COLLABORATE 12 Looms on the Horizon

Mar 28, 2012 / By Michael Abbey

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Many readers of these BLOG posts are seasoned attendees/presenters at this IOUG/OAUG/Quest collaborative event held every spring. User group events are one of the best stomping ground for hungry IT specialists, thirsting for news on late-breaking solutions and more traditional technologies. During my tenure as the Events Director for the IOUG (circa early 21st century), two common items delivered in evaluations from attendees were:

  1. not enough presentations targeted to beginners
  2. more focus needed on the traditional technologies

Pythian, for one, and many other companies are delivering content to satiate the appetite of attendees looking for these types of presentations. Bottom-line –> we are all beginners in corners of the Oracle technology of which we have little or no experience. I first got my hands dirty with the Oracle technology in 1986. This was a late release of version 3, around the time that 5.1.22 was their flagship product. For those of you who remember that landmark release, it was a rock upon which many emerging DBA personnel cut their teeth with the bi file and ior s and ior i :). In 1997 or so, Oracle announced plans to have a major RDBMS release every four years, leading to 9i ~ 2001, 10g ~ 2004, and 11g ~ 2007. As much as adopters of their technologies would hope, it is impossible for the install base to move 100% with the emerging technologies as they and the vendor would prefer.

For this reason, presentations about “older” technologies have a place at all software conventions, especially those user group-based. Pythian supports clients using a wide range of Oracle releases from 8i all the way up to 11g. If I looked under the covers of some clients’ metadata, I would likely find ones still using Oracle7 and maybe even V6. My point: There is a spot at shows in the COLLABORATE¬† realm of user group events for presentations that discuss technologies that, in the scheme of things, may be “old-school” but still have widespread adoption in the client base.

Papers/presentations aimed at beginners are another can of worms. I attended a beginner’s session on RAC last year in Orlando and was overwhelmed in the first 10 minutes by the depth and breadth of the material. The presenter was a world-renowned RAC expert with an avid following in the Oracle space as well as a second-to-none knowledge of this corner of Oracle’s technology. What was beginner’s material for this person was way too advanced for little old me :). My solution was to submit an abstract called “RACing Up the Miles as a Beginner”, which I will be giving on Wednesday April 25 at 11:00am eastern in room 4 (check the daily agenda updates as this may/could change). The raison d’√™tre for this paper is to give beginners a bare-bones intro to RAC, discussing a few (I do mean a few :)) memory-related concepts, a few architecture items, and a brief intro to srvctl and crsctl.

See you at COLLABORATE. I will be the guy walking around with Pythian and Michael Abbey on my badge. Stop me in the hall; I love meeting new faces at these shows…

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