Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG) 2016: Birmingham to Pravets, Bulgaria

bgougI purposely didn’t try and get back into the UK time zone because I knew I had an early start for this trip. My alarm was set for 03:00, but I was up from 02:00. Even so, I still managed to be late for the taxi. 🙂

At that time in the morning the roads were clear so the drive to the airport was super fast. The airport was very quiet, which was a bit of a surprise as most of the cheap flights leave at silly times, so often the early starts are very busy. After walking straight through bag drop and security I parked myself at a cafe and opened my laptop.

As you probably know, Oracle 12.2 has been made available on the Oracle Database Cloud Service and like everyone else with an account I created an instance to play with it. This morning my 1 year trial account ended. 🙁 I had tried to get it renewed, but this hadn’t happened in time, so my new 12.2 instance was gone. While I was at the airport I signed up for a new 30 day trial using a corporate email address. It was instantly approved and I created a new DBaaS instance. I’ve got 30 days to learn everything about Oracle 12.2. 🙂

The flight to Frankfurt was short (75 mins), quiet and uneventful, but there was always a nagging doubt in my mind. My stopover in Franfurt was only 65 minutes. Depending on gate locations, getting between gates at Frankfurt can take longer than that. Luckily I was at the front of the plane, so I was able to get off quickly and rush to my next flight.

The flight from Frankfurt to Sofia was only a couple of hours. Once again, pretty uneventful in itself.


When I got to Sofia I was met by Julian Dontcheff and a gang of presenters and we were whisked off the Pravets in a minibus. It was about an hours drive, so you can imagine what it’s like with a bunch of presenters in a minibus. 🙂

Once I was in the hotel, I went through the usual routine, film the hotel and my room and put everything on charge ready for the next day. 🙂 The hotel is very grand!

I’m on a bit of a fitness kick since my APAC Tour, so I headed off to the gym, but was delayed for some time chatting to the guys, but I did get there in the end.

In the evening we went to the hotel restaurant for food. At about 10:30 I excused myself and crashed for the night.

This morning is the BGOUG Autumn event. Hope to see you there…



Cloud First (again)

cloudDuring OpenWorld I wrote about my thoughts on Cloud First, an approach Oracle is taking for some of its products now. A discussion on Oracle-L has sparked this post.

One of things I hoped Cloud First would accomplish was to allow Oracle to fix more of the bugs before they dropped the on-premise release. Let’s look at the current 12.2 timeline.

  • 20th September (approx): The first 12.2 product was the Exadata Express, where you get a PDB in a fully managed cloud service, was released at OpenWorld. At least up until a few days ago this service was running was That doesn’t sound like an on-premise release number to me.
  • 4-5th November: At the end of last week the Database Cloud Service (DBaaS) on Oracle Public Cloud got an update to allow you to provision instances. That sounds kind-of like the version number of a first on-premise release to me. Also, the DBaaS offering is not automatically patched, so Oracle must have a reasonable level of confidence with this release if they are happy to put production DBaaS customers on it. 🙂 There is no installation media on this service, but there is a zip of the “app/oracle/product/12.2.0/dbhome_1” directory structure in the “/scratch/db/db12201_bits.tar.gz” file.
  • Currently the Database Cloud Service (Virtual Image), which builds a VM with installation media in the “/scratch” directory, does not allow yet. Either they’ve not had time to finish this yet, or they don’t want to make getting the installation media so easy. 🙂
  • 8th November: There has been some limited 12.2 documentation around since the release of Exadata Express, but the “proper” 12.2 documentation was released yesterday. There are still some missing bits, like the install/upgrade manuals, which is not surprising as they are not necessary for Exadata Express or DBaaS.

So as far as I’m concerned, we have only just got a product that resembles an on-premise release now. The meaning of Cloud First will be judged by how long it takes from *now* for the on-premise release to drop. If it happens soon I will be in the “Cloud First has worked out OK” camp. If there is an extended period between now and the on-premise release, I will be switching my allegiance to the conspiracy theory camp. 🙂



PS. It’s possible there is still some work to put together conventional installation media. I have no knowledge of the internal processed at Oracle.

Oracle Database Cloud Service : Say Hello to Oracle Database 12cR2 (12.2)

cloudAs pointed out by Franck Pachot in a tweet about 5 hours ago, Oracle Database 12cR2 (12.2) has now come to the Oracle Database Cloud Service.

12cR2 has been available since Oracle OpenWorld if you were using the Oracle Exadata Express service, but I wasn’t, so this is the first time this version of the database has become accessible to me.

Obviously I’m going to start writing about 12.2 now, but there will still be some things that are off limits. There won’t be any installation articles produced until the on-premise release is dropped.


If you have access to the DBaaS service on Oracle Public Cloud, I’m sure you will be busy for a few months. 🙂



Update 1: I’ve been trying on the EM2 data centre all weekend and it’s not worked yet. I think they are only part way through setting up the service.

