OracleWorld 2003 - Monday

by Jonathan Gennick

Monday, 8:30AM, San Francisco

It's Monday morning here in San Francisco, and I'm beginning my seventh OracleWorld
. I'm presenting this year, for the first time, so if you're here
attending the conference, please stop by and hear Peter Linsley and I talk about
regular expressions in Oracle. It's session 40105, and it's Tuesday at 5:00PM
in Moscone Room 123
. If you're not at the show, you can read my
on Oracle's new, regular expression features in Oracle Magazine.
For even more details on the topic, order Peter Linsley's and my book, the Oracle
Regular Expression Pocket Reference

Attendence: I haven't seen any official numbers yet, but my perception
is that attendence is low this year. Registration lines weren't as long as in
years past, and there just did not seem to be very large numbers of people milling
about the convention center yesterday. I also note that the conference organizers
plan to close the show floor in mid-day for Larry's keynote tomorrow. I've not
seen them close the expo area like that that before. Is low attendence leading
them to close the expo in order to pack in as many as possible for Larry's talk?

Conference backpack: Every year I go to OracleWorld, and every year
I get some sort of backpack at registration packed full of show materials. Typically
these packs are designed in such a way that they are not useful beyond the few
days of the show. Not so this year. The backpack they gave me yesterday is hands-down
the best OracleWorld backpack I've ever received.

Monday, 1:30PM

Publishing Seminar: I spent the morning in a seminar put on for publishers
and authors that cover Oracle topics. Various Oracle executives talk to us about
their product lines, answer questions, describe what they see as important,
potential book topics, and so forth. Ken Jacobs kicked things off with a fascinating
historical perspective on Oracle. Ken's been around since the days of Oracle2,
and early on was Oracle's representative to the SQL standards committee. I didn't
know this before today, but Ken was instrumental in creating the concept of
database roles (for security) and getting that concept into the ANSI standard.
So whenever you issue a CREATE ROLE statement, think of Ken.

The 2-Day DBA: Is two days enough to learn what it takes to manage a
small-to-medium size Oracle environment? Andy Mendelsohn suggests that it is,
and in fact Oracle is currently developing a "2-Day DBA" course. Given
some reasonable constraints on the size and complexity of the environment, and
especially factoring in all the new, ease-of-use features, I can see where it
might be possible to put forth a methodology for managing a database that could
be learned in a few days. Take backup and recovery as an example. There's plenty
of potential complexity there, but much of it you can choose to ignore. The
very first database I managed, we protected using cold backups, and it was a
development database, so we didn't care about up-to-the-minute recovery. We
had one recovery plan: if we lost anything, we restored the files from the previous
night's backup and restarted the instance. Given that environment, I had no
need to learn about hot-backups, point-in-time recovery, or any other of the
many facets of backup and recovery; we just ignored all that complexity. (Later,
for other projects, I did learn more) For those here at the conference, Ken
Jacobs will be talking more about the new, "2-Day DBA" program in
his Wednesday

Interesting Oracle books: Sam Alapati came up and introduced himself
to me this morning. His book, Expert
Oracle9i Database Administration
, was recently published by Apress. Sam's
a genuinely nice guy, and his book is a real labor of love. It's getting some
good reviews too. Sam's book covers not only Oracle per se, but also some of
the Unix skills you need as a DBA. I might just pick up a copy myself. I also
ran into Kirtikumar Deshpande, who tells me that his next book, Oracle Wait
Interface: A Guide to Advanced Performance Diagnostic & Troubleshooting
Techniques for Oracle
(wow! long title) will be available, I think it was,
late this year. I have a lot of respect for Kirti's knowledge in the area of

That's it for now. I'm off to check on our booth, to make sure it's all set
up and ready to go for this evening. Check back on this page later, because
I'll write more later.