Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day two ... expanding horizons

... and the planned schedule is definitely out the window. With some interesting results and inputs.

I've been using my iPod Touch to keep up with email and web access. My calendar, my schedule for Open World, my customers, even my web cam from home - all on the iPod. The network here is pretty loaded and things can be slow. So, based on some reading about iPod Touch performance challenges, last night I started the upgrade to my iPod Touch. Due to the hotel network, that aborted. This morning, I come to Moscone Center early to complete the install. As an official blogger, I have access to the Press Room and Blogger's Lounge, which is where I decided to do the upgrade. About 45 minutes before my first session for the day is to start.

What I did not realize - there was a press Q&A scheduled around Social CRM and the changes in CRM over the past several years, including the latest things introduced by Oracle. Of course my upgrade - with dire warnings about not unplugging before it's complete - is running during the Q&A. So I listened in.

Interesting topic, and I was surprised to find out how close the topic is to the heart of this techie. Social CRM, in a nutshell, is a simple expansion of the Birds of a Feather concept we all have used for ages - people like to deal with, socialize with, and trust, people who have similar interests. So why not use CRM-oriented data mining to help customers meet relevant customers, as well as help companies understandf what is indeed relevant to customers. I found this interesting because I am both a customer who loves to meet other like-minded customers to share ideas, and because I am a techie who may be asked to manage the the mining tools and the database from which this is mined. I suspect DBAs will be asked about this stuff in the near future.

After that session, I headed over to Marriott and enjoyed Tom Kyte's keynote. Tom's theme was one some of us are very familiar with - the best way to do anything in Oracle depends on the real question. As always, Tom's ideas got me to thinking, especially in two areas: today's best practices can easily become tomorrow's myths, so retest our facts frequently; and yesterday's myths could easily become today's best practices.

Tom's presentation fits in nicely with somethings I've blogged about and frequently presented about - ROT or Rules Of Thumb. Every Rule Of thumb is based on (often unstated) assumptions and when those assumptions are violated, the result is a pile of rot. The assumptions that forced us away from things last version might no longer be valid due to changes in technology. Or the assumptions that caused us to use certain techniques yesterday might no longer be valid - such as having few users, few schemas and relatively small data sets, potentially encouraging separation of index from data to simulate manual striping for performance ... as compared to ASM, logical volume management, disk striping and SAME invalidating that entirely in most situations.

It was certainly nice to see Tom again.

After Tom's session, I headed over to iDevelop Hands-On session for APEX. Due to a logistic mix-up during registation, I managed to lose my Develop track access and could not preregister. So I ended up in the stand-by line for the session. The cutoff to get was the young lady in front of me. So I wandered over to my second choice. a session on SQL Developer and Migration Workshop.

I'd seen the Migration Workbench back in 2001 and 2002. Recently a number of customers have indicated they might need consolidation from a number of different databases. Migration Workbench has finally found a good home under the SQL Developer umbrella. And the demos by Oracle, and the supporting presentation by Finra, certainly opened my eyes. Even more to go home and study. I hope someone get to writing an APress OAK Table book around SQL Developer soon.

After that, I headed over to the Moscone West demoground and got a lot more information about Beehive. I'm still trying to frame my own interpretation about Beehive, as compared to other Oracle products such as WebCenter and others. I need to digest this before I blog about it, but I am definitely looking at that product more seriously. Much more as time goes on, but for now I'd say Beehive is Oracle's only 'consolidated Collaboration Content Server', whereas WebCenter and Portal are 'content consolidators' which could also present Beehive content.

Still to come - something about the OTN Welcome party last night, and the OTN ACE get together tonight. After all, Oracle Open World is all about meeting people ... and regardless of how convenient it is, face to face is still the best form of Social CRM.

(Speaking of which ... where are you Hector Madrid?)

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