Friday, May 28, 2010

SOUG: Stewart Bryson

Stewart BrysonTonight we welcomed Mr. Stewart Bryson [blog|twitter|RittmanMead] into the fold.

(Small side note: I met Mr. Bryson in person at COLLABORATE this year. For some strange reason, I had pictured him as this late fifties dude. Turns out he's (slightly) younger than me).

First off though, I walked in and there seemed to be a buzz in the air along with a few new faces (for me anyway, I can't attend regularly due to travel). Was this buzz all about Mr. Bryson. It seemed so.

Mr. Bryson has been working with RittmanMead (you might know one of the founders, Mark Rittman, Oracle's Person of the Year) since the beginning of last year and he's heading up the RittmanMead America division.

Anyway, off to the presentation. The title of the presentation was OLTP DBA’s Guide to Delivering a Dimensional Model. Many willing DBAs in the crowd wanting to hear his take on the matter. He certainly didn't disappoint. I started to realize it was getting dark in the room when I finally looked at my clock, a few minutes after 8. I believe Mr. Bryson began around 6:30, maybe a little later. That was the fastest hour and a half. Usually by then I am bored out of my mind and ready for beer with whomever will join me.

Now I was mad because it was going to get cut short. I'm pretty sure everyone else would have been willing to stay another hour or so as well.

Here's the presentation if you are interested. For more RittmanMead papers and presentations go here.

It took well over an hour for Mr. Bryson to finally make his escape. He stuck around to answer lots of questions and make fun of me...wait, that was someone else...or was it? No matter.

If you get a chance to see Mr. Bryson speak, take it. He knows his sh...err...stuff.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

OBIEE: Gotcha #2

This one bit me hard today and it shouldn't have. I should have followed my instincts...instead I trusted the tool. ID10T.

So here we go.

We use the Filters in the Security tool which can apply predicates based on the Group.

First, open up the Security Manager


You should see this

Then click on Permissions

I then, like an ID10T used the Expression Builder to build my predicate. This was a BETWEEN, so I went to Operators and found the BETWEEN and double clicked on it. Can you see what it did?

How about now?

That's right, it says "Upper Bound" first followed by "Lower Bound"

I knew that wasn't right...but I went with it anyway.

After the "mistake", I verified in SQL.
SQL>EXEC :C := 20;

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.



no rows selected

Elapsed: 00:00:00.18


1 row selected.
Live and learn I guess. I'll never trust that thing again. One more reason to dislike GUIs.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NULL In Psychology

This morning we participated in a planning session for Kate's future.

They are trying to label her with "Intellectual Disability." Of course we pushed back on the issue, we know Kate is smart.

The school psychologist said she tested Kate twice for IQ and the results of those tests indicate that the label does fit. Asking questions about this, apparently Kate didn't really participate in these tests. We know she has behavioral "problems" which means she's just stubborn, probably like her mother, because I am most definitely not stubborn.

She's currently receiving Occupational, Speech and Behavioral therapies, in school and privately.

Anyway, the psychologist went on to suggest that Kate's IQ was at or around 70. We both balked.

So if Kate didn't truly participate (i.e. cooperate), how in the hell can she have a score? It sounds like NULL, or unknown, to me.

The psychologist then dropped the big bomb, "Kate's IQ is 70."



Really? How do you get that if she didn't participate (cooperate)? How can the absence of value be a value?

I'm usually the first to accept Kate's shortcomings...I hope that she will live a perfectly normal life such as you and I, but I am not oblivious to the fact that she may need help. What I will not accept is the unproven fact that she is "Intellectually Disabled."

Just needed to get this off my chest. Pardon the intrusion...go about your day now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Exadata and The Apocalypse

Fresh off the heels of my meandering thoughts on Exadata. I now bring you my thoughts on the future state of database development.

In a word, it's gonna suck.

Just as more memory, faster CPUs and the other hardware improvements over the years...actually, that's what Exadata is. Let me try that again.

You think most database development sucks now, just wait until Exadata becomes commonplace. Why worry about design or good coding practices when you have brute force?

