Category: AUSOUG

AUSOUG 2014 Perth Conference

It’s that wonderful time of year again – no, not talking about springtime, when I’m stalked by airborne grass pollens causing me to choke and gag all day. The sound of a lawnmower is enough to elicit a sneezing fit – and in Aussie springtime, that’s most weekends. (I’m so glad my wife does the mowing at our place, usually while I’m at work. My son is now old enough to do the mowing – and I’m quite happy to pay him to do it, I can tell you!)

The “wonderful time of year” I referred to earlier is that time when the excitement of OpenWorld has petered a bit and AUSOUG have released the program for Perth’s excellent conference.

I’ll be presenting a talk about Building Maintainable Applications in Apex, which I sincerely hope will be a lot more interesting than the title sounds. (It’s funny how you think after rejecting several competing wordings, the title you finally settle on is perfect when you submit the abstract – but when you see it alongside the other gems on the program you think “surely I could have come up with a more interesting title?”. Oh well.)

I’ll be talking about why you should remove most of the business logic from your Apex application – or at least consider it. I won’t promise it will necessarily be earth-shattering or original. I think there’s some ideas here that are worth spreading around – get people thinking, talking and writing about. Most of the talk will be in reference to a recent greenfields project, but the ideas are ones I’ve picked up over the years at different locations and from other Oracle developers – bits that I find work well or seem worthwhile expanding on.

If that topic doesn’t grab you, you might be interested in hearing Tim Hall talk about virtualization. If I wasn’t speaking at the time I would have attended that one – so if you do, could you make sure to take a few notes for me? Thanks.

I hope to see you there. But – fake flowers only please.


WA Conference Program

Mobile, Cloud, Oracle 12c: Oracle with 20:20 Foresight

The Australian Oracle User Group is holding the Oracle with 20:20 Foresight National Conference in Perth, 29-30 October. Yikes, that’s only 3 weeks away – if you’re in Perth, you have to sign up right now. If you’re not in Perth, grab your skateboard or canoe (depending on the intervening terrain) and get over here!

We’re going to be treated with talks by Tom Kyte, Connor McDonald, Chris Muir, Scott Wesley, Graham Wood and many others. Check out the conference program to see what’s on offer. A lot of the topics seem to be very Mobile and Cloudy…

I’ll be presenting twice, if you’re interested I’d love to see you there:

1. Alexandria – A Guided Tour – an overview of just a few of the goodies that you’ll find in the Alexandria PL/SQL Library, and how you can use them out-of-the-box to do things that you might have thought could not be done in PL/SQL.

2. Top 20 Gotchas with Old Database Versions – most probably you’ll be working with Oracle 10g or 11g nowadays – but sometimes you don’t have a choice but to deal with older versions like 8i or 9i. If so you may very well pick up a few hints and tips that will save you time and headaches.

If you missed out on that “open world” conference, you’ll have to come and hear about the new features planned for Oracle 12c. Even if you did manage to get to that big conference, you’ll want to come to this one as well, not least because it’s in beautiful sunny Perth :)

EDIT: Slide decks and demo scripts for the presentations are available from here:

“Automate Amazon S3 Storage with Alexandria”

In Perth this morning, at a breakfast courtesy of the local AUSOUG, I spoke about using the Alexandria PL/SQL Library to automate various tasks with Amazon’s Simple Storage (S3) service. If you haven’t used Amazon Web Services before, or haven’t looked at Alexandria yet, and you enjoy discovering new capabilities with PL/SQL I think you’ll find this interesting.

The powerpoint slides and demo script are now available on my Presentations page.

In late October I’ll be speaking at the 20:20 Foresight Perth Conference – more details later.

AUSOUG Perth Conference 2011 Day Two

The final day at Burswood was just as enjoyable as day one. Well done to all the AUSOUG committee!

I started with two Apex talks – first, Scott Wesley on Apex 4.1 Security. Personally I very much enjoyed the unique presentation style. You can experience it for yourself here. After that, Mark Lancaster from Queensland gave his analysis of the changes from Apex 4.0 to 4.1, and commented on a number of new features that have been added or improved.

Just before lunch I caught “Tips and Best Practices for DBAs” by Francisco Munoz Alvarez, who spoke less about actual DBA tasks (as I was expecting) but more about the “soft” skills – attitude, professionalism, working in a team, delegating tasks, and automating everything.

After lunch Vinod Patel moderated a discussion panel comprising Debra Lilley, Tim Hall, Connor McDonald, Penny Cookson, Chris Muir, and a guy from Oracle (whose name escapes me for the moment) – and they were plied with many questions about the art of presenting. It was encouraging to hear what they had to say, both about their success and their failure stories. I think I got away with taking this photo without them noticing :)

I took in Graham Wood‘s final presentation, a live demo of Exadata. He demonstrated how blazingly fast it is for loading huge amounts of data in a very short time (e.g. 500GB in about 10 minutes IIRC) and running horrible queries even faster (e.g. multiple full table scans with self joins, running in mere seconds). It was very impressive, although it did highlight that to get the full benefit of Exadata, some queries may need to be rewritten. For example, a big report you’re running now might get a modest x10 or x20 speed improvement on Exadata, but after rewriting you could get on the order of x100 to x200 speed improvements! If you don’t believe me, go ask Graham yourself :)

The day ended with Connor McDonald‘s talk, A Year in Purgatory – Diary of an 11.2 RAC Upgrade. It held a lot of promise, but unfortunately I was called away to an emergency at work so I missed most of it. I was quite disappointed to miss that one. By the way, Connor is now blogging – at Finally!

I’ve enjoyed each AUSOUG conference since 2000, and this year was one of the best in my opinion. It was great to catch up with colleagues, network with Oracle nerds and professionals, and get inspired by a variety of talks on topics I’m interested in.

In addition, the last few years I’ve also presented. This has been a good experience which I intend to continue. I hope that with practice I’ll get much better at it.