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Archive for the category “Chi Gung”

At the mother ship: Oracle ACE Director Briefing

Well, I can’t really talk about the meeting (yet) as everything is under NDA until next week (at least), but I can say it is great to get together with the top Oracle practitioners in the world and chat and discuss the issues and solutions in our field. It is like returning to the mother ship.

Oracle HQ - The Mother Ship

Oracle HQ – The Mother Ship

With all the tech talk and product futures, there is also just general catching up, networking, and bonding. Much is learned over pizza and beer.

And we are all following the America’s Cup race with Oracle Team USA trying to keep the cup away from Team New Zealand

I try to do my part in making sure we stay healthy and energized as well by running Chi Gung (Qigong) sessions in the morning before breakfast. Here is a shot of some of us outside this morning:

 

Not the best photo of Chi Gung practice, but what are you gonna do.

Lots more to come this week at Oracle Open World, so stay tuned for some very exciting announcements.

Go Team Oracle!

Kent

Count down to Oracle OpenWorld 2013

The pre-event for this year’s Oracle OpenWorld started over the weekend.

A little event called The America’s Cup. The oldest trophied sport in the world (yachting that is).

For those that don’t know Team USA is the defending champ, and Team USA happens to be sponsored primarily by Larry Ellison and Oracle.

It is a pretty exciting event with the high tech boats they are now using and the first two races got broadcast live on NBC.

The downside, we (Team USA)  lost both races. Bummer. (Looks like we won a race today)

Luckily it is a best 17 series. That runs right up to the start of #oow13.

I will be heading to SFO for the annual ACE Directors’ briefing at Oracle HQ next week before the conference starts so I am hoping to maybe catch one of the last races.

If we win again, I expect all of Larry’s keynotes will at least mention it a few hundred times. The upside is we will get to see some pretty cool highlight clips. 🙂

Speaking of keynotes, if you are attending OOW this year, you can find the times and speakers for the keynotes here.

Looks like Big Data and Club will be the main topics.

Don’t forget to plan on the attending the appreciation event on Wednesday night to see Maroon 5 and The Black Keys. That should be a great concert. Right before that will be the now-annual Blogger’s Meetup.

If you are a blogger, please join us.

Anyone interested in some Morning Chi Gung in the city by the bay during OOW? Follow me on twitter (@kentgraziano) for the where and when.

See y’all soon.

Kent

KScope13 Day Five: C’est Fini!

Yes, the last day of the conference arrived. Many folks got a bit of a slow start as they recovered from the prior evenings festivities (but that is true almost any day in the French Quarter!).

Morning Chi Gung was smaller but still a respectable turnout of 14 people. Some of my participants had already started their trek home, others just could not quite get up… c’est la vie.

Morning Chi Gung participants practicing a  still stance meditation and breathing exercise.

Morning Chi Gung participants practicing a still stance meditation and breathing exercise.

The KScope Social Network

My first session on this final day was Charles Elliott from Rittman Mead, discussing how to do Social Network Analysis with Oracle Tools. He discussion centered around using R and a graphing tool called D2 (www.d3js.org).

Network analysis of KScope contributors and influencers across two tracks.

Network analysis of KScope contributors and influencers across two tracks.

Charles had mined some data (from twitter I think) and then charted some of the connections to determine who were the major influencers related to KScope13 and several of our tracks. My name is up there, but I am a very small dot. You might be able to see in the picture a pretty big dot which is Gwen Shapira, who was not even at the conference this year!

Looks like very cool tech. Not sure where I would use it (yet).

Agile Case Study?

One session I was not too happy with was this one. It was titled as an agile implementation success story but it was (IMO) a veiled pitch for a free addin to SQL Developer.

The entire presentation was a statement of issues in trying to do version control of database objects. And they were all legitimate issues. But there was no case study of a specific project and how they tried to solve the problem. The solution was a product from the speaker’s company that they have developed as an add in to SQL Developer to allow you to control database object check in and check out at the database level.

Nice idea. Looks like it will work.

But, the product is not even available today! It will be release later this summer and is free for up to five users (then I assume it will cost $$).