In a private conversation the other day, I compared it to the effect Windows has had on the populace (myself included), making us computer dumb. It's not always a bad thing; as the computer revolution wouldn't be where it is today without Windows because it gave idiots like me a low barrier to entry.

I see more frustration in my future, not less because of Exadata. Toad will reign supreme as hordes of developers write horrible queries...and get away with it.

I see less emphasis on the fundamentals if using THE Database Machine.

I said it above...brute force.

Why bother tuning up front when you have something that powerful?

Why bother tweaking the design when you have something that powerful?

Just drop it in and run. Exadata will cope just fine.

Thankfully, this won't happen soon, because the cost of Exadata is (perceived to be) so high. I will argue that in another rant I'm sure.

As the volume of data grows, there will be a point at which you must start to tune and contemplate a good design.

Just like Windows though, the bar will be lower. That scares me. I've had plenty of problems over the past couple of years, professionally speaking. Plenty of arguments. When oraclue was my DBA, you could get away with murder, because he could figure out a way to tune bad statement n.

Looking at the bright side, my future will full of excitement. I'll just have new things to bitch about.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thoughts on Exadata

I was exposed to Exadata a few weeks ago and my brain has been churning ever since.

I can't speak about specifics (you know, the first rule of Exadata don't you?) unfortunately. I can speak about how I think it can be applied though (I hope).

I came away from that experience in sheer awe. To the point where I am rethinking the entire database landscape.

You may have read somewhere that, in regards to Exadata, you have to relearn your use of indexes. In other words, you don't need them (well, I'm sure there are cases) other than referential integrity.

What about materialized views? Indexes (non-RI anyway) and materialized views are basically work-arounds for a lack of raw power. I saw Exadata scan 45 million rows (in an Explain Plan) and immediately said, that should be materialized, that you don't, or shouldn't, normally, scan that many records. Then I started to think about it...why? Why materialize it if you can scan it in mere seconds?

Materialize views and indexes both require support to some degree or another. Both take development time in way or another. With Exadata, you might just not need them anymore. That's a good thing.

Taking it out one step further, do you even need a data warehouse any more? I'm not talking about the top 5% of shops out there, I'm talking about the smaller shops that are not processing thousands of transactions a second.

Think about why you build a data warehouse. Data warehouses are designed to make reporting easier by 1, creating a standalone instance that has it's own resources; 2, creating a design (denormalization in some cases) that makes it very easy to get at the data.

I may be crazy, but why create all that extra work if you don't need to? By going the DW route, you now have ETL routines, a separate database and a separate design, all of which need to be maintained. Doubtful the same person will be doing everything so you hire more staff.

(Remember, I'm talking about the 95% here).

The raw power of Exadata would allow you to do everything in a single location.

I've had private conversations with people about this very subject...some think I'm off my rocker (naturally), some haven't been exposed to it and are wary of speculation, and others see some merit in my rambling.

I'm very excited about the possibilities with Exadata. What say you?

Added January 26, 2011
A great post by Jeff McQuigg: OOW BI Imp Panel Questions #3: Can Exadata Replace a DW? - I asked this question at the OOW panel, but I'm not sure if this is directly related as mine was rushed to go see Larry's speech. Good read.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ubuntu: Year 1

It's been almost a year since I permanently switched to Ubuntu from Windows.

About the only complaint I have is that Skype doesn't always work. Either my microphone isn't working or my speakers. I haven't been able to detect a pattern to it either, which is maddening.

Other than that though, it's been remarkably smooth.

At times, too smooth.

Recently I installed Dokuwiki downloading the .deb package directly from the site. After installing it, I had no idea where the program files were. Took me an hour to find my Apache installation (Synaptic Package Manager) to update httpd.conf.

That and other small items are mostly due to my lack of understanding of Linux in general. Sometimes it seems to go into /usr/bin, sometimes /usr/sbin. Sometimes it ends up in my /home directory. I can't figure out why or how (yet).

To add to that much of the software installed needs to be run via command line. I'm still not quite there yet. Thankfully though Google is my best friend.

And once you get comfortable, it's pretty easy to do just about anything.

