Sunday, September 30, 2012

OOW : Day by Day blog or Not

Today Sunday is the first full day for Oracle Open World. Although parts of it started on Saturday with the MySQL conference as was as a number of other briefing type session throughout the day and evening.

One thing that I will not be doing over the course of the next 5 days is to give a day by day account of the different sessions that I attended nor will I be giving updates on what was announced at OOW.

There will be plenty of announcements and there will be many thousands of people who will be tweeting, blogging and writing all kinds of articles about the these.

When the conference finishes up next Thursday I will take some time to write a blog post on what were the main announcements for me and in particular for the Oracle Analytics Option and suppose the whole area people call BIG Data.

The first IOUG BIG Data SIG meeting will be on Tuesday morning from 8:45-9:45, Moscone West, Level 3, Overlook 3.

The main presentation on the Oracle Advanced Analytics Option will be on Wednesday by Charlie Berger (Sr Director for Advanced Analytics). In addition to this presentation there will be a number around the whole ORE and BIG Data. This will rounded off by the Keynote on Thursday morning. Yes that is the morning after the big social event on Wednesday night with Kings of Leon and Peal Jam.

One thing that I will be doing each day will be posting a new review of old Oracle Magazine. So check in daily for those.

The next 5 days will be a bit manic as I try to gain learn lots. The problem here is that my interest span a number of areas. OK the main one is the Oracle Advanced Analytics and BIG Data, but I also have DBA and Developer skills/interests too.

Review of Oracle Magazine–May/June 1997

The headline articles for the May/June 1997 edition of Oracle Magazine were focused on the release of Oracle 8, with articles on the new features, how Boeing and Arizona Start University are using Oracle 8 to create a plane for the future, and some articles on using object technology in Oracle 8.

I remember back in 1994 Oracle bought an OODBMS company with the aim of ‘if you cannot beat them then buy them’. The Object Relation project of Sedona was born and the first of the deliverables from the project was in Oracle 8.


Other articles included:

  • The key benefits of Oracle 8 Server (The Database of Network Computing) can be grouped under Scalable, Available, Object-Relational, Large Scale, Distributed, Secure and Evolutionary.
  • The new features of Oracle 8 have been in new or better functionality for OLTP, Data Warehousing, Parallel Server, Object-Relational (code named Sodona), Partitioning, Backup and Recovery, Connectivity, Replication, NCA Framework and Migration.
  • Oracle announces that they have licensed Borland Java tools and we now have the birth of JDeveloper and the world of ADF will come along many years later.
  • The Industry Applications Division (IAD) of Oracle announce new applications and releases. These included: Oracle Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) 2.2, Oracle Government Financials, Oracle Energy 3.1, Oracle Clinical 3.1, Oracle Environmental 4.5 and Oracle Health and Safety 2.0.
  • Kumaran Systems, releases a tool that will convert all your reports written in RPT (ReportWriter, which was very similar to PL/SQL) to Reports 2.5.  I really liked RPT. It was quick and you could do a lot with a few lines of code. Converting to Oracle Reports took a bit of getting used to. As a lot of the work you had to put into developing the report revolved you having to play with frames and anchoring box positions. Oh I still have the scares.
  • Los Angeles County uses Oracle 7.1 to help it manage its environmental applications.
  • How to defined and use Summary tables in your Oracle Data Warehouse.
  • Oracle launches a new magazine for its users call Profit and is aimed at the CFO and CIO market.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What to do with your Freebies from Oracle Open World

With 50,000+ people attending Oracle Open World (and associated other conferences) between 30th September and 4th October, and with over 400 exhibitors, there should lots of freebies available.

What do you do with all of these things like pens, pencils, notebooks, memory sticks, t-shirts, pen pots, stress balls, etc. ?

Do many of these items get given away as presents, gives to your colleagues, or at some point end up in the refuge collect, land fill or recycle centre ?

Why not give these items to primary and secondary schools in Africa?


Over the past couple of years I have been collecting some of these kind of things to send out to schools in Africa. What I try to do is to wait until I have enough items that can kit out students in a class with pens, pencils and notepads for a year.

There is no corporate sponsorship of this project that is called Tech Gear for the 3rd World.  I just ask for people to send me their spare items or old corporate items (due to rebranding etc.).  I look after identifying what schools to send the items too, packaging of the items and I pay for the shipping of the parcels to the schools.

