Into the Great Wide Oracle OpenWorld …

Sep 28, 2011 / By Michael Abbey

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Yes, a deliberate take on Tom Petty’s “Into the Great Wide Open”; fitting since he is playing at the conference on the Wednesday night. As OOW approaches. I want to re-share some of my trivia/coincidental facts about Oracle with you; some have heard this before.

  1. The closest airport to Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores California is at San Carlos, whose call letters are SQL. The locals in that neck of the woods claim this is just a coincidence.
  2. One of the underlying packages that support Oracle’s PL/SQL engine is called DIANA. Many, myself included, have always wondered who may have had a horse or even a dog by that name. The fact is that one of the letter “A”s in the name is from the programming language called Ada, developed for/on behalf of the US Department of Defence (DoD) between 1977 and 1983.
  3. Rumour has it that one of the differences between Oracle V6 and Oracle7 was that King, owner of a row in the famous EMP/DEPT/BONUS/SALGRADE set of demo tables, reported to Blake in V6 but was promoted to Clark’s department in Oracle7.
  4. In the middle of the versions of Oracle V6, there was a release for VAX cluster (parallel server) numbered 6.2. At about the same time, the balance of the install base was running 6.0.33. About the time the next release was out (think it was 6.0.36), the two versions were “married” at which point all were on the same version regardless of whether on VAX cluster or something else. Hence, VAX cluster installations upgraded from 6.2 to 6.0 … maybe better called an updowngrade.
  5. I had the pleasure of attending 3 consecutive European Oracle Users Group events from 1993-1995 in Vienna, Maastricht, and Firenza. In Vienna, Oracle UK had a Monday night party in the basement of an old cathedral. It was crowded and there was little room for people to sit and quaf the delicious food and drink. All of a sudden Jim Abrahams, the the Chairman of the Board of Oracle, arrives and it is obvious there is no place for him to sit. In comes a handful of servers and moves around the furniture to accommodate the new arrival, at which point I exclaim ” I think it is very appropriate that when the Chairman of the Board of a relational database company arrives, one starts to alter tables.
  6. Speaking of Maastricht, when the user group executives attended the show in the Netherlands in 1994, they signed a “moving-forward” agreement with Oracle. The rest of the world thinks of the Treaty of Maastricht (February 1992) marked the soon-to-be-formation of the European Union (EU). We know better–the treay made official a long relationship founded on co-operation between Oracle and the suer groups representing its install base.
  7. Readers familiar with the INDEXFILE parameter in traditional export/import can thank Oracle’s vast user community for that feature. Rumour has it the parameter was used in the lab by developers to assist final code testing for many years. Once we got a hold of the fact this parameter existed and started to use it, Oracle “officially” put it in the product. It changed to SQLFILE in data pump as release 10g first appeared in 2005.
  8. Readers who have been using the product since the 80′s may remember a 5 1/4″ floppy with a program called SQL*Tutor on it which was an intro to the then pre-SQL*Plus product called UFI (use-friendly interface). Guess who is credited with writing that tutor … do the initial LJE mean anything to you … Lawrence J. Ellison?

That’s it for me … looking forward to additions/corrections any of you may have …

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