Monday, November 19, 2007

Oracle OpenWorld 2007 Part 6

In addition to the Hyperion sessions I attended, I also went to a few Oracle sessions. Two of the sessions were technical sessions about the Oracle .NET providers and Oracle deployment best practices on Windows. Much of the information in those sessions is also available on the Oracle Technical Network (OTN) but the question and answer section at the end was very good. I also went to a session on project planning for OBIEE implementations. The information looked basically the same as what you would see on a large Hyperion implementation. Frankly, the reason I went to the session was that a friend from Oracle Consulting in Birmingham, AL was giving the talk. I had not seen Rob Reynolds since I left Intergraph in Huntsville, AL around 13 years ago. At that time, Rob was an intern working for my boss, Kipp Woodard. In a strange twist of fate, Kipp now works for me (although I pay him a lot more than he paid me. Hmmm...)

The Oracle session rooms seemed much larger than the Hyperion session rooms. The Oracle sessions I attended all had seating for perhaps 1,000 people but there were plenty of seats available in those sessions. There were 2 reasons for all of the space. First, the sessions didn't have core Oracle database or Oracle application topics; I would think those sessions would be harder to get into. Second, they were all late in the conference and much like the Hyperion conferences of the past, having a session late on the last day pretty much guaranteed you an empty room.

Between sessions at the Hyperion conferences there were almost always snacks and drinks. That is not so at the Oracle conference. Besides the events and the lounges (like the OTN lounge), the only food served at the conference was the lunch. Lunch was served in the huge tent located on Howard Street. The tent, which also served as the location for the welcome and closing parties, covered the complete street surface area of Howard Street between 3rd and 4th Street.

The drill for lunch was that you were guided into the tent, you presented your color coded lunch ticket for the specific day, and you walked through and picked up a box lunch. The boxes had things like turkey or roast beef sandwiches, a caprese sandwich, Thai chicken wrap or other 'special needs' (diabetic / vegetarian / religious) meals. You also picked up water. They had plenty of tables in the tent so it wasn't hard to find a seat. Lunch also seemed to open much longer than at the Hyperion conferences. In fact, I actually got to eat lunch 3 days in a row; that never happened at Solutions.

I wish the session scheduling had been a bit different. For me, there we a whole bunch of interesting Oracle sessions that were only offered on Monday and Tuesday which, of course, conflicted with the Hyperion sessions. Most sessions were not repeated so I was out of luck.

Keynotes at OpenWorld occur throughout the day. Despite my best intentions, I made to only one keynote during the week. The Michael Dell/Larry Ellison keynote was very interesting with some great content. While the old Solutions keynotes were heavily focused on marketing using customer success stories, this CEO keynote was much more product oriented. Michael Dell showed off some new Dell blade server technology that packs more power into a less power hungry frame (i.e. read ‘Green’ as seems to be the message for nearly every business now). He also showed off a new laptop that will be introduced soon the doubles as a tablet computer. The screen of this new laptop opens, then pivots and closes face open and uses touch input. It looks pretty cool but the screen is only 12” which is simply not enough for us developer types who run huge resolutions (and thus need bifocals very early in life).

Larry Ellison showed the first product from the Fusion strategy. It is a sales force automation tool that helps salespeople manage presentations. One of his demos was a sales presentation manager that used a jukebox paradigm with what appeared to be a preview of the first slide of the presentation. Each presentation also carried comments input by other users that have used the presentation. Visually, the web-based application looks very cool and reminded me of some of the UIs I have seen on the iPhone commercials.

It seems to be clear from that keynote that the company is a technology driven organization. I had heard recently that ‘Developers are King’ at Oracle and that seems to be true. In fact, I learned this week that Larry himself wrote some of the early database software. In those days, he was scrambling to fund the new company and was once weeks from facing foreclosure on his house. He has come a long way since then with the fighter jet toys, big houses and beautiful wife, but at heart he sounds like pretty much like the rest of us geeks (except he is living *really* big).

I have a couple of areas still to write about: Events and Expo.. I will try to start posting on these topics in a couple of days.

No comments: