It was great to catch up with former colleagues at the conference today. As I go from site to site I’m gradually collecting more and more former colleagues and it’s great to hear how they’re going and what they’re working on.
Howard Ong gave a good review of Oracle’s new Data Modeller. Sounds like it’s got a lot of promise – but it’s very new and misses some features (e.g. support for functions, procedures with parameters, packages, and DDL change script generation) that I’d expect in an Oracle CASE tool.
I was happy to see a good level of interest in Python at my talk after lunch. If you’re here because you want to have a peek at all the slides I skipped, you can view or download it from here [Python_and_Oracle_Fast.pdf].
Unfortunately I had to leave soon after that to pick up my car from the autoelectrician, tomorrow I should be able to stay all day.
I’ve been in bed the last few days with a virus, but I should be ok in time for Monday. Had a look through the programme, and again it’s chocablock with very interesting titles. Quite a bit of Development Blue, but not so much DBA Cyan this time (unfortunately, in my opinion). There’s a lot of Apex sessions which I’m guessing reflects the growth of interest in Apex development here in Perth.
2008_Program_perth.pdf via www.ausoug.org.au/2020
Highlights for me include:
- 11g New Features for PL/SQL developers – Dr Timothy S Hall
- Creative Conditional Compilation – Scott Wesley
- What is coming in Oracle Application Express and SQL Developer – David Peake
- How Ugly is that Apex Report? – Penny Cookson
- Back to basics: Simple database web services without the need for SOA – Chris Muir
- 11g features for developers – Connor McDonald
- Boost performance with PL/SQL programming best practices – Dr Timothy S Hall
- The SQL and PL/SQL Results Cache – Penny Cookson
- Converting from Oracle Forms to Oracle Application Express – David Peake
- Advanced UI Presentation Techniques – David Peake
- Babbage vs Oracle – Scott Hollows
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend all the above sessions so I’ll have to make some hard decisions 🙂
I enjoyed today’s programme very much. John Garmany gave a very easy-to-understand intro to the world of Regular Expressions. Luie Matthee spoke about virtualised Oracle 10g instances on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, most of which went over my head but I’m learning.
Apparently my red Red Hat hat is in the mail, but I did get a Toad toad.
It croaks when it is dropped or bashed on something. It amused my 2.5 and 0.5 year olds for hours, which is something I can’t say for all the $50+ toys they’ve gotten over the years.
Unfortunately I missed Chris’ talk on load testing web applications, I’ll have to ask my colleagues who attended about that one. I was particularly interested to hear Duncan Mills talk about how to move Oracle to SOA, and I wasn’t disappointed. The surprise is how easy it is to consume web services even with Forms 6i, and the new event triggers in Forms 11 sound very exciting (i.e. no more polling the database to simulate asynchronous processing) – there’ll probably be some new triggers like when-event-raised and when-custom-event which can be used similarly to when-timer-expired, but perhaps without so much network overhead.
The day ended with a rather friendly debate over development tools. Chris Muir started well with good-natured jabs at Forms (hasn’t that gone the way of Cobol? and why are there hardly any talks on Forms anymore?), Apex (voted “Best Toy of 2007”), and .Net (who cares about MS at an Oracle conference anyway?). Scott Wesley pointed out the large installed base of Forms, it’s a mature product, no-one needs to talk about it because there aren’t any problems with it anymore. Penny Cookson extolled the simple power that is available to the Apex developer. David Shields made a valiant attempt to influence a roomful of Oracle developers to give MS a chance, but I think the odds were stacked against him 🙂 Some probing questions from the audience prompted discussion of the various tools’ virtues for newbie developers, for integration with SOA, and for maintaining legacy apps. In the end I think it was decided that the winner is the “best tool for the job at hand”, in other words, everyone won (except perhaps for .Net 😉
My thanks to the AUSOUG committee for their hard work and dedication to bring off another excellent conference, and good luck in Melbourne!
A great start to the Perth conference, great to catch up with old and not-so-old friends.
Listened to Tim Armitage from Oracle talk about database independence and why it’s just not needed due to the range of features Oracle provides for no extra cost.
Snuck into Penny Cookson’s demo of an Apex application she’s been working on for UWA. Quite a few tricks I hadn’t heard of, some of which will solve some niggling issues I’ve had on my applications. One simple one is the use of an application item to hold the previous page, to support reverse navigation from a page which has multiple entry points.
This afternoon will be time to stretch my knowledge a bit: Collin Klepfer on “Database Growth: Problems and Solutions”, and Gilbert Standen on “JVM Cutover for Oracle Forms” which I’m sure will mostly go over my head but I’ll pick up something about the replacement for JInitiator.
I suspect there’s a bit of “OpenWorld Envy” going on. It seems Penny wasn’t able to make it to SF and in her talk pointed out the fact that most blog references to Chris Muir at OW were about beer, specifically the consumption of it at various pubs.
I’m sure this tension will make for a spectacular show tomorrow evening with “The Great Oracle Development Tools Debate” featuring Penny and Chris, as well as David Shields, Vinod Patel (a current colleague of mine) and Scott Wesley (a former colleague of mine).
Another enjoyable conference. I’ve attended it every year since 2000 and this year’s was packed with presentations. Over 300 attendees spread over up to six presentations meant less crowding, I think; although as always there were a few packed sessions.
Highlights for me were:
- Connor’s “live demo” of 11g in Being a successful developer with Oracle
- Learning that cancelling a cursor is a good thing, but finding it can’t be done in PL/SQL – Anjo Kolk, The life of a cursor and its impact on the shared pool
- Trace Analysis on Steroids – Dave Moore’s talk was an eye-opener, not about performance-enhancing drugs (caffeine’s usually enough for me), but about Trace Analyzer. I thought this would be just another “if you’re not buying our product you’re wasting your time” talk, but in fact this is a totally free, open-source (PL/SQL!) tool that not only collates all the data from a trace file (as tkprof does), but also digs into your database to correlate the trace info with the data dictionary and present it all beautifully in HTML. Downloading and trying out this tool is definitely on my to-do list.
- Connor again, Odds and ends – an odd but arguably the best session to end the conference with. A number of tricks I’ll want to experiment with once I get a copy of the powerpoints (e.g. I wasn’t aware that contexts can be made “globally accessible”).
Thanks to the AUSOUG committee for another well-organised event.
Noticed that the final conference programme is now available. Unfortunately I don’t have a laptop so I can’t attend some of the hands-on sessions.
I’m planning to at least attend the following:
- Future of Database Technology (Barry Matthews)
- How Can I Tune It When I Can’t Change the Code (Penny Cookson)
- Being a Successful Developer (Connor McDonald)
- Next-Gen Self-Managing Database (Barry Matthews)
- Next-Gen Oracle Database Availability (Barry Matthews)
- Odds and Ends (Connor McDonald)
Unfortunately, the schedule precludes me from Systematic Oracle Performance Tuning (Guy Harrison).
From the Delegate Program:
“…a smattering of such features and/or techniques Connor has encountered over the years, that he has either created himself, read about, or simply stolen from someone smarter.” (Odds and Ends, McDonald)
– plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery… 🙂
“Oracle recently announced the future obsolescence of SQL*Plus GUI version… [SQL Developer] allows easier access for less technical users… The session will include basic SQL syntax training so that End Users can utilise the product to access their data.” (SQL Developer Hands-on Workshop, Kate Marshall)
– I personally have never come across any end-users who currently use SQL*Plus; I have, however, worked with some business analysts who can customise simple SQL using a helper like Discoverer; perhaps they’d be the kind of person who would benefit from this session. Looks like Chris Muir is giving a similar talk in Melbourne, although for some reason it’s in the “Applications” stream.
“Since Oracle introduced the shared pool in the Oracle kernel, it has been causing problems… these problems are because of Oracle bugs, …This presentation will have a closer look at what application developers do wrong.” (The Life of a Cursor and Its Impact on the Shared Pool, Anjo Kolk)
– hey, why should we expect presenters to sugar coat their topics?
Most interesting presentation title: Guaranteed Project Failure
Runner-up: Make Money Fast and Improve Your Love Life with Oracle…
Most boring presentation title: Off shoring Oracle Support: Alcoa’s journey …but the presentation itself will be interesting I’m sure 🙂