Well, I was far too late getting down to the Moscone to catch some of the Keynotes, so today really started for me with a session on “Oracle Application Express, Now and in the Future”. Which was good session for me for a couple of reasons, firstly (and obviously) because of my interests in Apex, secondly because lots of ‘names’ were there. The session was headed by Michael Hichwa, Marc Sewtz and Marco Adelfio and if you want to know about Apex, when these people talk you’re getting it directly ‘from the horses mouth’ as it were. It was obviously from the way they were talking about Apex that they are passionate about the product, also they *do* listen to the feedback from the Apex community about the product.
I also got to meet with Joel Kallman, which was great, since I’ve swapped lots of emails with Joel and we frequently post in the same topics in the Apex forums, so it was great to put a face to the name and meet him in person, I need to dig out the message on the forums where Joel said he’d buy the first drinks at the OOW Meetup, since he’s now trying to put the onus onto me 😉
I should also reprimand myself here, since I met all these people and failed to get a single picture taken with them, hopefully that can be rectified at the OOW meetup (details on Dimitri Gielis’s blog).
The session itself was very interesting, they showed how to build an application using Apex (which of course I’ve done many times), but it’s still interesting to see how other people do things, also when you see someone else doing it, it drives it home just how quickly it is being done right in front of you. There were also some announcements regarding Apex 3.0, some of the most notable features are –
- Microsoft Access Application Migration
- Flash charting
- XML Publisher Reporting Integration
- AJAX WYSIWYG Drag and Drop Form Layout
I’m not going to expand too much on those points (since they could be subject to change etc), however the announcements about Flash charting and XML Publisher Reporting Integration really show that Oracle are listening to what people are saying in the forums (the current SVG charting is frequently brought up).
Then it was time for a session entitled “Building Media-Rich Business Application Using Oracle interMedia and Oracle Application Express” (can you see a ‘theme’ for most of the sessions I’ve been attended?). It was an interesting session for anyone thinking about integrating any sort of media (images, sound, video etc) into their Apex application. There were also some cool code-generation wizard tools that I’ll be investigating when I get back home. I would have liked this session to also have been a little longer so it could have gone into a bit more depth (and to see things from more of a coding perspective), however I suppose if this session had gone on longer then I would have then missed…..
….The Tom Kyte session entitled “Database Worst Practises”, yes that’s correct…it’s “Worst” practices not “Best Practices”. This was the first time I’ve heard Tom presenting, although I’ve been reading his AskTom column for years now and I’ve bought every one of his books pretty much on the day they became available. I have to say that this was an absolute Masterclass in presenting, not only did each and every slide he used strike a chord with the audience, but he presented it in a great style.
The session was an anti-presentation, meaning that everything was the exact opposite of what it should be, it was very tongue-in-cheek and Tom brought up many of the commonly recurring falsehoods and myths that seems to fill the Internet about Oracle. To give you an idea, this is one of the first slides that was used:
If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes reading one of Tom’s books or looking at his website, you’ll appreciate exactly why that slide is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
I really enjoyed the session, if there’s one thing I like about the way ‘Tom does things’, it’s the way he doesn’t say ‘That is the wrong way” or ‘This is the right way’ he actually *backs up* why it’s the wrong or right way with evidence.
After the session, I met Tom outside the hall and introduced myself and had a quick chat, and yet again (overcome with awe) failed to get a picture taken, I kick myself for that again, I’m not sure if I’ll get a second chance for that one but I hope I do. I also probably failed to introduce myself properly since I should have mentioned to Tom my interests in Application Express which is an area that Tom has been involved in (if that’s not understating it!).
Then it was off to OTN Night and time for yet another apology, since Steve Howard and I played table football (is that what Americans call it?) with another two guys and since I’ve never played before I was absolutely terrible and probably a big big hindrance to Steve, challenge me to a game of pool and I might just give you a run for your money, put me in charge of ‘half a dozen little men on a stick’ and you’ll be lucky if I don’t put your eye out with the ball. There seemed to be lots going on at the OTN night, but Steve started feeling the effects of a long day and retired back to his Hotel, I only lasted about another 20 minutes before gravity started pulling down my eyelids and I started to leave to go back to my hotel. Then, just as I was leaving the hotel the OTN night was being held in I spotted Tim Hall who runs the Oracle Base website as well as his own blog. The bizarre thing is, Tim and I have never met, I’ve only seen his picture on his blog, however we were both recently photographed for the Oracle Magazine (and both blogged about how we hated our respective pictures), so I find it bizarre that amongst the 40-odd thousand people here for OOW that I bumped into Tim. I tapped him on the shoulder as he walked past (I felt like a stalker, but what the heck!), I’m not sure if he recognised me, but as soon as I started to talk (and mentioned our ‘hated picture link’) he realised who I was. We then proceeded to spend about the next 20-25 minutes chatting in the hotel lobby. Once again it’s an advert for just how good OOW is for networking, that you can tap someone on the shoulder that you don’t *really* know at all and then spend the next 25 minutes talking with them.
I got on really well with Tim, he’s a very friendly and approachable guy (I can see why he got the ACE of the Year Award), I also failed to get a picture taken with him (spotting a pattern here too?), even though I’m an ACE myself it’s still good for my ego to be photographed with other ACE’s 😉
Lots of superb sessions tomorrow, another Tom Kyte session, an Apex session and a session by Jonathan Lewis.