IOUG Live! 2003 Conference Wrap-Up

by Stephen Andert

After closing Thursday with a tease about a wrap-up, I felt I should do so, even after reading a great history and overview of the conference by David C. Kreines here. David gave a great overview and did comment on some of the things I was planning on mentioning, so be sure and read his weblog to get the whole picture.

In the Brownies With The Board, I think there were more people than I had seen before. That was partly due to the fact that the line was shorter than the lunch line, although some of us didn't notice that there were lunches in there till we went in. Another factor was that the time was changed so that it didn't conflict with the last technical session. Some of the information they provided was the fact that there was a large number of IOUG Live! rookies that presented this year. They reminded people that the session evaluations are very important since they help the conference committee determine which speakers are selected in future years.

I always like this session at there is an open mike question period that lets the members ask the Board questions about what's on their mind. One question on the mind of many was the lack of a CD with the conference papers and presentations. The Board mentioned that that was not done for several reassons including the lead times required and that all the papers and presentations are available on the Live! 2003 web site. A suggestion from the audience was made that there should be a way to download everything at once instead of one paper at a time. This was meet with a strong showing of support judging from the audience applause. The Board said they were looking into options. I know that I have used past CD's to research problems and they have been very helpful. One other topic was certification exams and the possibility of being able to take them at future conferences. The Board said they have had discussions on that subject but so far Oracle has not been willing.

There was also discussion about local user groups and the support that the IOUG gives them though the GAP (Grassroots Alliance Partner) program. This support includes a grant program and speakers bureau. There have been 6 new local groups that have started since Live! 2002. Getting involved with a local user group is a great way to acquire some of the learning that is needed to continue to grow your career with Oracle.

In the Oracles of Oracle session, there were (as usual) several Top 10 lists. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that they were probably funnier to the people at the conference. "That's no dolphin, it's a catfish" will mean more to anyone who's seen the Disney Dolphin Hotel logo but was one of the top 10 things overheard at Live! 2003.

The oracles themselves were cetainly challenged on everything from platform selection to career advice, from PL/SQL to 9i RAC. My favorite question, which I think should be mandatory for all future Oracles to answer, was "What is your biggest hope for Oracle?"

- Get rid of destructive patches.

- Improve installation for 9iAS.

- Default Index Tablespace.

- Speed up Portal.

- More maturity in the Warehouse Builder tool.

The range of topics and questions in this session was, I think, fairly reflective of the variety of sessions available at the conference itself. The fact that the members of this panel could identify things they would like to see improved, is a good sign that they are paying close attention to the technology and using it in ways that stretch it further and find limits.

I'll wrap it up here. It has been fun keeping you in the loop and getting your feedback. I hope you have enjoyed reading my daily updates. I also hope you will let me know what you thought about them at