Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Collab07 - Day 1 - Keynote and Sessions

On Monday a lot others arrived and the queues were a lot longer. The number of people at Mandalay Bay are impressive, especially for the keynote speeches! The halls were too small!

The sessions I followed...

Session 1 - Keynote Speach - Ari Kaplan (IOUG President), Ken Jacobs and Andy Mendelsohn

This Collaborate is in memory of Stan Yellot, one of the first members of IOUG and the driving power behind this Oracle User Group.
Ari also said IOUG is all about collaborating (participating / knowledge sharing / ...). We all participate and help each other (for free) as we are all passionate about our work.
I also like these seminars because it's a great place to meet the people you never see, but talk a lot to on the internet.
Another big part of the keynote was about thirty years of the Oracle database, which was presented by Ken Jacobs. It was my first time to see Ken Jacobs (aka Dr. DBA) presenting and I liked it a lot. He showed a bit of the history were Oracle came from and were it goes to. Together with some other Oracle people he also showed some new features in 11g.
I can still remember they talked and demoed about Data Vault, Audit Vault, Information Lifecycle Management (made in APEX!), new partitioning methods, ... This keynote was recorded, so it should be available soon.

Session 2 - All the Free Stuff from Oracle Corp - Dan Hotka

This session was about some of the features in the database you get free of charge, like for ex. DMBS_XPLAN, tkprof, SQL Trace, Trace Analyser etc. Dan also made some tools around these Oracle tools to get a better visual (UI in Java).
At the end he also demonstrated some basics of SQL Developer. I would have thought he would have spent some time on APEX, as that's free too, but he didn't. So after all I was a bit disappointed.

Session 3 - Advanced Application Express Tips and Techniques - Bradly Brown

This was a pretty good session, but he had to go quickly over his presentation as it was a bit too much to cover indebt. Bradly is also one of the autors of the HTMLDB-book.
He showed some tips for different areas. To name some:
- HTML: pop-ups, tool tips, anchors
- APEX: use of Page 0, Outlook Integration, Scrolling text
- PLSQL: function based queries, background jobs
- Javascript: Setting focus, AJAX, Google Maps
He referenced a lot to the forum, so this session gave you an overview, but the actual code you should look for further down (in your own time).
I can understand him, I've also a lot of material to cover in my presentation, so fitting everything into a one hour presentation is not that easy. Also the mix of the public makes it hard as some are starters where as others are very experienced.

Lunch time...

already seen 7.000 people grabbing some food? Here's the pic! (and that hall is four times the size of the picture)

Session 4 - Dynamic SQL in a Dynamic World - Michael Rosenblum

This session was al about Dynamic SQL: Execute immediate, Dynamic Cursors, DBMS_SQL, bulk operations, functions returning collections etc.
There were a lot of good insights in dynamic sql. Michael also mentioned the pitfalls, which I found really good. Not everybody goes and look at asktom how to do something in the best way possible, so mentioning to use bind variables for ex. is really important!
Also when using dynamic sql, be careful with bad implementation so that "Sql injection" doesn't become possible. Michael gave some of his techniques to overcome this.

Session 5 - Keynote Speech - Charles Philips

This was a bit like some of the rumours predicted on certain blogs. Charles Philips also came back on 30 years Oracle and announced something new called "Project X" - "an important development initiative that has been underway to unify our broad portfolio of applications and help customers close the gap between evolving business needs and IT's ability to execute."
I'm more into Oracle technology, not that much in "Oracle Applications", although I recently looked into Oracle Siebel CRM which I find really nice. Nevertheless this Project X is into that direction, letting all those Oracle apps or the apps Oracle bought over the last years, work together and integrated (hey BPEL!).
I think this was the "logic" step that Oracle announced. I found Charles presenting very well (although he moved a lot on the stage, apparently he can't stand still ;-)).

Welcome drink

In the evening the exhibition hall opened. A lot of companies have a stand over there. They look all very nice. Most of them offer you something to drink or a gadget. As we're an Vegas, you can also win something by playing with them (Everything is allowed to attract the attention of the people I suppose).
Oracle also has an APEX boot over there. John and I went to have a look there and finally ended up having a chat with Carl Backstrom, one of the APEX developers. He's the guy behind all the AJAX and javascript in APEX. It was my first time seeing him in real life, he's a really nice guy, as are all of the APEX developers.

APEX SIG preparation
After the Welcome drink, Steve Howard, John Scott and myself went to a bar and discussed about the APEX SIG. On Tuesday we have our first APEX SIG meeting at Collaborate...

Later that night I arrived back in my hotel room and started answering mails and did some other urgent things from clients. I find it really hard... Collab can be really intense, because following these sessions and meeting all these nice people is awesome, but it also makes you tired. But if I finally want to go to bed, in Belgium they start working again (Belgium is 9h ahead compared to Las Vegas). So I don't sleep that much at the moment.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're having a great time! When is your presentation scheduled?

... quite a big lunchbos that guy is carrying around ;-)

Dimitri Gielis said...

My presentation is on Thursday morning, so that's coming closer now... on Wednesday I also have the APEX roundtable questions.
You'll see on my blog how it went ;)