So after visiting Oracle Open World you have suitcase full of stuff, or if you are an exhibitor and you have items left over, why not send them to Tech Gear for the 3rd World.

Click here for more details and postal details.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oracle Magazine Collection

Are you going to Oracle Open World & have old Oracle Magazines.
I’ve been working in the Oracle World for 20 years now. During that time I’ve been collecting the print editions of Oracle Magazine since 1992.
I have all the Oracle Magazines from 1998, but I’m missing some of the editions prior to 1998.

Can you help me complete my collection ?   (I promise that you wont find them on ebay!!)

What I would really like to do is to have a print copy of every Oracle Magazine going back to the very first one in June 1987. To see the electronic version of the first edition, which was very kindly made available by Cary Milsap, click here.

So in the run up to Oracle Open World could you have a look to see if you have any of my missing editions or any of the early editions. I can collect them off you are Oracle Open World.

If you have a look through my blog you will see that I’ve been posting a review of some of the early editions of Oracle Magazine. Ideally at some time in the future I will have a review of all the Oracle Magazines available.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Oracle Open World Schedule

Oracle Open World is fast approaching. Over the past couple of weeks I have been using the schedule builder tool to work out what sessions I would like to attend.  Unfortunately there are LOTS of sessions I would love to attend but I haven’t worked out a way to be in 10 places at the same time.

When attending a conference I try to achieve a number of things. These are find out about new topics/features, benchmark my knowledge of existing topics, try some of the hands-on labs, try something new and do something completely different. This will be my challenge at Oracle Open World.


There are a number of other people from Ireland who will be attending OOW, and there are some plans to have an Ireland social event. Plus there is lots of meetings/catch-ups planned too with people I know from the virtual Oracle world.

There will be some people from AIB who will be presenting at OOW. Their presentation will be on the Tuesday morning 10:15-11:00.  I’ll be there.

Other social things that are on include the Oracle ACE dinner, the Oracle Music festival, with Kings of Leon playing support to Pearl Jam on the Wednesdays night.

It is going to be a busy week, an enjoyable week, a week of learning new things and finding out lots of what the 12c database will be like. 

Will I get time to go to everything ?  The simple answer is NO.  So I will just have to try to get to another Oracle Open World soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review Oracle Magazine–Sept/Oct 2006- 20th Anniversary

The Sept/Oct Oracle Magazine from 2006 was the 20th Anniversary edition.

The main articles were focused on Security, Unstructured Data, Using Ajax, Partitioning (this is a regular topic), Application Express and there was the regular articles from Tom Kyte and Steven Feuerstein



There was only one article focusing o the 20th Anniversary of Oracle Magazine, written by Jeff Spicer and gave a brief overview of how the magazine has progress and the main technologies. The highlights included

  • Oracle Magazine emerged in 1987 from the original newsletter that was issued every quarter
  • In the 1990's the magazine grew in size and was primarily focus on how Oracle customer were using the products
  • By the late 1990 the magazine evolved into have a number of distinct sections focusing on the wide range of products that Oracle now owned
  • Then into the 2000 Oracle magazine stated to introduce more user focused features. With this we get more user group news and features on community members.
  • Tom Kyte joins with a regular column in 2000
  • Back in 2006 Oracle magazine has a readership of nearly 1 million.

In the November/December 2011 Oracle Magazine, Tom Haunert give an brief history of Oracle Magazine, over its 25 year history

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Scott/Tiger in Oracle

Almost everyone starting out with Oracle have come across the schema SCOTT.

So who was SCOTT?

Bruce Scott was employee number 4 at Oracle back in the 1970s and was part of the team responsible for architecting and writing version 1, 2 and 3 of the Oracle Database.

So he set up the first schema for testing and demo-ing how to use SQL in the Oracle Database. The EMP and DEPT tables and the data that we still see in this schema is still based on the original data that he created.

How did he come up with the TIGER password ?  Tiger was the name of his cat!!!

