I've been quiet for the past few months, mostly due to a lack of time. However to try to kick things back off again, I'll do a report on my attendance at the AUSOUG conference in Melbourne last week.
This isn't on the same scale as OpenWorld, with attendees measured in the hundreds rather than tens of thousands, but it is the closest I'll come on my budget. Being a contractor, no-one else will pick up the tab for events like these. However it is an opportunity to find out what's happening in and around Oracle, and the conference does manage a few Oracle 'names'.
Mark Townsend presented on Oracle database's future, and I was interested in heaing about 11g. Like OpenWorld, there was the disclaimer about 'what you see and here isn't guaranteed to actually ever turn up', which is fair enough. However the big ticket item does seem to be the 'editioning feature' for upgrading applications without downtime. It will be interesting to see how that pans out, but also how we might need to cater for it from a configuration/change/version management point of view.
The other nice feature is the SQL and workload 'replay' that will allow for some decent performance testing/impact assessment.
For the next session, I considered 'Understanding Oracle RAC' in the DBA thread, but the session prerequisites included an....'understanding of RAC', so rather than get caught in a recursive loop I opted for the 'Rough Guide to Data Warehousing', so I may still be a bit lost on what an interconnect is, but I now know that a slowly moving dimension isn't something requiring Captain Kirk and a pointy-eared science officer.
After lunch, I went for Penny Cookson's Apex hands-on workshop. A an ex-Forms developer trying to keep away from Java, I like the sound of Apex, and this was a good introduction. I've still got half the workshop guide to finish off, and then its just a matter of thinking of the snazzy little application I can build to make me into the next Youtube.
I finished off the day with a Connor McDonald talk. While I've got his book, I'd guessed from his 'co.uk' domain name that he was based in the UK. Apparently he works out of Perth in Western Australia. His presentation 'Once around the block' was a informative talk on the contents of the Oracle database block. From a developer perspective, I may not USE anything I learned there, but I LIKE knowing, for example, that the data block points directly to the 'undo' block that reverses the last change (which will in turn point at the one that reverses the previous change) and how the transactions are actually listed on the block.