Oct 1, 2008

My week at Oracle Open World - Part 1

Again, this year, it was very impressive being part of Oracle Open World.
The city was painted in Red and there was Oracle logos everywhere, on the sidewalks, on the busses , on the taxis, literally everywhere.

Here are the higlights of my week in SFO (PART 1 ):

Saturday September 20th
We arrived in San Francisco on Saturday , the flight was ok and everything went smoothly. This year, my colleague Patrick was part of the trip. It was fun being able to share those moments with someone. After our registration , in order to get in the mood of the city, we decided to go for a Cable Car ride and go check Fishermans Warf.

Sunday September 21st
Now it was time for the real thing. Meeting again with Apex related friends. It's always nice to see everyone again .
So we started the day with the "Oracle Application Express SIG: Ask the Experts (IOUG)" session where the panel discussed and answered questions about Apex. It would be a good idea to have this session at the end of the week after all the Apex sessions. Maybe next year.

After I attended the session : "Using Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Application Express to Change Business Practices and Realize ROI" by Anton Neilsen. It was again very interesting to hear real life situations where Apex was used and where the time constraints where very high. Another success story about using Apex and delivering a stable application in a record time.

And then, it was time for Joel Kallman presentation about Globalization. We, at Insum, do use this feature a lot. Here in Montreal, our customers are both French and English speaking. And let me tell you that this is just a great feature. It's not only about translation but about globalization itself. Things like date formats and NLS formats are all available declaratively in Apex out of the box. Today with the web and the opening to the rest of the world ( Open. World ;) ) , I think that this is a must. So again, another great APEX presentation.

During the day, I also had the chance to meet with Paulo Vale. We where both participating in the round table about SAAS with APEX. It is always fun to meet in person with people you only knew through their blog.
We had a lot to share about hosted apex applications. Very interesting to have other points of view. Sometimes, even if you are in different countries and speaking different languages, a lot of things are similar. Especially when you are in the same line of business and using the same technology.

I finished the day at the Welcome Reception. Food, drinks and live music. What more can you ask for ?

Monday September 22nd

On monday morning, it was back to the conferences.
Running from the Mariott Hotel to the Moscone Center West , to Moscone South. That was good exercise.

I attended Deb Groskreutz's presentation "Rapid Development/Validation of Oracle Application Express APplications at an FDA-Regulated Medical Device Firm". Another good real life example of using Apex in projects with limited time and resources.

I also attended Roel Hartman's presentation about "Developing a Real-World Logistic Application with Oracle Application Express". Roel showed some interesting stuff using Ajax and Apex togheter.

On monday, there was also the much expected presentation about "Migrating from Oracle Forms to Oracle Application Express" by David Peake.
I think that this is very interesting. There was a lot of people attending this presentation since I think that most of them already looked at the java opportunity but are still looking for easier path to the web. David did say that Forms will NOT be desupported short term. He also said that this is not a silver bullet solution but a conversion project. That means that it will not convert everything automatically since client-server and web applications are not the using the same approach and functionalities. But this is a great tool to help moving to a web environment. Looks pretty promising and we can't wait to start using it.

Another interesting conference was the "Oracle Application Express Mashup". I learned what a mashup was.
Check out this microsoft product called Photosynth . I also learned about Dapper , Popfly and Yahoo Pipes. You can use all those tools in an Apex application. Oracle Application Express is really opened to all kinds of web technologies. That is very cool stuff.

To finish the day, we went to see Carl Backstrom's presentation "Web 2.0 Development with Oracle Application Express" . I already saw this presentation at ODTUG but this time Carl talked about some new features coming out in 4.0 like the Dynamic Actions (cool). Again, a great presentation. You can check his blog to download the example application. I really like the idea of having access to the tools used to build Apex. With Apex, you have the declarative side and the under the hood side. It's a bit like mini-wheats ! So having access to those low level procedures gives you the opportunity to build what you want. I have some catch up to do with JSON and with javascript. A lot of studying ahead...

And the day finished at the OTN Night. Food, drinks and games ...

Tuesday September 23

On tuesday, after a short night, we started with Tom Kyte's keynote "The Best Way... "
He really has a good approach on how to deal with problems and how to think "Out of the box".
As always, very good presentation. It was nice to attend something not too technical. There were some very nice and funny quotes. I don't remember all of them but one of them goes something like : "One best pratice is NOT to have best practices" , meaning that you cannot rely on best practices with your eyes closed since things are evolving and changing overtime.

Another interesting presentation, was "The Power of the Oracle Application Express Repository" by Patrick Wolf. Patrick showed us the path to heaven ;) Very nice and funny presentation. He explained that with the Apex Repository, you can do a lot of things like QA and even unsupported updates directly in the metadata.

We finished the day at the Apex Meetup. Thanks Dimitri for organizing the meetup !
This time it was drinks, food and friends.

Next post will be about My week at OOW Part 2 ...
I still have some interesting things to talk about : Exadata, Larry Ellison, Appreciation Event, Seal, UB40, Alcatraz , Me at the SAAS Apex presentation ...



Patrick Wolf said...

Hi Francis,

it's good to hear that you liked my presentation!

Hope to see you again at ODTUG Kaleidoscope in Monteray.


Paulo Vale said...

Hi Francis,

It was a nice week!
Also I liked very much to meet you and Patrick.