Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kaleidoscope Notes

Note: I wrote this last Thursday but, due to vacation and travel, I didn't get a chance to post it until today..

Kaleidoscope 2009 is almost over and, unfortunately, I haven't had the time to keep those of you not lucky enough to be in Monterey up to date. The buzz is that this has been the best Hyperion related conference ever. Literally everyone I have talked to, and every one of the other ODTUG board members have talked to, have given Kaleidoscope a big thumbs up!

Some of the highlights for me:

  • Hyperion Sunday Symposium. Oracle brought a bunch of development people to talk about what they are working on for the future and it looks very exciting for those of us from the Hyperion community. I plan to blog a summary of Sunday later.

  • Hands-on labs. They were packed and I heard people were almost fighting to get in.. We are hoping to greatly expand the labs next year. We did learn that we were trying to fit too much into the time given for the lab and we will attempt to address that next year. Kudos to Monty Lateolais and our own Derek Hill for the many hours.

  • Midnight Madness. This late-night, Hyperion 'stump-the-panel' discussion lasted the full 2 hours (thankfully starting at a more merciful 10 pm instead of midnight) and literally none of the 100 to 150 people there left early. As my expertise is really in the Essbase API, I served as the moderator for the panel and added color commentary where applicable. Perhaps the most amazing fact with Midnight Madness is that all of those people were drawn to the session without the offer of major quantities of free alcohol. There was, however, as much coffee, chocolate and Red Bull that your could consume.

  • Oracle ACE Directors Sundown Session. The Sundown Session was another great panel discussion featuring all 4 Oracle ACE Directors in the Oracle BI Community including me, Mark Rittman from Rittman-Mead Consulting (and the leading expert on OBIEE-Essbase integration) and the team of Edward Roske and Tracy McMullen from interRel Consulting. I enjoyed this session a bit more as someone actually asked a Java API question (although it was really a Java IDE question).. The answer? I don't normally use Oracle JDeveloper but rather use IntelliJ. It is really a matter of WYLIWYL ("What You Learn Is What You Love").

  • Wednesday night Special Event. The special event this year was dinner, followed by a comedian and finally dancing. The dinner was buffet style featuring more of the excellent food Kaleidoscope is known for; my favorite was the bay shrimp/avocado salad and the grilled salmon; the roast beef and roast turkey breast stations looked delicious). The comedy of Don Friesen was extremely funny and I was lucky enough to sit front-row center and not get picked on. You can see him on his website at Finally, the music/dancing portion won me over when one of the first songs the DJ played was one of my favorites, "Pride and Joy" by Stevie Ray Vaughn.

  • Working with the ODTUG Board and Oracle. I had *many* meetings this week between both the ODTUG Board and Oracle people and have continued to work on behalf of the Hyperion user community to provide great conference, great educational and great networking opportunities. Every Oracle employee we talked with was very enthusiastic about Kaleidoscope!

Kaleidoscope 2009 was also a coming out party for Dodeca. My Monday morning vendor session on Dodeca was so full I heard they had to turn people away. We also gave away a bunch of Dodeca T-Shirts at the session and at our booth.

I am writing this in a Thursday morning session that has a fairly large room that is nearly half full (which in itself is amazing for the last half-day of a conference). There are a quite a number of people wearing their Dodeca shirts today including me!

If you attended this Kaleidoscope, please give me the honest feedback on how we can make it better next year (and yes, we are painfully aware of the bandwidth issues here in Monterey).

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