Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : Monday

Monday started with the San Francisco bay swim. I was actually pretty scared about doing this. I like to swim, but I’m a child of the “Jaws” generation, so open water is not my thing! Added to that, the water is cold. The coldest my training pool ever gets is 25 degrees C, which feels quite cold. The water in the bay is unseasonably warm at 19 degrees C. For anyone that doesn’t know, that means it is damn cold!

Some brave souls ran and dived in. Rather than risk a heart attack, I walked in. 🙂 After the initial shock I figured I better actually swim or die. Once I got moving, it was a lot better. Having never done any open water swimming, I found it quite difficult to keep my face down in the water. On the few occasions I did, I thought I saw dark shapes in the water with me and started to panic! I didn’t swim too far. It was only a couple of hundred metres, but by that time nearly everyone else had got out. It was more of a “bay dip” than “bay swim”. 🙂

From there is was back to the hotel to get cleaned up. I then headed down to the conference to hit the demo grounds. Being part of the ACE Director briefing means we’ve heard most of the important announcements already, so it can sometimes be hard to find sessions to watch. The demo grounds are a different thing entirely. There is always something interesting that can be gleaned from the staff manning the demo booths.

From there is was on to a hands-on session on the new JSON features of 12.1.0.2 with Mark Drake and some of the development team. The hands-on labs are a very quick way to get a feel for the subject. I think the JSON support will probably be the next article I write. Hopefully, I’m also on to the beta program for the REST API support for this JSON stuff too. Fingers crossed.

I kind-of ducked out of all evening commitments and spent the evening in my room. There was lots of cool things to do,

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : User Group Sunday

Sunday started with the walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was meant to be a run, but a few of us lazy folk met up early and walked it instead. I did run about 5 paces, so I don’t feel quite so guilty about having a “I ran the bridge” type T-shirt. 🙂

After getting back and getting changed I headed down to the Moscone. I was involved in the “12 things about 12c” sessions by UKOUG. This was a double session with 12 speakers, each with 5 minutes. My section was 5 minutes on “A case for the Multitenant option with a single PDB”. I was pretty nervous on the lead up to this, which sounds a little silly for a 5 minute presentation, but shorter presentations require you to be a lot more focussed on the message. One extra anecdote and you’ve blown your time limit. 🙂 I think it went OK. 🙂

I like this type of format. I think every conference needs something like this at the start of the event, so you get a quick feel for what is going on in the subject. It can also act as a pointer to help you decide what sessions you want to focus on during the event.

In the evening it was the Oracle ACE dinner. If someone asked me to define a perfect night out for me, it would probably include Oracle geeks, food, contortion and a silks performer. I love speaking about Oracle. I love eating food. I love circus acts, especially contortion. When they organised the ACE dinner I think they must have read my mind! 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : ACE Director Briefing – Day 2

Day 2 of the ACE Director Briefing followed a similar format to day 1. Lots of things we are not allowed to talk about and a few things we can.

Of the things we can talk about:

  • The release schedule for 12cR2 (12.2) was mentioned. It was published a few weeks ago. It’s tentatively listed as 1HCY2016. You can read it for yourself in MOS Note 742060.1.
  • Dan Mcclary‘s session on Oracle Big Data SQL seemed to win over even the most cynical in the room. It was a really interesting session on something I know virtually nothing about. 🙂 Having external tables pointing to Hive and NoSQL sources, allowing SQL queries and joins across multiple data stores is pretty cool.
  • The JSON support in 12.1.0.2 looks pretty cool.  Some more goodies related to APIs for this functionality are on their way in Oracle REST Data Services (APEX Listener).
  • David Peake previewed Live SQL. It’s still under construction at the moment, but it looks like it’s going to be a useful resource for people learning SQL or sharing examples with each other. Kind-of like SQL Fiddle on steroids, with an emphasis on learning through tutorials and example code etc. The aim being to reduce the barrier to entry.
  • Wim Coekaerts gave an overview of what’s going on in the Linux and virtualization world. I’m a total fanboy, so I loved it. 🙂
  • Steven Feuerstein spoke about his new initiative to revitalise the SQL and PL/SQL communities in Oracle. It’s still in the early stages, but it will be interesting to see how this develops. Obviously I have a vested interest in anything that makes the database look cool! 🙂

Of the things we can’t talk about:

  • We can’t take about them. 🙂

Overall I thought this was a really great briefing. There was a lot of stuff on the agenda that didn’t relate to my core skill set, but I still got drawn in. It’s good to be aware of what’s happening around you, even if you will never get chance to get on top of it. Big thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and OTN for getting this organised for us!

After a bit of socialising, it was on to the coach to drive from Redwood Shores to San Francisco. We are now all in the Hilton and waiting for OOW to start tomorrow.

This morning I did my first proper gym visit of the trip. I hit the weights and did some stretching. I’ve just got to avoid food for the next 6 months and I’ll be buff! 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

An Interview with Kerry Osborne

Me : Great to get some time with you Kerry.

Kerry : I’m wearing a baseball cap.

Me : OK… Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you without one.

Kerry : I never take it off.

Me : Really? Isn’t that a bit inconvenient?

Kerry : Not really. If the peak gets in the way I turn the cap around.

Me : OK… So what’s your favourite sport?

Kerry : Baseball, mostly because of the caps…

Me : I’m a bit pushed for time, can I get back to you to finish off this interview?

Kerry : Sure thing dude. I’ll send you an Enkitec cap…

An Interview with Jonathan Lewis

Me : Nice to meet you Jonathan.