My beef is that this should have been clearly labeled as a vendor presentation not as a “success” story.

More Crossover

For my last session I went to Stewart Bryson and Edward Roske’s presentation on Innovation in BI: Oracle Business Intelligence Against Essbase & Relational.

This was a great collaborative effort between these two guys who work for companies that might be considered competitors. I am pretty sure this is a KScope first (in many ways).

A KScope 1st: Stewart Bryson and Edward Roske do a joint presentation on using OBIEE against both Essbase and a relation data warehouse at the same time.

A KScope 1st: Stewart Bryson and Edward Roske do a joint presentation on using OBIEE against both Essbase and a relation data warehouse at the same time.

In the end, after some demonstrations of how to do this, they guys left us with a really nice comparison chart on when to use which tool and its relative effectiveness in solving specific problems.

Edward and Stewart came up with this nice chart trying to compare the two technologies on a number of features and functions.

Edward and Stewart came up with this nice chart trying to compare the two technologies on a number of features and functions.

Nice job guys!

C’est Fini

A relatively new KScope tradition is to hold a final closing general session. Here we say farewell to the event and the city with some slides and humorous videos from the week.

We also get to learn who the top five speakers were for the event (as ranked by session evaluations) and who the speaker of the year winner is.

This year the Best Speaker Award went to Edward (don’t call me Ed!) Roske from InterRel.

There was also an award for the best Kscope Ambassador (the one who helped with the most sessions). This went to Mark Becerra.

Congratulations to both!

Attendees at the KScope13 closing session with their KScope14 travel mugs

Attendees at the KScope13 closing session with their KScope14 travel mugs

As a final note we got a great little video welcoming KScope14 to Seattle.

The even bigger news was that we already have sponsors for the 2014 event! Platinum, gold, and sliver level sponsors have already signed! Plus a boat load of exhibitors.

We must be doing something right that they have secured their spot a year in advance.

We have come a long way baby!

The website for Kscope14 is up and running. You can register, submit an abstract, and make your hotel reservation for next year.

So head on over there now while you are thinking of it!  KScope14.com

One Last Shot

I can’t end this series without at least one picture of the great food here in New Orleans. I did eat well!

Ending the conference on a high note with blueberry upside down cake at celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's restaurant NOLA in the French Quarter.

Ending the conference on a high note with blueberry upside down cake at celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant NOLA in the French Quarter.

See you in Seattle (if not sooner)!

Kent

The Oracle Data Warrior

KScope13 Day Four: Agile, Big Data, and a Very Special Event

Mid-week. Hump day. The day of the BIG event for KScope13.

Lots of anticipation for the annual Special Event… (which I will write about in a minute or so)

Morning Chi Gung as usual, but with 24 people showing up. Biggest group this week. We even have a few locals joining us now. Everyone seems to be enjoying these sessions.

KScope attendees starting the day with Morning Chi Gung on the plaza in front of Harahs casino.

KScope attendees starting the day with Morning Chi Gung on the plaza in front of Harrahs casino.

In fact, the Chi Gung class at KScope may be the original cross over session! Attendees are from across the spectrum from DBAs, to developers, to Hyperion/EPM folks to spouses of attendees.

There is something for everyone in Morning Chi Gung.

Kanban and Scrum

Everyone wants to be “agile” these days. Stew Stryker of Dartmouth University came to KScope to share with us his experience in applying first Kanban then Scrum to the software development life cycle in his IT department.

Stew Stryker, from Dartmouth College, discusses how his team has use Kanban, and now SCRUM, to improve their software development process.

Stew Stryker, from Dartmouth College, discusses how his team has used Kanban, and now SCRUM, to improve their software development process.

One of Stew’s insights was that to effectively implement a change in methodology like this and get adoption it is first necessary for the powers-that-be to recognize the current approach (usually water fall) is failing.

If you do not know you have a problem, there is no motivation to fix it, right?

A key recommendation he had was to get a consultant that knows and has implemented Kanban for database projects to come in and work with you. Don’t try to do it by just reading articles and books or going to training. There are too many nuances and organizational dynamics to account for.

