IOUG-A Live! 2002 - Closing Sessions And Wrap-Up

by Stephen Andert

The last afternoon started with Brownies with the Board. This is a good chance to ask the members of the board your deepest, darkest questions . . . about IOUG or the conference. Some things are better left in the dark. They shared information on each of their areas of expertise. I found the following information interesting:

-There were 2,263 total attendees this year including attendees, exhibitors and speakers out of about 10,000 IOUG members.

-The GAP program (Grassroots Alliance Partners) is working with local user groups. This will help make the Oracle community stronger by strengthening the local groups as well as the IOUG.

There was a question on room size and number of handouts compared to the number of people. Some sessions were held in a small room and people were turned away. Other sessions were held in very large rooms with a lot of empty seats. The board said that one way they are trying to get a better handle on expected session size and that if the members use the web planner for the conference, the committee can get a better idea on appropriate room size and number of handouts. I used the planner a bit, but I would have finalized my planning with it if I had realized they could use that information to plan better.

The closing general session is the Oracles of Oracle session that Ian Abramson called the dessert to a great meal. This is an opportunity for the audience to ask for the panelists' opinions on various Oracle topics large and small. This panel was made up of the following experts:

-Michael Abbey
-Mark Kerzner
-John King
-Rich Niemiec
-Tim Quinlin
-Marlene Theriault
-George Trujillo

Some of the questions that were asked along with the answer(s) are here. Some answers shown here are a consensus, while others are from individual members.

Q: What do dba's need to know about Java?

A: Remember PL/SQL? Java is growing in use-learn or be eaten

Q: With all of the 9i self-managing features - what's next?

A: Self-management will be de-emphasized over the next couple years

A: Beginners will use self-managing features.

A: DBA's will use self-managing features for test & dev to free up time for more production tuning and more in-depth mgmt.

Q: How do you get new tips & techniques?

A: Try & figure out how you can use new features.

A: Ask "I wonder what would happen if..." & then try it

A: Metalink

A: Read, read, read

A: Submit a presentation

Q: What is the future of PL/SQL?

A: Will probably be around for a long time

A: There are over 1 million lines of PL/SQL code in Oracle Applications

Q: Is Oracle on Linux becoming more accepted?

A: Yes.

A: Yes as a development environment, less for production.

A: More so in the rest of the world than in North America.

Q: How is security in Oracle 9i?

A: One area of danger is with clients passing passwords in clear text. You can't protect
your database against network sniffers.

A: Read the "How I Broke Into Your Database." paper on

Marlene Theriault has claimed to be retiring after this conference. So this session was her last bow. Will she stay retired or make a triumphant return? Only time will tell. I know that many of us owe a great deal to her for the knowledge that she has shared over the years and she will always be welcome at our events. Thank you Marlene! I hope your trip to Tijuana was fun.

With the terrorist threat last fall and the economic slump that we have been seeing and experiencing, I was curious to see how this year's conference compared to last year. One thing that I noticed and many people that I talked to agreed was that the exhibit floor was much smaller this year. In spite of that, I felt that most the vendors I wanted to get information from were there and had the right people available to answer questions or explain their technology. The Oracle 9i demonstration was very well put together and explained clearly what the new features were and how they could be used.

I liked the birds of a feather idea for the tables at lunch and there were plenty of tables available which was good. An idea that surfaced at Brownies with the Board was to have regional tables as well as topical tables so people could find and meet others geographically near them.

While the attendance numbers were only down a bit from last year, the general feeling was that there were a lot less people. I think this is because the layout and size of the conference center handled the crowd well.

I can say that I didn't sit through any session where I didn't learn something. Many sessions I attended provided me with more than a couple tools, techniques and tips that I am taking back to work.

You get out of most things what you put into them. I feel this is the best opportunity to learn more about Oracle. In fact, this conference will likely be the only training I attend this year. If you went to Live! 2002 and don't feel you got your money's worth, that I ask what you put into it. Did you read abstracts to see which sessions would benefit you most? Did you plan your day? Did you take notes? Did you attend sessions about topics outside your "normal" responsibilities in order to learn about new or diffirent technologies?

I know I enjoyed sharing this week with you and I hope you enjoyed my updates from the conference. If you did, please let me know at

What do you think of conferences like IOUG Live?


Jonathan Gennick
2002-04-20 05:41:18