the same thing. Oracle 9iAS Portal Bible takes the approach typical of the Bible series. It comprehensively documents the features of its eponymous software package, giving its readers familiarity with the terms and procedures they need to understand in order to get useful work done.
A quick glance at this book reveals an elaborate mix of information-presentation techniques. Procedures, complete with numbered steps, intermingle with bulleted lists that document options, and tables that explain alternative parameters that may be used in code to achieve different effects. The result is a guide that's handy for getting your initial familiarity with Portal (you can just follow the steps without deviation) as well as for reference when you're more expert (you can use the index to locate the tables and facts you need to see in order to solve problems). Read this one if you need to build Portal applications and don't have time for training. --David Wall