A simple comparison of aspects of a traditional waterfall methodology compared to the Kanban approach.

A simple comparison of aspects of a traditional waterfall methodology compared to the Kanban approach.

Another key to succes was to prevent context switching – that is keep everyone focused on the task at hand for the duration of the interval (or sprint). He did a great little exercise with us that really showed how task switching costs a lot of time. In some case up to 10 times longer.

It was great to hear real world experiences that we could all take back to our offices and implement and discuss. His team has experienced some great success but with lots of lessons learned, which he shared.

They have now switch to SCRUM with even more success.

Hands On Lab #2

I attended my second lab of the conference to learn from Maria Colgan (@SQLMaria) on how to prevent sub-optimal plans on SQL Statements.

Oracle Senior Product Manager Maria Colgan walks us through how to analyze and and tune some queries.

Oracle Senior Product Manager Maria Colgan walks us through how to analyze and tune some queries.

It was a great session using the Oracle Demo Days virtual box image again (from OTN). Maria walked us through several queries with Explain Plans that did not seem quite right and showed us how to diagnose and fix the potential problems.

It was a little tough for those of us who have not used Linux/Unix or command line in a few years but I did learn a lot and should be able to apply that knowledge when we have poor performing queries at my clients. Worse case, I can always start up the vm again and run through the lab.

Inside the Oracle 12c Opimizer

Another killer session from Maria showing us enhancements and new features to the query optimizer in the recently released Oracle 12c.

Overview of how adaptive query optimization works on Oracle 12c

Overview of how adaptive query optimization works on Oracle 12c

How the new Adaptive Execution Plans work in Oracle 12c

How the new Adaptive Execution Plans work in Oracle 12c

The key phrase for 12c “self-healing” and “adaptive”. Remember when there were just 17 rules for the optimizer that we could control with the syntax of the query?

Long ago.

I guess this is better, but there are still rules to know to make the optimizer work well.

And Maria definitely knows them!

Big Data

These days every tech event has to talk about big data. KScope13 is no different.

Alex Shlepakov, from Accenture’s Oracle BI practice, gave a nice talk about integrating Hadoop with OBIEE using ODI.

He did a really nice job explaining all the concepts and moving parts and how Oracle addressed these things.

Alex presented about doing big data analysis using Oracle BI tools.

Alex presented about doing big data analysis using Oracle BI tools.

All the Oracle products that support the analysis of data in a Hadoop environment

All the Oracle products that support the analysis of data in a Hadoop environment

Pretty sure these products cost lots of money too! But if you want to get value out of your big data, you may have to spend big money for the tools to help (unless you have a lot of programers with really big brains).

My main take away from this session is that the tools to support Hadoop and big data analysis are evolving to make it easier for most programmers to get to the data without having to be Map Reduce programmers.

But it will still be pretty hard, so you better have a good business case for digging into it.

Special Event (aka the big party)

As in past years, ODTUG really did it up right. This was truly a special event to remember – we went to Mardi Gras World!

The annual Special Event was held at Mardi Gras World where we got to see some of the big floats from the famous parade.

The annual Special Event was held at Mardi Gras World where we got to see some of the big floats from the famous parade.

What a treat to see some of the big floats used in the famous parade. I even found a full scale replica of the Bat Boat tucked away in the back. (There was a huge Batman statue as well)

The Oracle Data Warrior finds Batman's boat!

The Oracle Data Warrior finds Batman’s boat!

The tour of the Mardi Gras warehouse included plenty of bead throwing from the floats by the board of directors and the various KScope vendors. This was followed by a nice evening of drinks and a buffet dinner with lots of great food (even some gluten free and vegetarian options).   There was plenty of dancing to great cover band called The Mixed Nuts.

We finished the evening with a spectacular fire works display (which seems to becoming a standard at this event).

We had a spectacular fireworks display (shot off a barge) at the annual KScope Big Event

We had a spectacular fireworks display (shot off a barge) at the annual KScope Big Event

Over too soon, it was last call, last dance, then back to the buses and a short ride to the hotel.

And then there were the after parties….

