I had a most enjoyable* day today at the Oracle conference at Burswood, Perth.
* This is significant in light of the fact that the start of the day was quite hectic, having had to drop the car off to get a new alternator (the electrics died on the way home from work yesterday, so this morning I called RAC out to get the car started and charge the battery up a bit. I managed to drive the car within 100m of Ultratune, then it died completely. So I left the car in the traffic and walked the rest of the way, borrowed some kind of block box that was like a CPR machine for cars.), thereafter going with Rosalie to drop the eldest at her school, so she could then gift me a lift to Burswood.
I got to the conference in time to hear Graham Wood from Oracle talk about DB Time-based Oracle Performance Tuning, which was excellent, then Tim Hall on Edition-Based Redefinition which led to some excellent discussions with both Tim and colleagues from my current client.
My talk on a simple ETL method using just SQL seemed to go well and there were some good questions, comments and suggestions. If you missed something it was probably because I talk too fast – if you want to look something up from the talk you can look at the slides here, or have a play with a full SQL*Plus demo [ETL-by-SQL-sqlplus-demo.zip]. I also blogged about this technique back in February.
I finished the day with Graham Wood’s second talk, on Oracle Hidden Features – which indeed included info on some Oracle features that I’d either not yet come across, or had forgotten about. Doug Burns blogged about this presentation earlier. The bit about external tables, especially the new 11g feature for running the source file through a preprocessor, was particularly interesting.
I’m looking forward to the second day tomorrow.
Just a quick note to draw attention to the lineup for AUSOUG National Conference – 3-4 November at the luxurious Burswood Resort here in Perth. The usual suspects will be there, for example:
Signs of the coming Apocalypse? Who knows….
Plan your trip (and arrange your accommodation early, if you need it) and your conference schedule today!
First off the mark this morning was Mark Lancaster on “Building Advanced APEX 4.0 UIs with Ext JS”, which was an eye-popping demo of some wonderful things you can do when you combine the power of Ext JS with Apex.
Tom Kyte presented via Webinar his “The Best Way – Things You Know” presentation, which I had already enjoyed in Melbourne but it’s always worth revisiting these things – helps to counter the constant wave of opposite sentiment from the other side of the spectrum.
Some years ago I had a quick look at REST, as an alternative to SOAP – but never really got the hang of it. So I was interested in being introduced properly by Chris Muir in his talk “A Change is as Good as a REST – JDeveloper 11g’s REST Web Services”. This double-length presentation was worth attending, he started with an excellent definition of web services, their history and REST’s heritage; explained the power and simplicity of REST, compared and contrasted it with its complex and comprehensive cousin, SOAP; and demonstrated how easy it is to create and expose simple REST web services using JDeveloper.
After lunch, we were entertained by Guy Harrison‘s keynote address, “Technology Trends that have the potential to make big impacts both in our everyday life and as Oracle professionals”. They had to close down all the other conference rooms just to make room for the presentation title in the programme :) But it was a fun talk speculating about the kinds of technology our kids and our kids’ kids will probably be all blasé about.
Connor McDonald fired us all up with “A Better Way of Managing Optimizer Statistics”. He claims that we should stop collecting statistics and stop creating histograms :) – I suspect a number of DBAs are now wondering why they wasted so much of their time (and so much server time) for so long…
I finished the day with Frank Bommarito‘s “Outlines, Profiles, and SQL Plan Baselines” which was a good introduction to the subject and for me was a good overview of some new features I haven’t used.
After a leisurely sleep-in (after a weekend away at the parents’-in-law farm) I made my way to Burswood for the first day of the AUSOUG Perth Conference 2010.
After Roland Slee’s keynote (“consolidate consolidate consolidate!”), I headed upstairs for Steven Feuerstein’s “Golden Rules for Developers” – webinar edition. Unfortunately due to technical issues it started late (no fault of Steven’s) but I think he got the important points across.
Following that was Penny Cookson with “Meet the CBO in Version 11g”. She explained a number of improvements in the Cost-Based Optimizer that came with 11g, including a detailed demonstration of adaptive cursor sharing.
After lunch I decided to take in a DBA session – Guy Harrison spoke about how Oracle runs on VMware, which had some very interesting info about the difference between Full Virtualisation, Paravirtualisation, and Hardware-Assisted Virtualisation. A lot of it went over my head but I got a slightly better picture of what’s going on when I run an OS in a VM, as well as how proper memory and CPU allocation can make a huge difference to the performance of Oracle in a virtual environment.
I lost count of how many great tips Scott Wesley gave in his “‘n’ Methods to Improve Apex Performance” presentation – but there were a lot of great ideas, many that are simple and easy to implement, which can make a big difference to the performance of your Apex applications.
It was great to see the level of interest in Apex Themes and Templates – if you’d like to look through the bits that I skipped over, feel free to download my presentation from here.
The draft programme is out for the AUSOUG National Conference 2010.
If you’ll be in Perth in November I recommend you register and attend – a number of excellent papers will be presented, some of which I had the privilege of hearing when I was in Melbourne – you’ll learn new things, relearn old things you’d forgotten, and meet some giants in the Oracle world who will have travelled great distances to get here.
Some highlights, in no particular order:
I’ll be presenting my “Apex Themes and Templates” paper, which I presented in Melbourne last month – however it will be updated with a few additional bits and pieces that I’ve learned since then.