Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday morning

Lineups, lineups, all I want is lineups. To be expected! there are 43,000 people registered to attend. To put that into perspective, that's just a bit short of the size of my home town next to Edmonton ... all of us in the core of San Francisco.

Like last year, Judy Sims welcomed us to the opening keynote. She described some of the changes based on the feedback from last year. Wow - the improvements are amazing. Oracle really does listen, from balancing between greening the conference vs usability (conference book is about 1/2 the size and weight from last year ... saved 965 trees over last year) to dedicated exhibition hall time and more Unconference sessions.

Highlights from Charles Phillips' keynote: "A year of Innovation" "$3B investment in R&D" "50 acquisitions in 44 months" "84K employees" "Complete. Open. Integrated." "Being number 1 helps Oracle help us [customers] by being able to invest."

Keys in the Vertical Apps are: Define solution map by industry and buy/build to that map and then standardize the integration through Application Integration Architecture. Think "Packaged Applications of the 90s become Packaged Integrations of the new millennium"

Keys in the Horizontal apps (Fins, CRM) are: Get feedback from customer

Keys in Middleware: FMW 10gR3 & EPM 11gR1. Going forward, more integration with BEA. Announcing JDeveloper 11g, ADF 11g, TopLink 11g available this week. Announcing FMW on the Amazon Cloud. Announcing Beehive to replace(?) Collaboration Suite.

Beehive is a ground-up communication/coordination/collaboration server. (Collaboration Suite, in spite of it's tremendous promise, was one of the most difficult to set-up and administer products in the Oracle toolchest. Beehive is supposed to be pre-integrated.)

Beehive looks very interesting and should be extremely useful, especially when the desktop sharing capability is released. It includes automatic IPR and security, so deleting or removing access to a file will be enforced even for remote copies.

After the install and administer issues, the biggest headache I had with Collab Suite was the dependence on Microsoft product. The Charles/Chuck demo so far only shows using Microsoft Outlook as the client. If Oracle truly believes in Linux, they need to show support for Linux desktops - I run KDE and most classes I teach use gnome - so I'll be asking about that in the demogrounds.

The discussions around Database (new options, such as the "Times ten" cache), Infrastucture (innovation around Linux with BTRFS and CFS, VM and Enterprise Manager) flew by.

The final announcement is "My Oracle Support", which seems to be a Flash-based, Web 2.0 version of Metalink, is now available. Since this is personalized suupport, there should be a lot of interest in this area.

Seemingly in keeping with the theme of integration, NetApp's keynote is appended to the end of the opening. The theme of that presentation is 'innovation in tech' - very interesting discussion around technology innovation helping ROI. Key ideas: overprovisioning, deduplication, thin cloning. From a ROI perspective the topic of the presentation was interesting. From the number of people heading out during the talk, I note that Open World still cuts across many parts of the customer base - honestly, how many techs care about business cases.

Summary ... the obvious theme is 'progressive innovation'. (Which may not make for much spectacular splash.) The one take-away for me is it's time to look when I'll upgrade my Collab Suite licenses to Beehive.

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