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Which version of Oracle should I install on my laptop to practice for OCP exams?

I intend to take the OCP Oracle certfication exams. I intend to take the IZO-007 exams next month. I am new to Oracle even though I have three years of experience using MySQL on Linux.

I have a laptop Compaq AMD Athlon processor +2800, 398 MHz, 40G, 512 RAM with Windows XP Home installed on it. Can I install Oracle on it, and if so, which type of Oracle can I install on it for practice purposes? Also, now that 10g is out does it still make sense to study for 9i exams? I would appreciate a prompt response to these.

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There have been many changes recently to the OCP program and the 10g OCP DBA program is now available. If you're just getting started, I'd encourage you to follow the 10g OCP path.

As for a test bed, I'd take your laptop and install Linux on it first and then use the Oracle 10g for Linux database available from otn.oracle.com/software. Of course, you don't have to install Linux -- Oracle 10g also runs on Windows (though I'm not sure about XP Home edition). Check the certification matrix to determine if XP Home is supported.

Unfortunately, your experience with MySQL won't probably help too much with Oracle DBA tasks except that you'll already know some of the ANSI standard SQL. I find that one of the most difficult things about working on other database platforms (after having worked with Oracle for so long) is determining what SQL is "standard" and which parts are Oracle-specific. Unless you've worked on other databases in addition to MySQL, you may have the same problems. The SQL reference guide is very good and complete, so I'd imagine you'll make it a frequently used reference in your studies.

Good luck on your certification!

This was first published in October 2004

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