Friday, September 26, 2008

Oracle OpenWorld, day 4

Before going to some sessions I had a walk around the two exhibition halls for the first time. Not very interesting for me: a lot of vendors exhibiting and some game rooms. The demo grounds were more interesting although it was a little bit too busy. I managed to see a preview of SQL Developer's data modeling extension, but more on that later. I was a little disappointed for not seeing a stand for PL/SQL as I would have liked to express my wish to people of the PL/SQL team to extend the sql%bulk_exceptions array with the actual error message (see this post). I had seen Bryn Llewellyn walking around in Oracle OpenWorld though.

Next I arranged to meet my ex-colleague Hans Driessen and drank a smoothie. Anjo Kolk was also supposed to be there, but he was having a hard time after Mogens' party last night according to Hans ...

The first session was Mark Drake's "Oracle Application Express and Oracle XML Database: A Match Made in the Database". Carl Backstrom was on stage too, to answer some APEX related questions. The session showed how to present XML content in APEX screens. When you just select the XMLTYPE column you'll not see the contents. Using XMLSerialize the results are a little better, but all the tags in the XML are then interpreted by the browser and effectively removed from the screen. Using XMLTransform the tags are visible. In a last variant, that I didn't manage to write down, the XML appeared all nicely. I thought the session was pretty good, although I would still have to look things up when I need it.

Next session was Rene de Vleeschauer's "Database Data Modeling with Oracle SQL Developer". Entity relationship modeling and logical data modeling can be done within SQL Developer now. However, it will be a non free option whereas SQL Developer itself is free of charge. You can import existing data models from Designer - both ERD and server models -, Erwin and from Oracle Warehouse Builder. It supports all database objects, even some less common ones. Creation scripts and alter scripts can be generated from the models. It looked like it can replace Designer's data modeling side completely. So, good work!

Now it was time for Larry's big announcement. Although there are TV screens all across the buildings, I wanted to experience it myself and went to Moscone North, hall D. I certainly wasn't alone: roughly estimated 7000 people also saw the show. Due to my bloggers pass, I had a nice seat in the center amidst press, analysts and other bloggers. Larry announced the Exadata Programmable Storage Server and the HP Oracle Database Machine and promised at least 10 times faster results. For an outstander it must have looked pretty nerdish: 7000 business people and techies applauding and cheering for a 4 crate high intelligent storage array on stage. For the large companies out there it should be spectacular though.

Then one last session, "Managing Very Very Large XML Documents with Oracle XML Database". I had a hard time hearing the story and the slides were hardly readable, so I quickly lost interest.

In the evening we all went to Treasure Island, between San Franciso and Oakland, for the appreciation event. An impressive event, to say the least. Good food, a nice boardwalk carnival and six artists, of which I saw four: the Psychedelic Furs, Seal, Elvis Costello and UB40. I had a good time and met quite a few more people whose blogs are in my Google Reader. Came back at the hotel at half past twelve.

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