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ODTUG KScope: Day 5 – Happy Trails

Well the final day of KScope12 finally arrived and it was another hot one with the final sessions and the Texas heat. Another bright red sunrise greeted us as it has all week.


Today I managed to get a picture of the group that showed up for Chi Gung every day at 7 AM. We even had some new people today (officially the last day). They all enjoyed the sessions and learned (hopefully) enough to practice a bit once they return home.

I am grateful to all the participants for showing up early each morning with enthusiasm and a willingness to try something new. It made my job to lead them much easier. (There will be a You Tube video sometime next week for people to review, so stay tuned)

The first order of business for the day (after Chi Gung) was the official KScope closing session. Even though there were still two sessions to go afterward we had the closing at 9:45 AM. We were entertained, yet again, with some photo and video footage taken throughout the week, including one interview with me! We also learned who got the presenter awards for each track and for the entire event.

Then we all got beads to remind us to go to KScope13 in New Orleans.

Next was my final session for the event: Reverse Engineering (and Re-Engineering) an Existing Database with Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler.

I had a surprising number of people for the last day after the closing session. I think there was about 70 people wanting to learn more about SDDM. Apparently most people are unaware of the features of the tool (which I have written about on several posts).

So, that was nice.

Finally I went to JP Dicjks talk about Big Data and Predicting the Future.

His basic premise is that we should now never throw away any data as it all can be used to extend the depth of analytics. We can react to events in real time and proactively change outcomes of those events.

The diagram above shows the basics of one way that data moves through the world and into the Hadoop file systems. I am oversimplifying but it is a cool diagram.

Part of the challenge is uncovering un-modeled data. I guess that is where the recent Oracle acquisition, Endeca, comes in with their Data Discovery tool (again oversimplifying) .

And that was pretty much it for the show. It was a great week with lots of learning and networking (and tweeting). We all had a good time and learned enough to make our heads explode.

I look forward to meeting folks again next year at KScope13 in New Orleans.


ODTUG KScope12: Day 4 – Another Day in Paradise

Well folks, it is really late/early so, for now I am just putting up some pictures without a lot of detail.

This was the sunrise that greeted me on the way to Morning Chi Gung. Going to be another hot one!


This is the view of the bluff and waterfall that we see every day when we practice Chi Gung on the lawn. Very soothing and relaxing. It definitely enhances the experience and feeling of connectedness to the earth.

First session of the day was Maria Colgan (the optimizer queen) talking about Tuning SQL in a Data Warehouse. A huge amount of information to digest. Mostly over my head but very useful for a data warehouse dba.

She did however forget her glasses this morning and could not really see the people in the back row too well. 🙂

Next up was Mr. Kevin McGinley (BI Track Lead) giving us his thoughts about Exalytics and what is meant by “Speed of Thought”.

This is a picture of his four kids before the session. They did Kevin’s introduction today. Quite cute.

Not sure where they got it from (just say’n). 😉

After Kevin’s entertaining talk, I went to see John Jeffries talk about Oracle Golden Gate. John is one of the world experts on Golden Gate having published the Oracle Golden Gate 11g Implementer’s Guide.

John had a nice diagram (below)  of what you can use Golden Gate for. Very useful.

After lunch I went to see Dr. Holger Friedrich who gave us a comparison between ODI 11g (Oracle Data Integrator) and OWB (Oracle Warehouse Builder). OWB is going away in the not too distant future so it is important for OWB shops to get a handle on it and start to lean about ODI. This presentation was a great start.

Holger is a very interesting and intelligent guy. He is from Switzerland and holds a PhD in Robotics and Machine Learning.

Not sure how he ended up doing Oracle data warehousing.

Tonight was our BIG EVENT: Dinner and Rodeo and Dancing at the Knibbe Ranch. It was hoot!

Here I am with my armadillo. I actually “won” an armadillo race.

We had a great BBQ dinner and a great country band to listen to. Hard find a bad band in this neck of the woods.

After dinner was the main event: rodeo. This is the big show: The board of directors for ODTUG got to ride into the arena on horseback for the opening ceremonies of the rodeo. It did appear that Edward Roske (conference chair) really knew how to ride a horse.

That’s it for now. I have to sleep a little before Morning Chi Gung. Then I have my last presentation tomorrow morning.

Good thing I tested everything and got ready before going to the special event.

Check back in a day or so as I will fill in some details on the technical presentations.

Adios for now.


ODTUG KScope12: Day 3 Recap. More Fun in the San Antonio Sun

Well it was another HOT day in San Antonio, Texas at the 2012 ODTUG KScope conference.

Really.. it was.

It was something like 104 degrees outside with a Heat Index of 107.


But it was more like 65 degrees in the session rooms.

They do like to keep it cold inside here in Texas.

But the topics and speakers were hot anyway.

After an energizing session of Chi Gung this morning, my first session to attend was Mark Rittman talking about Exalytics and the TimesTen in-memory database. Based on the number of people in the room at 8:30 AM, I would call this a hot topic for sure.

Inquiring minds want to know if this Exalytics stuff is all it is cracked up to be (and worth the $$).


Mark did his best to give us the low down, candid truth. Mostly it was good news.

