Oracle OpenWorld – Day 2

Of course, with all the excitement of Oracle OpenWorld, I’ve had no time to edit and post my notes during the conference itself, so you are getting everything in a big batch now.

12:15 – RAC SIG expert panel – It was supposed to be a great opportunity to ask RAC questions and have the very people who wrote the product answer. In reality it was a big disappointment. I didn’t get to ask my cool questions (mostly about load balancing and fail over mechanisms) while other people asked questions that were completely unrelated to RAC, like how to move datafiles. I could see that even the experts were rather disappointed.
I compensated for the disappointment by strolling down to the demo booths later and asking my questions there. I also bought two RAC books, just to be extra sure.

2:00 – 11g & ComplianceDan Morgan and Victoria Whitlock scheduled an unconference session about compliance with SOX and the likes in 11g. Due to some quirk of luck, I turned out to be the only attendant of this wonderful session. Everyone else will have to travel all the way to Seattle to learn how 11g makes SOX compliance that much easier. Dan Morgan told me about the wonderful Audit Vault – which was just what we needed for a big auditing project and we didn’t hear of it before, and also how to use 11g’s PL/SQL warnings to automatically detect many issues with code before I upload it to production. This was by far the most useful session I’ve attended this day.

15:15 – DataPump in 11g – Datapump is one of the best features in 10g, and it got even better in 11g. My favorite improvement is the inline compression of the data dump and the ability to import without uncompressing first. Other nice features are inline encryption, the ability to remap data during the import while keeping certain properties of the data format (for example, generate bogus email addresses for the test system), and the ability to convert LOBs to SecureFiles.

16:45 – Top 11 new features in 11g – This talk was not as excited as I expected. Probably because I’ve already spent few hours hearing about new features in 11g, and also because such a rich set of features deserved more than one hour. 5 minutes per feature are not enough. A nice discovery was that Oracle added pivot operator to SQL, I was not aware of this before the lecture. No more ugly case statements when you need to turn your tables sideways. All the other features were the usual suspects – cache, partitions, real application testing, data pump, compression, yadda, yadda.

The highlight of the day was actually the evening. I went to the blogger meetup, and in addition to drinking excellent beer on Oracle’s expense, I also got to meet the wonderful people that I’ve been writing my morning news for the last year. I have to update my blog roll now because I’ve met few cool people who write great blogs that I haven’t been following up on. It was a great experience to know that Oracle Bloggers are not only smart, creative and great writers, they are also very nice people and its really fun to hang out with them.

One of the things that are kind of sad to me now that OpenWorld is over is that I’ve met all these great people, but they all live in the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Oregon, Canada and what not. There is no way I’m going to meet any of them again for a beer and a chat for the next year, at least. Thats a really depressing thought. As much as I enjoy the virtual connection, talking to people over a glass of beer is much much better.

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