UKOUG 2007 – Downloading the presentations

Does anyone know the password?

UKOUG – A Retrospective

This time last week I had just arrived in Birmingham ahead of my first attendance at the UKOUG. Apart from a quick note after Day 1, I gave up on daily summaries, so it’s about time I did a summary of my experience.

It was four days of presentations in the Oracle Server Technology stream, some days were better than others, some periods were a bit sparse and there were a few too many lulls for my liking, but at times there were some tough choices over which presentation to attend.

Socially, it was good to meet people who I only “knew” via their blogs and to run into a few people from previous years in an Oracle-centric consultancy.

Technically, in terms of theme, I went to a variety of presentations. I skipped some tempting presentations because I thought I knew the majority of the subject in favour of broadening my educations.

In terms of 11g, it was interesting but not surprising to hear that there were no/few sites running that version on production (my current client might go that way in March). In terms of 11g new features, I came to the conclusion that there was no killer app. But there were some cool additions – e.g. partitioning enchancements, result cache, sql replay, virtual columns – and I hope to investigate and blog on at least one particular aspect of those imminently.

11g aside, I picked up some interesting information on TimesTen, Oracle Spatial and Oracle Rules Manager (which I’ve fiddled with briefly before and which was referenced as a underpinning technology in some other features). And I attended a number of session with a Security focus – both security in general, auditing and hardening a database, and also focused on Database Vault features- in order to boost my knowledge in that regard.

From the conference, there were two major things that I took away. Firstly, it was the first time that I had attended presentations by Tom Kyte and Jonathan Lewis and I was so impressed by their ability to deliver technical material so effectively. Everyone else was good, certainly no-one I saw was bad, but in my opinion these two gurus were head and shoulders above the rest in terms of a complete presentation – both presentational ease and technical content. The second thing that I took away was just how much I knew already. There were no revelations.

Overall, I’m glad I went. I’m particularly glad that I went to a conference following a major version release. I would go again but not every year.

UKOUG – Day 1

I can’t believe how quickly bloggers have got out their first day summaries… Here’s mine.

So, Day 1 has been on the go since about 8:45 with the odd break here and there between presentations but now I’m all done. It’s been good but I couldn’t sit through another minute without a significant break.

It all started with a summary of the last thirty days from Ian Smith and then Tom Kyte. The bottom line was that Oracle stands for innovation and leadership which is probably fair point from a database perspective at least.

The message I have taken away so far today is that although there are some good features in 11g, no single one is a killer upgrade reason, not for me at least.

I don’t want to give a summary of all that I attended, so, amongst the various presentations two highlights. Firstly, when Ian Ambramson gave an honest appraisal of the vaunted information lifecycle management (ILM) packaged in 11g in his “Partitioning: From Start to 11g” presentation. I was sitting in front of the Oracle ILM product manager who did not seem overly impressed. Secondly, in his presentation on “11g New Features for DBAs”, while showcasing interval partitioning, Tom Kyte gave an excellent demonstration on why you should use explicit formats when working with dates. Well, at least I’m 99% certain that’s what it was, rather than a bug in interval partitioning. Obviously, Tom had to move along in his presentation but he promised to blog about the lesson learnt next week.

Tonight – beers at the blogger’s meetup.

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