What I Learned At Oracle Open World 2017

My Oracle Open World started with a beautiful Sunday-morning run across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge annual event organized by Oracle’s SQL Developer team (thanks Jeff)! Monday morning another group met for our annual San Francisco Bay Swim at the Dolphin Swim club; thanks to the Oracle Developer Community for providing coffee, pastries, and cool towels (thanks Jennifer)!

Oracle’s Open World was a little cozier this year; most sessions were at Moscone and hotels in close proximity making it easier to get from event to event. More time in sessions and less time in transit; good swap.

The conference halls were huge and full of software I was familiar with and several things that were new to me; Oracle has over 6,000 products so it was interesting to see what’s new. I love to spend time at Oracle’s kiosks talking to the product teams and seeing live demonstrations all the while asking many questions; thanks to the many people who put up with all of my curiosity and questions.

First up was User Group Sunday where I sat through some excellent sessions sponsored by IOUG (one of them mine), ODTUG, and OAUG. Once again the user groups provided solid technical content with no marketing to be seen; thanks!

Oracle’s Larry Ellison’s first keynote on Sunday talked about Oracle Cloud (surprise!) and the coming of the “Autonomous, self-driving” database; a session provoking much discussion. This was followed up the next day more-completely by Andy Mendelsohn, Oracle Executive VP of Database Server Technologies. One option for Oracle Cloud customers will be to use the Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud (more coming later) where much of the “grunt work” some DBAs perform is automated freeing people to spend time solving problems and helping their organizations use data. If you are one of those “DBA”s whose day-to-day functions can easily be automated; it’s time to learn some new skills. If you’re one of the more-talented DBAs you’ve probably already automated most of what you do and you’ll welcome the built-in automation (watch for a more-detailed article about this soon).

Of course most of Oracle’s message focused on the Cloud, more Cloud, and yet more Cloud; they’ve done lots to improve and simplify our interactions with the Oracle Cloud making it more useful each year. Some items of great interest are the new Universal Credit and Bring Your License PaaS options.

Another big announcement is a change to Oracle’s release and naming convention for the future. The next release of the Oracle Database (currently 12c R2 or 12.2) will be 18.1! Yes, they are changing the numbering scheme and the way they release products to ensure a more even and more rapid flow. Annual releases (e.g. moving from 18 to 19 will be upgrades), “dot” releases will be patches. We can expect regular quarterly Release Updates (RUs) containing bug and security fixes; Release Update Revisions (RURs) will occur as needed and will occur urgent fixes and regressions fixes. For now all will be handled with the familiar OPatch mechanism. For more information see Release Update and Release Update Revisions for Database Proactive Patch Program (MOS Doc ID 2285040.1) These changes reflect Oracle adopting a continuous delivery model in keeping with the industry DevOps trend.

Speaking of the database, Oracle’s doing more then changing the name; the 18c release will include many new features and improvements; I’ll publish another article next month with many details!

As a developer, one of the coolest videos and keynotes this week focused on the “Bloodhound” 1,000 MPH car and the amazing data supporting it. Oracle has teamed with The Bloodhound Project and its own Oracle Academy to make the data involved in the project available interactively to millions of school kids around the planet. An amazing way to get kids interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Of course, lots more happened and I’ll elaborate more in future posts.