OracleWorld 2002 - Tuesday & Wednesday

by Jonathan Gennick

I wrote weblog entries about OracleWorld 2002 on Sunday and Monday, but things got a bit hectic for me on Tuesday & Wednesday. I'm back home now, and following are my thoughts on my last two days of the show.

The only press release I read. Doug Pelton stopped by the O'Reilly booth and dropped off a press release for me to read. Oh boy, thanks Doug! I really enjoy reading press releases (not!). But this one I did read. It's for a product named JAuditor, which audits Java source code for quality. To get comparitive information for their audit reports, Doug and company ran audits of some 50 Java-based open source projects, including: JBoss, Tomcat, and others. If you're interested, here's a link to the JAuditor report on JBoss. Even though it's an ostensibly "objective" report, some of the conclusions still seem subjective. For example, JBoss's highest value for the number of overridden methods is 42. JAudit lists the "Benchmark Best Range" as 0-20. 42 is so far outside that range as to imply a problem. But without knowing the circumstances, how can one really say whether 42 overridden methods is a problem?

The Oak Table Network. I dropped by the infamous "Oak Table" and had enjoyable talks with such luminaries as Cary Millsap, Dan Tow, and Mogens Nørgaard. Dan Tow came up with the name SingingSQL for his consulting firm. I really like that name. May all your SQL sing, and if it doesn't, call Dan.

Oracle Publishing Seminar. Oracle is increasingly reaching out to publishers. Tuesday morning found me at a half-day meeting during which various Oracle VPs expounded on their respective products. Of course, Oracle's hope is that we'll publish books about those products. While it's a two-edged sword, I think it's generally good that Oracle is opening up a bit, as it helps us publish better books. And hey, they gave me this great light-up pen that my kids really like. Also during the Publishing Seminar, I found out that France Telecom has a 65 Terabyte database, which the speaker in question claimed is the largest, single-instance Oracle VLDB database in the world, even eclipsing Walmart's data warehouse.

Java Stored Procedures. My first Wednesday session was on Java Stored Procedures. It was reasonably well-attended: the room, which was quite large, was about 1/3 full and I estimate 150-200 attendees. One tidbit that caught my attention is that Oracle is studying a way to make Java method invocation possible (from SQL and PL/SQL) without the need for a PL/SQL wrapper. The speaker also mentioned one client who successfully supports 3000 simultaneous Java stored procedure users on a single Oracle instance. Hmmm... I need to find out exactly what that speaker meant by "simultaneous".

Best attended session. Paul Tsein's session on Flashback Query, Online Redefinition, and Log Miner, was the best-attended of any session I visited. It was held in one of the large salon's in the Marriott, and the room was packed.

Oracle10i. Some goals I heard from Mark Townsend for Oracle10i include: making Oracle10i a strong bioinformatics platform, making Oracle10i the fastest XML platform on the planet, doubling Oracle10i's performance over Oracle9i.

In the "I get no respect" department, Oracle scheduled interviews in the press lounge during lunch. When I went in looking for a place to sit down and eat my box-lunch (the press lounge has tables and chairs) I got thrown out. And I was attending on a press pass! Don Bales, author of our Java Programming With Oracle JDBC, also was sent packing. I guess there must be press and there must be PRESS. Fortunately it was a nice day out, and I enjoyed lunch while sitting on the cement ledge next to a fountain in the Yuerba Buena Gardens.