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Things I learned at Oracle Open World in SFO 2008

I just came back from a few days at OOW, and it was fun. I shared a biggish apartment with Anjo Kolk, Krister (Sweden) and Oliver (Danish CSC), and it was beautiful to see the beer bottles (good beers, mind you!) gradually filling up the kitchen table allocated for that purpose.

On Sunday, November 11, I was invited to a seven-hour briefing for Oracle ACE Directors (I am such a thing). It was mostly about the Fusion Middle Ware (MW) and in the end a bit about the 11g database.

I have three observations:

1. During the MW presentations I saw more acronyms than in my entire military career.

2. 'Oracle' was the only word with less than seven letters in all those slides.

3. The best thing that can happen to any product is to be bought by Oracle. Turns out, that the purchase itself will transfer the product overnight from being worth-, use- and hopeless to being an absolutely state-of-the-art, best-of-beer product.

Interesting to learn that MW is database agnostic and Apps server agnostic. This obviously generates some interesting discussions inside Oracle.

And, man, do things change in the MW: Forget SOA, here comes SCA. Forget hub-and-spoke - it's just SO yesterday. Forget Portal - here comes WebCenter.

I am tempted to quote the standup comedian Billy Connolly, who said some years ago: "... and it will all change tomorrow, so f.... stay awake!"

Apart from that, it was a good day with knowledgeable presenters, and I learned a lot. Thanks to the Oracle ACE ladies (Emily & Victoria) for setting this up.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I simply set up a virtual office at the tex-mex restaurant Chevy's and met a bunch of friends from inside and outside Oracle during those days. It was good, and it generated a lot of good ideas.

There were 1600 presentations in total. 100 of these were database-related. Interesting.