Jonathan : I find speaking English too inefficient, so I will be answering the questions using ASCII.

Me : Oh. OK. That’s going to be kind-of confusing, but let’s try. Where do you get information about Oracle from?

Jonathan : 68,101,102,105,110,105,116,101,108,121,32,110,111,116,32,121,111,117,114,32,119,101,98,115,105,116,101,32,121,111,117,32,105,100,105,111,116,33

Me : I’m not sure this is going to work out. Thanks for your time… I think…

An Interview with Doug Burns

Doug : Sorry I’m late. I was out drinking last night and I’ve got a bad case of “jet lag” this morning.

Me : So, tell me something about yourself that you think the readers would like to know.

Doug : Sorry, I’ve got to go. I need to do some slide polishing. Bye.

Me : Oh…

An Interview with Cary Millsap

Me: What functionality will most people in the Oracle community associate you with?

Cary: Tracing.

Me: What is your favourite non-Oracle pastime?

Cary: I like to put see-through paper over a picture and draw around the outline.

Me: Isn’t that called tracing?

Cary: I guess!

Me: What is your favourite fictional character?

Cary: Dick Tracy.

Me: What was your favourite children’s TV show.

Cary: Thunderbirds.

Me: At last. Something that doesn’t relate to tracing. What is it about Thunderbirds that you like?

Cary: I liked watching the adventures of the Tracy family.

Me: Oh. OK. Perhaps we should talk about your family. Tell me about your family.

Cary: I’ve got kids and wife called Mindy. My pet-name for her is Tracey.

Me: I think we are done here…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : ACE Director Briefing – Day 1

As I’m sure many of you will know, “the first rule of ACED is to constantly talk about ACED”. So every year they put us in a room for the 2 day ACED Briefing where “the first rule of the ACED Briefing is don’t talk about the ACED Briefing”. You can guess, this is going to be devoid of spoilers! 🙂

I think it is safe to say, the main focus areas of Oracle OpenWorld 2014 are reasonably predictable, but a number of the announcements related to those areas of focus are not so predictable! I think there will be something for everyone next week! That’s all I’m going to say about the ACED Briefing content! 🙂

Now for opinion time. This is obviously affected by what I heard during the day, but also what has been happening for the last couple of years…

In my opinion, Oracle getting into the “cloud business” over the last few years has been one of the best things to happen to the company! Why do I say this? Because “eating their own dog food” while trying to build a portfolio of cloud offerings has given them a very specific focus. Pre-cloud, many of the features that will be spoken about next week would probably not have been on the radar, even though customer’s wanted them. Now, there is a *very* big driver for getting this stuff done. If Oracle need it to build their cloud, it’s going to happen!

“I don’t care about Oracle’s public cloud”, will be the cry from some out there. Fine. You don’t have to care, but their cloud is built on the Oracle database, WebLogic, the Fusion Middleware stack, their engineered systems etc. If you care about any of the individual building blocks, Oracle’s public cloud will have a positive effect on those building blocks. Making those products lean, fast and flexible is a really important focus when you are trying to use this stuff at the scale Oracle are!

So when you are listening to the array of announcements over the coming week, I would like you to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this feature good for building Oracle’s cloud?
  • Do I think this feature would exist if Oracle didn’t need it for their cloud?
  • Can I make use of this feature, independent of Oracle’s cloud offering? (If I could afford it)

At the end of OOW14, when you look back as a whole, I think most people will see how Oracle entering the cloud business has had a really good knock-on effect on their product set.

On a personal note, it was fantastic being at the ACED briefing. I missed it last year and it was great to meet up with everyone again. OOW is so big it is easy to miss people. Having so many of my Oracle friends in one room is brilliant! Happy days…

In the evening I was going to go straight to bed, but Carry Millsap persuaded me to go out to eat. Well, I say persuaded me, but really I just wanted to be near him because he’s so pretty! 🙂 Cary, Kerry, Frits, Martin, Bjoern and myself went out to a little Mexican place and I got a brilliant burrito, which I scoffed, whilst teaching them to speak proper English. They now understand the words minger, minging, muggy and bellend.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. As any conspiracy theorist knows, the public denial of the Oracle Games Console (OGC) by Thomas Kurian is proof of its existence. I believe it uses technology reverse engineered from the wreckage recovered from Roswell.

PL/SQL New Features in Oracle Database 12c

I recently put some more PL/SQL new features articles live.

I’ve also posted a top-level new features article.

This contains a number smaller features as well as links to other articles on the site that discuss some of the new features in greater depth.

I’ve got a couple of PL/SQL books I’ve got to read and review, but I’ve been holding back because I wanted to get my take on this subject written before I was influenced by others. I guess I don’t have that excuse any more. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 : The Journey Begins

I did my normal last minute packing last night. After a quick panic this morning, I was off in the taxi I for the airport.

I find it amazing how sense goes out of the window at airports. There was a big sign saying “Put empty trays on rollers”, so people were either leaving them or stacking them up. Either way, they were getting in the way. WTF? RTMF!

The first flight to Frankfurt was fine. While waiting to board I was staring at the guy in front thinking, “I’m sure I could do his fade better than that!” I might have to start hairdresser-base.com… 🙂

The flight to SFO went without incident. I met Joze SenegacnikØyvind Isene, Martin Bach and Harshad Oak during it. 🙂 Once we landed, it was the airport shuttle to the hotel, then straight out with the family for some food. Its sad that we only get to meet at conferences. 🙂

Tomorrow is the ACED briefing, so lots of tweets telling people I can’t tell them what his going on. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…