Every year, ODTUG shows why Kaleidoscope is the premier conference for the technical hacks in all of us. I can't remember a time when I learned so much, had so many great conversations, and felt more at home than this year. The content was spectacular across the board, and even though Open World is looming large on the horizon, I already feel excited about Long Beach in (roughly) 365 days.
Mike Durran's talk on Monday about the new OBIEE 11g features was enlightening. We've seen some of the features in the beta release, but having Mike demonstrate the OEM integration, security improvements, and general industrialization of OBIEE was eye-opening. As Rittman Mead has been instrumental in implementing the 10g release of OBIEE for clients over the years, and working with those clients (and the world at large via the blog) to try and circumvent some of the limitations in the current product, it's good to see that Oracle is listening to the needs of their clients. Mark's presentation on the internals of the BI Server was great as usual. I've seen this content before, but it was enjoyable to revisit. The academic approach Mark took in trying to define the sometimes undocumented behavior of the BI Server shows the right way to approach product-discovery.
Also good to see was David Allan's presentation on "right-time" loading with Oracle OWB 11gR2. David knows this product as well as anyone, and he has a handle on what the product can do now as well as what clients want to see in the future. David demonstrated that OWB can make use of GoldenGate in a (reasonably) uncomplicated way. He also knows his way around a pint of Guinness (Scot's drink Irish stout?), and though I got less sleep than I should have, I had more fun than I deserved. I also learned quite a bit from Holger Friedrich's presentation on Pushing the Envelope with OWB. I always get questions from clients about how to properly do SCM with OWB, and I think now I just might start handing them a copy of Holger's presentation. Really, really good stuff Holger.
My session on New Data Warehousing Features in 11gR2 was well-attended, and I think it delivered some good content around parallelism-enhancements, summary management improvements, and cool new tricks with SQL Analytics. I think the LISTAGG function was of particular interest... so that old workhouse STRAGG now has a shorter shelf-life. That's OK... I'm sure Tom is tired of answering questions around it anyway. I'd like to thank Tim Tow of AppliedOLAP for giving me a great introduction.
I enjoyed the BI Panel moderated by Mark, and all the panelists and attendees had a good chance to discuss the future of BI within Oracle. Again we had Mike Durran, together with Bob Ertl, Joe Leva and Holger Friedrich. The contrasting perspectives of implementors and product managers rounded-out a great discussion, and I saw Bob take numerous notes about what customers are hoping for in the future direction of OBIEE.
Finally was the OWB Deep-Dive this morning with myself, Mark and Holger. It was a last-minute replacement for a cancelled session, but I think the content was very good and well-received. We rarely get a chance to go in-depth in our sessions, nor answer questions for half an hour either. The attendees were all familiar faces from our other sessions for the whole week, and we appreciate their dedication for seeking out the session even though it wasn't in the session catalog, for getting started with us at 8:30 in the morning, and for sticking with us for three hours.
Thanks to Maria Colgan, Jean-Pierre Dijcks, Holger Fiedrich, Mike Durran, Mark Rittman and David Allan for the extra-curricular activities. I think I'll sleep in late tomorrow.