Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Collaborate'13 Summary. Part 4. Database development

This post is the final part of my thoughts about IOUG Collaborate'13 conference (part onepart twopart three). If I will not write it now I will forget what was going on :-), so the last push!

4. Real stuff

In all of the previous posts I was covering either topics of more abstract nature (like leadership) or topics that would satisfy my curiosity (MySQL, BigData, NoSQL etc). But majority of people go to conference to learn something that will be directly applicable to their daily life. And of course I went to a number of talks that cover my main topic - database development.

Overall, this conference from the purely database side was a bit strange - everybody knew that Oracle 12c is upcoming, but nobody new when. And even worse, Oracle employees couldn't even call the name "12c" (because their marketing department didn't FINALLY approve it)! Funny part - in the conference hall there was a big book-store with enormous Oracle Press sign, stating that "Oracle 12c Complete Reference" is scheduled for June 2013. As you can see, strange world...

The most talked about feature of the Oracle "we-don't-know-what" this year happened to be the notion of "pluggable databases" - there is already a ton of materials on this topic, but conceptually you can think of it as an extended version of multiple instances on the same physical box with a separate "controller" instance that manages all resources on the top and can access all of them. It seems that this way Oracle indeed can significantly decrease hardware footprint - at least all people with whom I've been talking agree that the feature is very powerful.

For sure there was a number of great tasks about different database features. For example, professor Carl Dudley did a great job finally explaining to me why I PERSONALLY care about ANSI SQL in Oracle - as it appears to be, using that syntax you can avoid the following error - "ORA-01719: outer join operator (+) not allowed in operand of OR or IN". I think, later I will do the whole post about on this topic. Also, it was pretty fun to listen to Maxym Kharchenko talking about different approaches to pagination. A bit of a surprise at that presentation was the response of the audience when I wondered about consistent data reads while doing paging - looks like NOBODY cared about it. Hm-m-m-m-m, definitely a post needed....

Another big topic (including my own presentation) was the lack of communication between DBAs and Developers - as a result, there is a major disconnect between people who know business side of database processes and people who know internals. And from the either side of the isle the total picture is blurred. I am glad that finally the whole community starts to understand the problem - all of those DBA/Developer talks had a great turnout, maybe some of them even later will become webcasts by IOUG. I am really looking forward to see "my dream":

  • Architects get DBAs involved in the system from the very beginning
  • Developers talk DBAs about possible impacts of different features/options
  • DBAs actively teach developers about available features and better ways of writing code
I understand that it's a hard sell - but why can't I have a dream? People, let's keep dreaming - and until the next conference!

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