Update 2: It’s working now. 🙂

OTN APAC Tour 2016 : It’s a Wrap! (for me)

otnapac16dSo that’s the OTN APAC Tour 2016 over for me. Most of the other folks are zipping across to China and India, but I had already committed to another event in Europe, so I had to cut the tour short.

During the tour I produced the following tour-related blog posts, most of which include silly little videos.

This is the crazy amount of travelling I did for this tour. 🙂


At the end of most tours I find myself thinking, “Never again!” Let’s see how I feel after some sleep and a few days to adjust… 🙂

Thanks go out to NZOUG and IAOUG for letting me come to play, as well as all the attendees that came to play too. 🙂 Thanks as always go out to the Oracle ACE Program for making this possible for me!



OTN APAC Tour 2016 : Gold Coast to Birmingham

otnapac16dI woke up early, feeling kind-of nervous about the trip home. Approximately 24 hours on a plane, plus several hours in airports is not my idea of fun.

My first flight started at about 17:10, but I had to check out of the hotel at 12:00, so I spent a few hours sitting in the hotel lobby, trying to do something useful.

The first bit of stress for the day was my bags were not checked through to Birmingham, so I had to pick them up in Sydney and put them through security again. All of a sudden the connection time didn’t seem so cool. The flight from Gold Coast to Sydney was straight forward and arrived on time, so I got my skates on, got a train to the international terminal, and moved through check-in, bag drop and security pretty quick. There were no upgrades available, but at least I got there on time.

The flight from Sydney to Dubai was on an Emirates A380, which had a reasonable amount of room on it. I stood up a lot and did some stretching at the front of the plane. I was actually able to get the laptop out for a bit and do some video editing. I also managed a bit of sleep too, which is very rare for me sitting upright. All in all, not a bad experience. Of course, with those massive planes the boarding and getting off takes a lot of time.

I had a 2 hour stopover in Dubai, but by the time I had done security and got to the boarding gate is was half that. It never ceases to amaze me how people think it will be a good idea to get groups people travelling together to congregate in the middle of where everyone is walking, or often at the foot of an escalator. It’s so stupid and it makes me really angry. I feel like punching and kicking my way through the ignorant bunch of idiots.

On the flight to Birmingham I had a bulkhead seat, so I had extra leg room. There were quite a few seats free on the plane, including a spare one next to me, so I was able to relax a bit. The flight itself was fine, but during the last 2 hours I really started to suffer. There is only so much sitting on a plane the body is capable of and by 2 hours to go I was becoming a little erratic. I just kept fidgeting and twitching. It was a massive relief to get off the plane and know I was done with flying for a few days.

I guess I must have been looking a little dodgy because I was pulled by security as I was leaving the baggage area. They asked where I had come from and after some quite considerable effort I remembered. Once I managed to list the flights I had been on they let me go. I like to think they felt sorry for me. 🙂

I took a taxi home, had a bath and went to bed. I know it was a bag move going to bed at about 14:00, but tough. I got up at midnight and I’ve been watching Netflix and trying to sleep again since then. I’m guessing this is going to be a rather hard transition. 🙂



OTN APAC Tour 2016 : Gold Coast

otnapac16dIt was an early start. I was awake at about 03:00, playing catch-up with all my real-life stuff, then it was off to the Gold Coast event.

The day started with a keynote by Stu Keast called “Oracle ERP Data Maintenance Made Easy”, speaking about More4Apps solutions.

The rest of the day was split into two tracks, with the following sessions.

Track 1:

Track 2:

Thanks to everyone at IAOUG putting this event together on relatively short notice. Thanks to everyone who came and supported the event. Thanks also to the ACE Program for getting me here!

Tomorrow I start the horrific journey home! 🙂



OTN APAC Tour 2016 : Sydney to Gold Coast

otnapac16dI spent the morning chilling out in my room and catching up with real life. At about 11:00 I checked out of the hotel and got the train to the domestic airport for my flight to Gold Coast.

The train was slow, so I was a little late, but it was a domestic flight, so I didn’t need to be there quite so early. After a little drama over problems with the automatic bag drop, I moved quickly through security and headed off to my departure gate, where I bumped into Bjoern and Connor. Pretty soon we got on the flight for Gold Coast, which was listed as a 90 minute flight, but took about 55 minutes. It turned out that both Frank and Arup were on our flight too. 🙂

Safely down, we picked up our bags and got a taxi to the hotel, which was pretty posh by my standards.

We were meant to meet up to get some food later, but I took a quick walk to see the beach, then felt really drained and went to bed. There is something about airports that sap your will to live. That combined with the heat and humidity of Gold Coast and I was the walking dead.

I slept from late afternoon yesterday to about 03:00 this morning. Since then I’ve been playing catch-up on stuff, including some of the videos I hadn’t edited yet, which I’ve now retrospectively added into the previous blog posts. It’s the usual stuff, just me walking through airports. 🙂

So in a couple of hours it’s time to start my last event in this tour before I fly off home.