Beta-Testing Oracle 11g

Jun 14, 2007 / By Christo Kutrovsky

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Have you ever been in a room full of people that cheer every time they get an ora-600? Have you ever been in a room where you would say, “And now let’s corrupt that disk and see what happens,” and people would gather around you?

Let me tell you the story of the on-site beta testing of Oracle 11g, where success is measured by the number of times you caused Oracle to misbehave. And let me tell you, it’s very hard to do so, even in the beta. It takes a specific mindset and a bit of adjustment to get in the mood to make things not work.

I am very happy that Oracle decided to organize these beta events, and I am honoured to be part of the testing team. In my day-to-day work, I always try to make things work. I always look for stability using proven technology. But during the Oracle on-site beta testing sessions, I tried the newest technology, fresh out of the oven. I looked at slides describing something awesome, then I got to try it. Right away, on the spot.

I had the people who created it behind my back watching me testing it. Sometimes I felt like a lab mouse being shown a new brand of cheese, with each bite being observed. And then, if I managed to get an error message, the creators were all interested in how I broke it. The opposite of my day-to-day life.

Oracle 11g is a significant release, not so much for the new features added, but more for the perfection of the existing ones. Work has been done to improve almost every aspect of how the database works.

You’ve seen what I have to say about Enterprise Manager. I used to dislike it, because it didn’t offer anything extraordinary. In Oracle 10g, it was borderline. In Oracle 11g, Enterprise Manager has become a key component.

I’ve been quiet for the last few months, as things have been pretty busy here at Pythian. Now I have some new resources, so I will have more time for blogging. 11g will get the attention it deserves.

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