Want to combine multiple pdfs into one?
pdftk *.pdf cat output 20100521_receipts.pd
Of course there are other cool, under-utilized by me, command line tools like vi, awk, sed, strace, etc. I've only scraped the surface with those.

I haven't even tried scripts yet either. Man, so much to do.

I have managed to install an Oracle client, JDeveloper, SQL Developer for my development needs.

VirtualBox runs like a champ. I have 7 or 8 images already. 11gR2 running on Oracle Enterprise Linux. Windows Vista Ultimate. Windows XP. Fedora (for fun).

I use GIMP for an image editor. Picasa for a photo manager.

I use Chrome and Firefox as my browsers.

OpenOffice for my spreadsheet and document creation.

One of my favorite things has to be the ability to print to pdf from any program. I had to install different programs (which inevitably popped up ads on completion) on Windows.

Overall I'm happy I switched. I don't know the exact value it's given me, it might take a little more time to figure that out. But I'm happy with it. Ubuntu has made it incredibly easy for me to switch and I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Two weeks from today (May 27th) the Suncoast Oracle Users Group (SOUG) will be hosting Stewart Bryson of RittmanMead America.

Mr. Bryson's presentation is titled, The OLTP DBA's Guide to Delivering a Dimensional Model.

Meeting information can be found here.

I haven't seen Mr. Bryson present yet but I have heard rumors.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exadata Quotes

Since I can't talk about Exadata, I'll express my thoughts through movie quotes:

Barry Badrinath:
"I wish it were winter so we could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it and melt it in the spring time and drink it!"

Fight Club
Tyler Durden: Welcome to Exadata. The first rule of Exadata is: you do not talk about Exadata. The second rule of Exadata is: you DO NOT talk about Exadata!
by rnm1978 and boneist

Dumb and Dumber
"The first time I set eyes on Exadata, I just got that old fashioned romantic feeling where I'd do anything to..."

Sea Bass' Friend: Kick his ass, Exadata!

Captain Oveur: Joey, do you like movies about Exadata?

Ace Ventura - Pet Detective
Ace Ventura (or SQL Server to user): If I'm not back in five minutes... just wait longer.

Ace Ventura: It's ALIVE. IT'S ALIVE.

Office Space
Bob Slydell: I'd like to move us right along to Exadata. Now we had a chance to meet this individual, and boy that's just a straight shooter with upper management written all over it.

Peter Gibbons: I can't believe what a bunch of nerds we are. We're looking up "Exadata" in a dictionary.

Jerry Maguire
Dorothy: Shut up, just shut up. You had me at "Exadata".
h/t Anonymous

2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
Dr. David Bowman: " goes on forever—and—oh my God—it's full of stars!"
by rnm1978

Half Baked
Thurgood Jenkins: I don't do drugs, though. Just Exadata.

Pulp Fiction
Jules from Pulp Fiction: Say "Exadata" again. SAY "EXADATA AGAIN". I dare you, I double dare you. Say Exadata one more time.
by Greg Rahn

Silence of the Lambs
Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb: "It puts the application on its Exadata, or it gets the hose again."
by Don Seiler

Yeah, cheesy, I know. I was sending these to a co-worker though and it was more fun then. What can you do?

APEX: Report Column Wrapping

- Template 12
Database: 10gR2

Just a quick note, mostly for myself.

I was asked about getting a report column to wrap. The method being used was the CSS Style property of the Report Attribute (Column). The report template was the Standard Alternating Row Colors.

The report looks like this:

Very ugly, I know.

So how do you fix this?

You can fiddle with the CSS Style (I'm lazy) if you want, or you can do something like this.

In the HTML Expression box:

Add the following:
<table style="width:200px;">
That #X# is the column/report name.

Using that will get you this:

The ideal would be to get the correct CSS in there, but like I said, I'm lazy. This worked for me going back to 1.5 (HTMLDB) on Template 12.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

OBIEE: Gotcha #1.1

Another, funny in hindsight, continuation on Gotcha #1.

Sadly I can't speak to the specifics of what I was doing but it did involve the coolest thing ever, Exadata.

