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Oracle OpenWorld Day 5 Highlights September 24, 2010

Posted by Richard Foote in Oracle OpenWorld.

Like most at OpenWorld, I started the day a tad later than usual after yesterday’s Appreciation Party. I decided to be a little adventurous with my first session and see a non-database related session on Application Integration Architecture as I have an interest in the issue. It was all actually quite interesting with discussions regarding what level of integration might be appropriate, whether it be purely at the data layer or at the process layer, if data needs to be integrated, should it be replicated locally somehow or referenced remotely and which method might be best in which circumstance. They also emphasised the importance of standards and how they should be applied and policed and how standards can help to resolve the issue and possible conflicts of adding increasing complexities when attempting to write reusable services. It was an hour well spent.

I next attended a really good session on Oracle Database 11g New Search Features and Future Roadmap. I learnt to my surprise that there are a quite a number of  new features in relation to Oracle Text in the recent release. New features include Entity Extraction whereby Oracle will automatically find entities in text such as people, cities, phone numbers, etc. a new Name Search facility in which people names with different spelling can more easily be found (such as Stephen and Steven) and a new Resultset Interface capability in which details and data can be nicely summarised. Also mentioned are enhancements in the manner by which frequent and not so frequent accesses to text tokens can be stored and processed. Also had a really interesting look at what new things are being planned, such as automatic partitioning, automatic optimisations of indexes via the use of a staging index, section specific index options, two index levels with better management of common terms in memory, substring index options to name but a few. Looks like there are going to be considerable functional improvements to text indexes on their way soon.

Day 5 is sooooo much more quieter than it has been and lunch was a less hectic affair with far fewer people to hustle against. It’s been another beautiful day here, the weather almost as good as it is in Australia !!

I presented one of the first sessions to kick-off Oracle OpenWorld 2010 so I was determined to see the conference through and sit in on one of the last sessions as well. I decided to go and see fellow Oakie Mark Farharm present on whether it’s ever useful to physically order data. The answer is yes but it depends and he explained why it’s so and the scenarios when it might be useful and worth considering.

Finally, I headed down to the “It’s A Wrap” function for a few drinks and a bite to eat with a bunch of friends, listening to some pretty good music, including a nice little rendition of David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel”.

And so Oracle OpenWorld ends for another year. There were a number of big announcements this year, a number of excellent sessions, some catching up with old friends and the making of many new ones, with the odd beer and glass of wine consumed during the process. A huge thanks to everyone who attended my sessions and for all the positive feedback. Also a huge thanks to Lillian, Vikki, Justin and everyone on the OTN team for looking after all the Oracle ACEs so well. Looking forward to heading home now and getting back to Australia.

I’ve eaten so much and put on so much weight, that I’m beginning to resemble a sumo wrestler. Don’t believe me, well see this picture taken of me while I was walking around the exhibition hall …


Oracle OpenWorld Day 4 Highlights September 24, 2010

Posted by Richard Foote in Oracle OpenWorld.

Thankfully after a decent night’s sleep, I approached Day 4 at Oracle OpenWorld with more energy than I did yesterday.

I probably had the most productive morning of the whole conference when I visited the various Oracle product booths in the Exhibition Hall at Moscone South and spoke to many of the database product managers and development staff. I had a good chat with folks from RAC One, the CBO, Database Replay and Oracle Total Recall teams among others and was able to discuss various issues with these technologies and future directions and enhancements. As an example, I was able to get useful information on how existing journal records might be added to flashback archive enabled tables and how it might potentially be possible to remove or alter exisiting flashback data, issues that we need to have addressed before we could consider implementing  Total Recall capabilities. I would strongly recommend anyone coming to OpenWorld spend some time and talk to these guys and get direct answers to questions you might have with various current Oracle technologies.

After another pleasant lunch in the sun, listening to live music, I sat in on the SQL Tuning Roundtable session. Unfortunately, it was all a bit of a flop really, with most of the time spent wading through overheads on various new Oracle 11g features rather than spend the time allowing people to ask and get their questions answered. I think only one or two of the questions written on the cards before the session started were actually answered by the panel during the session. Tip to the organisers of these types of sessions, devote all the available time for allowing folks to have questions answered and leave the presentation of new features for another time.

I next walked across to that other major event being held in San Francisco at the moment, Oracle Closed World. It was great to catch up with Mogens Norgaard and a host of other fellow OakTable members and listen in to Kevin Closson give another excellent and informative Q&A session, with the audience drinking free beer. There is something about free beer that just makes it taste just that little bit better 🙂 Afterwards, caught up over a beer with Kevin, Tanel Poder, Kyle Hailey, Kerry Osborne, Tim Hall to name but a few and met James Morle for the first time which was great. Thanks to Mogens and Kyle for organising everything.

Many of us then made our way to the great blogger get-together as organised by Alex Gorbachev and the folks at Pythian. As we did last year, we were given t-shirts and then meant to get as many people to have them signed as possible. However, I wanted to keep my t-shirt graffiti free as they’ll make a great t-shirt but made the unfortunate mistake of wearing a white t-shirt to the event. As such, I spent much of my time dodging people who kept trying to write on my t-shirt. Fortunately, I managed to make it out without graffiti free. A big thanks to Alex, Pythian, OTN and the other sponsors and organisers of a great event as I had the great pleasure of meeting a host of great fellow bloggers for the first time.

Finally, it was time for the Appreciation Event and my date with the Black Eye Peas. First though, we had to wait patiently for the coach in a massive queue that wrapped around nearly 2 full blocks. This year’s OOW event is sooooo much bigger than recent previous years. It actually went surprisingly quickly and we were on our way, with the truly spectacular lights of San Francisco passing by as we crossed the bridge to Treasure Island. This year, the place was totally and completely packed with people with huge queues for access to the food. Unfortunately, the food was really disappointing and nowhere near as good as its been previously but there was plenty of beer and wine on hand to make amends.

I’m not a great fan of the Black Eyes Peas to be honest and heard they’re not the best live band but my daughter is a fan so I decided to watch them and take a few photos. They’re started out a bit slowly but they so warmed up and by the end I thought they were actually very good and had put on a great show. There is something about a huge bass vibrating through your whole body, a light show and lasers that makes arena rock what it is. In the end, I had a great night but was thankful the queues to get back on the buses were no where as long.

Just one day to go …