Looking back at ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2010

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In case you missed it (how is that possible?) last week was the annual ODTUG conference, Kaleidoscope in Washington DC. In this post I will share some of, what I consider, the highlights of this event.
I always enjoy going to this conference, it’s nice to see old friends and make some new ones.
During the Sunday symposium I attended “APEX: From A to Z”. During this full day several presentations showed each step in creating an Application with APEX. They (the presentors) used the same application each time, continuing where the previous speaker stopped and introducing their own subject.
All aspects of application development were covered this day, from Modelling to Globalization.



Monday
On Monday, the regular sessions started. During the General Session the yearly awards were announced, I am proud to say that I was nominated for “Best Paper” and Cary Millsap won the award. Congratulations, Cary!

The APEX keynote was slightly disappointing, it was more “preaching to the choir”. Paul Broughton did a session called “APEX through the eyes of a beginner” in which he told his first experience with APEX, he was quite nervous. He did a good job in sharing his story.

Anton Nielsen at the end did a session called “APEX: A Window into the Oracle database” which was more about the Oracle database than it was about APEX. I really enjoyed this session, probably because it was different than other APEX sessions. Most APEX sessions focus on the user interface of APEX, this session showed how to leverage Oracle Database functionality with APEX. Or was it because of his plug for my own session? ;)



Tuesday
Maria Colgan talked for an hour about the Explain Plan. This session gave a nice introduction into reading the Explain Plan and how to make sense of it. She also gave some pointers as where to start to look in case you run into trouble.

The vendor session that I attended,… we shall speak of it no more… very disappointing. Instead of showing what the product was about, it only stated some general remarks…

“Using Collections in APEX: The Definitive Intro” by Raj Mattamal was very informative. The demo that Raj did showed the power of collections. He could have explained some of the concepts a little better though.

Another session by Maria Colgan which was also very good. This time it was on “Finally Plan Stability During Database Upgrade with SQL Plan Management”. During this session she explained the concepts of SQL Plan Management.
The last session of the day was by Jonathan Lewis “Co-operating with the Database”. In this session he explained the “good and bad” on bind variables and the limitations of “what Oracle can do for you” and how you (as a developer) can help Oracle to respond efficiently.

Wednesday
After my own session, I attended “Thinking Clearly About Performance” by Cary Millsap. I like the way Cary does his presentations, even though I’ve heard this presentation before, I go there for the “show”.

The next one was “Performance Instrumentation” by Karen Morton. This session was mainly about the ILO tool and Instrumentation in general. Previously the tool was called Hotsos-ILO and I’ve written about this on a previous occasion.

Next up was Tim St. Hilaire with “APEX and AJAX – where to start” which was a nice introduction into using AJAX within an APEX environment. Even though APEX 4.0 has recently been released, where a lot of AJAX-like things can be hidden from the developer, this overview makes it clear what is involved with AJAX calls.

Thursday
On Thursday I planned to go to “Oracle Development Sins and how Hackers (Can) Abuse Them” – 3 parts.. unfortunately this serie got cancelled. I knew it ahead of time, and was struggling hard to find a good alternative. It boiled down to not being able to make my mind up and eventually not going to any session at all. Looking back, I should have attended “Adding Statistics to Oracle’s Application Express” by Rory McClean…
As this was the last day of the Kaleidoscope conference, Chris (Muir) and myself went to the Mall to do the necessary shopping. Around 6 pm we met up with Debra Lilley and Stanley to have a nice dinner at a Thai restaurant followed by an evening site seeing on the National Mall. Very nice.
Friday
Getting ready to fly back home. But first the Soccergame which put us in a good mood to fly back: Netherlands – Brazil…


To conclude: This was an excellent ODTUG Kaleidoscope. Hope to be there next year.

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