Sten Vesterli of Scott/Tiger Explaining about Usability (and other) Superheroes

Sten Vesterli of Scott/Tiger Group

Bruce co-founded Gupta Technology (now known as Centura Software) in 1984 with Umang Gupta, and later became CEO and founder of PointBase, Inc.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine- January/February 1997

The January/February 1997 edition of Oracle Magazine was the “10th Anniversary Special Edition”. They were celebrating a little bit early as it should be the June/July edition, as the first Oracle Magazine was published in June 1987.  This edition says that Oracle Magazine started in 1986. So there is a little bit of confusion on when Oracle Magazine started. Some people say Oracle Magazine started before the first edition, as there was a regular-ish newsletter for a couple of years before the June 1987 edition.

The January/February 1997 edition had its contents divided into two main sections. The first of these sections was on the typical articles you would find in Oracle Magazine and the other section was for a collection of articles for the 10th anniversary.


The articles for the main part of January/February 1997 edition of Oracle Magazine included:

  • Oracle Spatial Data option was released providing a full-function geometry server.
  • Developer/2000 for the Web gets released
  • Discoverer 3.0 beta is released
  • Objects in High Gear looks at object technology and how it is and can be used in our data and applications, with example applications for education and health.

The 10th Anniversary section articles included:

  • Oracle Magazine editor, Leslie Steere, had an article called The Cure for Information Overload. In this article she listed 10 questions that can help you determine if you are from Information Overload Syndrome.
    1. Has your job become unsatisfying?
    2. Do you find yourself unable to make important decisions?
    3. Have you lost the ability to prioritize?
    4. Has your work performance been less than stellar lately?
    5. Have you caught yourself snapping at coworkers?
    6. Do you feel unreasonably anxious at business meetings?
    7. Have your sleep patterns changed for the worse?
    8. Are you drinking and eating more compulsively than usual?
    9. Are you experiencing problems in your important personal relationships?
    10. Are you physically ill more often than usual?
  • Follow the Leaders article had short interviews with some of Oracle’s top executives on the past and future of Oracle. The executive included, Dirk Kabcenell, EVP Product Division Administration, Phil Wilson, SVP Human Resources, Ian Thacker, SVP Oracle UK, Thomas Theodores, VP Corporate Legal, randy Baker, SVP, Worldwide Customer Support and Nimish Mehta, SVP Industry Management.
  • Ken Jacob, VP of Product Strategy talks about about his time at Oracle and his vision for the next 10 years. “What are we going to do over the next few years in online transaction processing? How are we going to incorporate object-based technologies, asynchronous messaging, and multitier architectures. What are we going to do to enhance the data-warehouse features? There’ll be some internal architecture restructuring of the system, but the basic foundation is strong. There is nothing that we need to catch up on, so our task is to just keep moving ahead into the future.
  • Sohaib Abbasi, SVP of Oracle Tools Division, who has been working in Oracle since 1982 and lead up the SQL*Forms development in 1984. He talks about the Oracle Development Tool.
  • An early customer for Oracle was the particle research centre CERN. This article charts how CERN has used Oracle from version 2 to Oracle 8.
  • Kevin Loney gives 10 scripts that every DBA needs for managing the database.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

In my next blog post I will look at the 20th and 25th Anniversary editions of Oracle Magazine.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Events for Oracle Users in Ireland–Winter 2012

Over the next couple months there are a number of events happening for Oracle Users in Ireland.

There are a number of OUG Ireland SIG meetings happening. These are:

11th September : Joint SIG meeting of the BI & EPM SIG and the first Tech SIG meeting

12th September : HCM SIG meeting

20th November : BI & EPM SIG.  This will be a full day SIG event.

3rd-5th December : The annual UKOUG Conference in Birmingham. There is usually a good attendance from Ireland at this conference. On the Monday night there will be the focus pubs. Join me at the Ireland table.

Oracle and the Oracle User Group have arrange to have Tom Kyte come to Dublin on 19th September, to give a number of presentations. Check out this link for more details and how to register.

Oracle will be having an Oracle Technology Day in Dublin on 15th November in the Croke Park Conference Centre. They will be talking about Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Social Media and Big Data. They are also hoping to include some of the updates and product news that will be announced at Oracle Open World in early October. You will need to register for this event.

Summary of Dates & Events to add to your diary.

11th September : OUG Ireland BI & EPM and Tech SIG meeting

12th September : OUG Ireland HCM SIG meeting

19th September : Tom Kyte in Dublin

15th November : Oracle Technology Day

3rd- 5th December : UKOUG Conference in Birmingham.