UKOUG – Wednesday, Thursday and Wrap-up

Marco Gralike

I met a fellow dba with 20 years of experience and I couldn’t make him understand James Morle’s presentation regarding skew and latency (f.k.a. “Every Performance Problem Is One of Two Things”). The guy, whom I met at a pub on Wednesday night, true harted admitted that he didn’t get it and he also felt disappointed about the presentation. I tried to explain him James’ views again, but I am not sure that helped. It is a shame though. James went at great lengths (75% of his presentation) to explain only the concepts of skew and latency and why they also should be taken into account when applying the Anjo Kolk’s YAPP method.

At one point in time, he even asked for help from the audience. To attendees were voluntary chosen to participate in a test. Both persons got two beer bottles and had to make it as quick as possible back to James which was standing somewhere in the audience. One of them had the advantage of being able to transport the beer via a fancy high velocity container (a very, very fancy suitcase with no dirty underwear) but had to travel in between rows, the other participant had the possibility to travel via a free lane in front of the audience. Guess who reached James’ first, delivering him his favorite beer. I really enjoyed James’ presentation. I though it was one of the best presentations I have seen overall.

From here on Wednesday morning to the next session where Mr. John King presented his “Ready, Set, XML! Using Oracle XML Data”. I was positively surprised because the presentation dealt with XMLDB features, and although this, the room was packed with people. I have no idea if it was the good presentation skills off John or if people were really interested. I hope there were some DBA’s in the crowd because of the reasons I mentioned earlier. I found it brilliant to see how John managed to give a strong presentation despite using a lot of slides. Slides that only were used to support his story, but not was used to tell the story… John mentioned also my presentation during his and I felt a bit awkward, not being used the attention. I hope to see him back one day.

Skipped two sessions again to write some postings for this blog and afterwards off to Mr Joel Goodman’s presentation regarding “Extending Security with Oracle Database Vault”. I was a little bit disappointed because it dealt with high level security issues and why you could use (a licensed) Database Vault for this. I had hoped to see more, but than again, I don’t think it is difficult initially to set-up.

Then to my good acquaintance Dimitri Gielis who presented “Integration of BI (XML) Publisher and APEX (Oracle Application Express)”. An also strong presentation taking the audience by the hand in simple but effective demonstrations going from a simple published report to a very fancy one, controlled via APEX. It was late again, so I guess he was pleased that a 40 of so people were interested to see his presentation.

The next morning (Thursday) I attended Doug Burn’s presentation about OFA called “Oracle Server Deployment Standards”. I could really relate to his feeling, that sometimes it comes in cycles to explain to the new guys on the block, why one should use OFA (or any other standard). OFA is around for many years and to my surprise I heard that the Cary Millsap introduced it to the world ( It was a shame Cary wasn’t around on UKOUG, but maybe I have the chance to catch up with him / his presentations in 2008. The strong points and foundation of OFA were very well explained by Doug. Although I know OFA for a long time, I found it shocking to hear that people don’t actually know about it and the foundations of which it based upon or just taking them for granted. I am getting old I guess (grumpy?).

The last presentation that I attended was Pete Finnigan’s 2 hour master class about Oracle Security. He led us through a lot of principles and the do and don’ts regarding Oracle security. One of his examples was based on an XDB package, but I couldn’t really read it because the font size used was to small and I had forgotten my glasses (nl:“snik”). Anyway well spend time, again. I have to look up his presentation on his site when it is published.

And that is one of the reasons I really liked my first attendance of UKOUG. It is has a very nice atmosphere and the presentations are all of high standards (at least the ones that I attended). The days were long though, starting at 09.00 up to 18/19.00 if you liked. That is probably why I am also a little bit shattered right now. I didn’t make the mistake to see them all this time (like OOW 2006), to relax and enjoy such an event. It is packed with information, but I guess I will remember more of it (and being able to apply this information on problems of customers), instead of rushing on all the time and forgetting what was told.

The only thing I regret is that I missed out on the Dutch “Sinterklaas” event, not being able to share it with my family, but as life is, everything has its ups and downs. Tomorrow off to Holland again. Thanks to “The Belgians”, Alex, Christo, Doug, Roel and all the others who made the UKOUG 2007 event special for me as well, sharing their thoughts and ideas.

UKOUG, well done.


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