The day started off with a two keynote session from Ian Smith and Thomas Kyte. Tom Kyte addressed more or less the same items ("30 years of Oracle") as Ken Jacobs did during HOTSOS 2007, but now from a more general / developer perspective. He started off by a small exercise were everyone had to stand up and then afterwards had to sit down again when he called out the Oracle database version the person had started with. I started my Oracle experience with Oracle 6 and I was really surprised when almost 75, 80% of the audience sat down when Tom called out version 7.3. There were not that many people left (of the almost 2000 attending in hall 1) when he came to version 7.0. I felt really old in "Oracle years", but there was still a guy in front of me when Oracle version 4 was announced (and he sat down with the call out of Oracle 3). Tom Kyte himself apparently started off with Oracle version 5.
After a coffee break, I attended "APEX 3.0: Introduction and New Features" from Barry McGillin (Oracle). Nothing really new here, but then again, APEX is also "hot" currently at AMIS and I was already spoiled with information. Lucky enough there will be even more when Dimitri and Lucas will have their "AMIS Query" session on Monday 17th December 2007: "Developing Web Applications with Oracle
development technology: ADF and Application Express, side by side".
I wanted to attend Toon Koppelaars session about "Data integrity constraints: concepts and trigger design", but in the end I didn’t and wrote my first UKOUG post in the speakers lounge. Off to lunch (a fine warm meal with great English pastries) and on to Mark Rittman and Mike Durran’s "Oracle Discoverer – Product Roadmap and Integration with Oracle BI Suite Enterprise Edition Plus". In short the message was: "Yep, we will support Oracle Discoverer still for a long time but you will have to migrate or combine discoverer with BI publisher etc. technology to make use of the extra (new) features".
I am always a little bit impressed by the fancy software and Mark did a great job (again) demonstration halfway some Discoverer / BI EE intergrated features. At the end, a short preview was given of BI EE 11g and especially something called "iBots". Processes that are able to completely automate message flows and business processes. I wonder how much was realized using BPEL technology.
Coffee break again and then off to Julian Dyke’s "Flashback Logging". I really like the material on Julian Dyke’s website so my expectations were high. Although (we were asked for by Julian in front) I would not give the presentation an overall "excellent", but that was not caused by the content, but merely the way Julian presented (reading up his own presentation bullets). Something I should remember not to do tomorrow myself… At large, the presentation gave me a good (in depth) oversight of the pros and cons of using database flashback technology in an Dataguard environment. Julian labeled it as "poor mans RAC" but I don;t mind (as long as it isn’t a label called "overbooked").
My last session was Thomas Kyte’s: "11g new features for DBAs". I like Thomas presentation style, so despite that I thought that it wouldn’t bring me new insights (we have been 11g beta testing), I watched his presentation. Most of the content was not new, but some typically Thomas Kyte way of using, for example, virtual columns, was new and refreshing (and gave me ideas). So in all, I was glad that I attended. I am curious although what the reason was for the 2020 timestamp "bug" during one of his partitioning demonstrations. Roel Hartman of LogicaCMG had to chair the Thomas Kyte presentation. He was a little bit nervous about it, because after all, it was in hall 1, an enormous auditorium which probably can hold 2000 plus people; but he did fine (anyway: does Thomas Kyte need an introduction? Ah, maybe because his new beard…).
Off to the Jury’s Inn Hotel to drop my stuff (laptop and gathered goodies like the hand powered radio and torch) and back again to the Pitcher and Piano for the bloggers meet up. At that point I could feel that it had been a long day (I followed presentations from 09.00 up to 19.00 hour), so I did it easy on the Guinness.
I had nice discussion with some people. One of them was with Todd Trichler, at least I hope that was him, he said search on "kbuntu" and "database" and you will find related articles from me. Anyway, the discussion went heavy on the "Oracle VM" topic. I left with the idea, that in all, my view that Oracle VM is "nothing more" than XEN, is correct. On the positive: Oracle now supports (at last) a virtualization method, the support is cheaper that VMware’s solution and it hopefully will benefit the XEN open source technology / community.
I left shortly after Alex and Christo, trying to catch up. At the Jury’s Inn Hotel a bouncer was standing at the door so, no way how to no where Alex and Christo went, I got to sleep.
Currently I am skipping the morning sessions on Tuesday, again skipping a presentation from Toon, but I think it is time well spend on this post plus I need to verify some examples for my presentation for tomorrow. I had no time to do this the last weeks in front of UKOUG so I have to prep a new 11g database incarnation and test some methods before I alter the examples in my presentation.