Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ODTUG: Monday

The day started with the General Session. There the ODTUG Board announced when en where the next Kaleidoscope will be held: At Long Beach, California! From June 26 to 30 2011. And you can even submit papers as from now! There is a link somewhere, and if I'll find it I'll add it to this post. Another remarkable thing was that the number of attendees this year was up with 50% to around 900! So ODTUG grows bigger and bigger every year - and so even getting more important in the Oracle world.
Next - and rather important - was the game...The Netherlands against Slovakia. We saw the match with a couple of other attendees, most of them Dutch, but also some other guys - but all supporting Holland And we won with 2-1, which was great. So in the next match we have to beat Brazil - which will be though!
Back to the stuff we all here for...
The first afternoon session was the "APEX 4.0 Keynote", where Mike showed all the cool new APEX 4.0 features for an interested audience of over 250 people (rough count). Nice to notice that even my name was mentioned when Joel answered a question about upgrading to 4.0: "If your name is not Roel and do not live in The Netherlands, you'll be fine". ..pointing out to a bug a discovered only 15 minutes after 4.0 was released - BTW that bug has been fixed the same day!
For the next hour I was the ambassador for Anjo Kolk's session on "Accessing databases from Google Apps" Completely off the APEX topic, but nevertheless very interesting.There seems to be an App store like marketplace for Google apps - really didn't know that. Anjo showed how to extend a Google spreadsheet by accessing data from a mySQL server using jdbc. An Oracle extension is in the making. You can also get data from your database using import functions.These functions are insecure, but if you want a secure connection - and are willing to pay for it - you can use the Secure Data Connector. That SDC uses tunnelling via the Google Tunnel Servers.He also showed how to query (and update) data in a Google database with the Google feedserver. Getting this working is not that easy, requires some tweaking and modifying XML files, but the result is nice. You can also use PL/SQL functions that return JSON to feed Google Visualizations and show these graphs in iGoogle - and so you create your own dashboards on the web, using real live data from your database!
In the next session, called "APEX; A window to the Oracle Database", Anton Nielsen demoed how to use some cool advanced database features in APEX. Like Oracle Text (with "smart searching"), Analytic functions, Intermedia for images (thumbnail generation, rotation, capturing metadata etc) , external tables and VPD. The key of all this is, if you can do it in the database you can do it in APEX as well!
During the Sundown Sessions - a sort of Q&A session - a lot of good questions where asked and answered. The main announcement was that the APEX Listener was released just that afternoon!
After the reception (more food and drinks), there was a poker game organized in the bar. I joined the hard core players, and managed to end as third (and it actually was my first real poker game ever!), So in the end I got my 20 bucks entrance fee back! It was a lot of fun - and we stayed up until .. let me say ... late.
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