With the Summary Advisor, it is pretty easy to create an In Memory Adaptive Data Mart which will hold commonly used aggregates. It leverages the existing Aggregate Assistance Wizard,

So what you ask? Well that technology tracks all the quesries run in your OBIEE server and figures out which summaries would help speed up your performance.

Now you won’t get your entire data warehouse up in memory, but you will get the most used data set up to return faster.

The biggest gotcha is that it does not know from automatic incremental refreshes, so you have to use ODI or some scripting to refresh the TimesTen database automatically.

Anyway, the future does look bright for Exalytics.

Next up was Ashley Chen, Oracle Product Manager, talking about the new features in the 3.1 release of SQL Developer and SQL Developer Data Modeler.

Notably in SQL Developer there is now some APEX Integration and TimesTen integration, along with improved DB Copy and DB Diff utilities. Plus they have re-done the Oracle web site for SQL Dev to segment the tool into more logical groupings of functionality.

On the Data Modeler side, new features include Easy Sync to DB, better versioning support, a better, modifiable meta data reporting engine, and the new Query Builder for developing and testing the code for an Oracle view (I wrote about that here).

Then it was bit of a break while I interviewed JP Dijcks in the ODTUG Social Media Lounge and then got my set of ODTUG tatoos.

Next it was lunch and the Oracle ACE and ACE Directors Lunch and Learn sessions where we divided the rooms by topic area and had the various Oracle ACEs answer questions and lead a discussion about topics in their area. Here are a few of the BI ACEs plotting their strategy for the panel.

They did end up asking me to join the panel, so I got to field a few questions about data modeling, big data, and where to build a metrics model in the OBI RPD or the database? It depends….

After lunch I attended Ron Crisco’s talk about Agile and Data Design. A favorite topic of mine!

Often a contentious topic, Ron challenged us with some very good questions:

  • Is Agile the enemy of good design?
  • What is data design?
  • Who does it?
  • How do you keep it in sync with ongoing changes and implementation?

He kept this all in context of the principles in the Agile Manifesto and the goal of delivering useful software to the business.

Best quote: “Agile is an Attitude”

I completely agree!

I finished the day hanging out with the Ashley Chen and Jeff Smith in the Data Modeler lab session as folks tried out the new features on a pre-configured Oracle VM.

Ashely and Jeff kept busy helping folks while I tried to get the new VM running on my laptop. No luck. Maybe tomorrow.

I did get to help a bit and answer a few questions for some of the participants.

No official KScope events tonight so I got to spend a little time relaxing by the pool and in the lazy river with my friend JP and his family. Saw several other friends and collegues as well with their spouses and kids playing in the pool. Then we all got to watch Despicable Me projected on a sheet on the far side of the pool.

Pretty neat. Nice way to end the day.

Tomorrow should be another exciting day of sessions and then we have the BIG EVENT:  we all saddle up and head out to the Knibbe Ranch for BBQ and a real Rodeo.

Yee haw!

See ‘ya at the round-up tomorrow, y’all.


Countdown to KScope: Oracle Education, Fitness and More

It’s almost here: the best education event for Oracle developers – the Oracle Development Tools User Group KScope12 conference.

It starts Saturday June 23rd with the annual community service day helping out the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of San Antonio.

Then things really get rolling on Sunday June 24th with the famed all-day, in-depth symposiums.

One Monday, the main sessions kick things into high gear.

This year I am lucky enough to give two presentations on my favorite topics.

On Monday June 25 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am, I will present Introduction to Data Vault Modeling for an Oracle BI Environment. 

Then on Thursday June 28, from 10:30 am – 11:30 am, you can close out the conference by attending my presentation on SQL Developer Data Modeler: Reverse Engineering (and Re-engineer) an Existing Database Using Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler.

If you are using the KScope app, don’t forget to add these sessions to your schedule and then check in during the sessions to be eligible for  some special ODTUG prizes.

Of course there will be networking events, a vendor hall, food and fun.

With all the good food and sitting in intense sessions all day, it is important that we all do our best to stay fit. To help with that, I will again be leading a 30 minute Chi Gung session every morning at 7 AM on the main lawn.

Really – anyone can do it. Read my article here for details.

Come out and join me to get your day off to a calming start so you can focus on getting the most out of your day at Kscope12.

And don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KentGraziano. I will be tweeting live and posting pictures all week from the conference.

See you in San Antonio. Giddy Up!


Flexible Data Warehouse Architecture

My friend and colleague, Sanjay, just put up a new video discussing aspects of using the Data Vault as your data warehouse architecture.

It is really short – just barely 10 minutes.

You can jump over to see the video here.

Covers a nice little discussion comparing dimensional (star schema) models to data vault as a centralized data warehouse repository (as opposed to end-user facing data mart).

As a bonus, Sanjay also covers the basics of data vault modeling using an actual chalk board (okay so he is “old school”).

So why listen to Sanjay?

He is the co-founder with Dan Linstedt of and has done tons of writing and consulting on Data Vault for quite a few years. He was behind the scenes helping us get the book out on the web, Amazon, and on Kindle.

He knows whereof he speaks.

Have a listen.

Be careful – you might learn something. 🙂


– Kent

P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @KentGraziano or subscribe to this blog (button at top of the right column) so you don’t miss out on my updates.

P.P.S. ODTUG KScope12 is just around the corner. I will be doing two talks and bunch of other stuff out there in San Antonio in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

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