I decided to read the entire Oracle 12c Concepts manual. It’s kind of overkill to read the entire manual if you just want to learn the new 12c features but it has been a long time since I’ve read the entire Concepts manual on the current version of Oracle. I’m not sure that I remember correctly, but I think the last version I read entirely was the 9i version. I definitely read the Oracle 7 concepts and several other manuals when I was first getting started.
The 12c manual has things in it that seem virtually unchanged from what I remember from earlier versions. But, it also has a lot more technical depth than I remember. It was boring at times reading over sections filled with things I’ve worked on for almost 20 years now. But, these monotonous sections still had reminders of things I probably don’t have in the front of my brain because I don’t use them every day. Then there were whole sections about features that are either new in 12c or new to me such as the multitenant features.
I’ve heard many people say that a new DBA (database administrator) should start with the Concepts manual. Reading it again just confirms this often stated advice. Concepts has pointers to all these other manuals where you can find details on the things you found interesting or needed for your job. For example, in the sections relating to partitioned tables there are references to the VLDB and Partitioning manual. A new DBA who will be working on partitioned tables might not realize that this manual existed, but the Concepts manual will send you there.
I realize that a lot of people don’t like to read manuals, but if you had to force yourself to sit down and read one Oracle manual cover to cover so you could be a better DBA you should read Concepts. It’s the starting point and after 19 years and counting as an Oracle DBA I still got a lot out of reading it.