Stay tuned for my notes on our final day in New Orleans.

Ciao!

Kent

KScope13 Day Three: Crossing Over in New Orleans

Well Tuesday was another fun and fact filled day at the annual ODTUG KScope conference in New Orleans.

As we do each morning, the first event is Morning Chi Gung. This morning the group grew again to 22 participants who met at 6:45 AM (yes it is early) to walk down the street a few blocks to get in some morning moving meditation. Today we even picked up a few “strays” who joined us (folks not part of the KScope event).

Only in New Orleans would people wander by and join an Ad Hoc exercise and meditation class.

I consider that a sign of success. 🙂

After that is was back to the hotel, breakfast, a quick shower, then my first session.

Hands-on Lab

To start off I went to the SQL Developer Hands-on Lab run by Oracle Product Managers Jeff Smith and Ashley Chen. We had a very nice lab (downloadable from OTN) on how to use SQL Developer for Tuning database queries.

It was very education and useful for me. I even learned a few new options in the tool I had not seen before.

Lunch and Learn

Next, after writing yesterday’s blog post, I got to participate it an ODTUG annual session – the BI Panel Lunch and Learn.

This year they improved it by allowing 30 minutes first for everyone to eat before we started the discussions and questions. Much better (at least for us panelists!).

Quite a good audience for the Oracle ACE BI Lunch & Learn Panel discussion

Quite a good audience for the Oracle ACE BI Lunch & Learn Panel discussion

We had a great and interactive session with lots of give and take and a few somewhat controversial comments from Dan Vlamis to liven things up a bit. Our esteemed moderator, Mark Rittman, did an excellent job of prompting us with relevant questions and controlling the flow of the conversation so everyone had their say. Rounding out the panel was Gurcan Orchan, our resident ODI expert (amoung many other things)

Data modeling sessions

After the panel I went on to see my friend Ashely Chen introduce people to SQL Developer Data Modeler in her Data Modeling 101 session.

Oracle Product Manager Ashley Chen presenting Data Modeling 101 with SQL Developer Data Modeler

Oracle Product Manager Ashley Chen presenting Data Modeling 101 with SQL Developer Data Modeler

Ashley dd a great job setting the stage by showing people what is meant by data modeling and how it fits in the life cycle of developing a database. She then showed many of the basic features of Oracle Data modeling tool.

After Ashley’s session then I had my final presentation on my Top 10 Cool Features in SQL Developer Data Modeler. Ashley and Jeff Smith both attended along with 20-30 other folks as I ran down my list of things I use and like in the tool.

The talk went well with some good questions about the product and how to use it (except for the fact I kinda ran out of time and had to rush the last 3 features). I got some great feedback from Jeff and Ashley on the talk and an excellent suggestion for my next talk. 😉

The Hyperion Crossover Session

This was a KScope first -sessions about topics aimed at people on the other side of the fence. So this session was for database people who know nothing about the Hyperion and Essbase products that Oracle acquired a few years back.

It was an excellent session, even if not highly attended (something about being after the happy hour in the exhibit hall perhaps?).

Andy Jorgenson conducts the first ever Hyperion 101 Crossover Session (for database people)

Andy Jorgenson conducts the first ever Hyperion 101 Crossover Session (for database people)

I learned that they are solving many of the same problems as we database people do but just with a different technology. Some of the terms are used a little differently. For example what they label as BI is much broader than I tend to think of – to them it is basic reporting against an ERP. I tend to associate BI with a data warehouse or a data mart (but the data comes from an ERP or operational system originally).

We also got a full list of some of the pre-packased applications that Oracle provides in this space. Very focused on financial solutions.

During the Hyperion 101 session, Andy discussed all the pre-built packaged analytic application that Oracle offers.

During the Hyperion 101 session, Andy discussed all the pre-built packaged analytic application that Oracle offers.

The really cool thing I learned was what Essbase stands for:

Extended SpreadSheet dataBASE

Very telling!

After that it was off to another fine dining experience in the French Quarter.

Probably not going to lose weight on this trip!

C’ya! Tomorrow I should be reporting on our big event!

Kent

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