Second Day of the Miracle DB Forum, Edinburgh

Today was Day Two of the Miracle DBF up at Edinburgh Castle, and for those of us that got a reasonably early night it was a Nine O'Clock start with Mogens Norgaard on "You Probably Need RAC". Following on from Mogens was Dan Fink with "No Mogens..." and James Morle with "Brewing Benchmarks".

After lunch was a talk on tuning multi-tier J2EE applications, plus Jonathan Lewis on Understanding Statspack reports. I was particulary keen to hear Jonathan's talk on Statspack - the general orthodox view nowadays seems to be that Statspack is worthless due to the fact that all the data is averaged and aggregated across all sessions, whereas Jonathan gave some good examples of where it can be useful - principally, because it lets you look back to a previous period of time, whereas SQL traces have to be specifically enabled and put in place in the hope that the issue will happen again in the future. Interestingly, Graham Wood was in the audience and also gave a talk ("You Probably Don't Need SQL Trace") that looked at ASH and showed how it got around this issue, gave the same aggregated results as Statspack but also lets you drill down by session, application, time period and so on. Overall, a very good set of presentations, thanks to Thomas for arranging everything.

I had a brief chance to look around Edinburgh and specifically the Royal Mile, and yet again spent the early evening in the Jolly Judge just down the road.

Like all these sorts of events, the presentations themselves have only been part of the attraction; I also got the chance to spend a bit of time with old friends such as Doug Burns, Lisa Dobson and Alex Gorbachev, plus I got the time to chat with people such as Dan Fink, Julian Dyke, Simon Kelsey and of course Thomas Presslie about everything Oracle and how they're getting on with the projects they're working on. Tomorrow, I've got a day's leave and I'm going up north with Thomas and few others on the "Whisky Adventure", then it's back to work to get on with preparation for the next round of the seminars and to catch up with some of our customers. Overall, a great few days, as usual learnt a lot, and a good chance to catch up with others in the Oracle database world.

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