We ran into some problems when are reports weren't returning the correct results. Specifically, year over year data (last year's).

I suspected one thing, someone else suspected another and a third person got it right.

Turns out, we had added a "blank" logical column to the RPD. Not sure of the exact reason why or what was trying to be accomplished, but there it was.

As I dug through the physical SQL, I noticed a bunch of '' (that's back-to-back single quotes), essentially an empty string. I have read on how Oracle handles empty strings and how many vendors deal with NULL values differently, so I suspected this was the cause. My first thought wasn't correct though.

First a sample of how Oracle handles both empty strings and NULL values in a WHERE clause.

no rows selected
So comparing an empty string to itself evaluates to false.

no rows selected
Of course everyone knows that NULL is the absence of value, so comparing it to itself evaluates to false.

My original thought was that somehow the '' (empty string) was being used in the GROUP BY clause...but that didn't make much sense as even if it was used, it would be the same "value" as in the SELECT.

Then I saw it...after digging through 500 lines of OBIEE generated SQL, there it was.

In the first Gotcha, I had been capturing physical SQL not tuned specifically for was just using a generic ODBC connection. I'm glad I made that mistake though, because I had all that SQL.

For this specific report using the generic ODBC connection, 4 queries were sent to the database and stitched in OBIEE to display the reports.

When the driver was switched to an Oracle specific one, it create one giant WITH statement. Actually, it was about 8 different WITH statements...which made it hard to analyze because of the dependencies on previous WITH statements in the same SQL.

I found it be running the first 2 SELECT statements individually. I got the results from this year and the results from last year. Perfect. But it added to the Why? of what was going on.

Further down in this massive SQL statement, I found 2 FULL OUTER JOINs. Could it be? Could it really be joining on that '' column?

Yes it could and it would explain exactly why incorrect results were being returned.

Per the example above, when comparing an empty string against itself, the expression evaluates to the table being joined to would never return results.

We decided to add a character to it, a dot (.) and sure enough, the correct results returned.

Another realization after the fact (made by my colleague), was that using an Oracle database would decrease the number of queries being sent to the database thus allowing for more connections and less work by the BI Server. Super win!

Monday, May 10, 2010


by Alexis Kolak
I didn't have a whole lot of interaction with the IOUG staff (other than them giving me a hard time). I did meet a few of the volunteers.

Kudos to all the volunteers from every organization, thank you so much for giving your time to help make this event a success.

While IOUG's professional staff team play a big role in planning and managing COLLABORATE 10, it's really the volunteers who are the unsung heroes of supporting this volunteer driven event. These volunteers work tirelessly to provide their volunteer expertise and exhibit exemplary worth ethic to benefit their peers. These folks work all year round to develop content, determine session flow and provide the true community elements of what we know and love at COLLABORATE. Pictured from the conference committee include:

front row, left to right – Coleman Leviter, MaryKay Matelski, Michelle Malcher, Dan Vlamis, Peggy King, James Lui; back row - John King, Jon Wolfe, Tom Reddy, Craig Shallahamer, Dave Chaffee, Al Hoof

The "magic" that occurs is a combination of staff doing what they do best – providing the professional expertise and management for development, execution and operations with the partnership of the volunteer team. Although the staff team all have different roles, the most important part is that they work holistically onsite and in support of the community and their colleagues from OAUG and Quest. Not only do they work with their teammates, but their goal is to serve the entire community of attendees, whether they are OAUG, IOUG or Quest! We know the Oracle user community gets a lot of value out of COLLABORATE, and it makes all the time and effort involved worthwhile. Whatever role each person plays, we celebrate our successes together, and we're proud to have hosted a great 2010 conference. Here is a picture of IOUG staff and volunteers celebrating a successful COLLABORATE!

seated, left to right - Michelle Malcher, Judi Doolittle, Ian Abramson; standing - Todd Sheetz, Anne Waligora, Alexis Bauer Kolak, Carol McGury, Andy Flower, Dina Horwitz, Julie Ferry, Tom Reddy, James Lui, Coleman Leviter

Monday, May 3, 2010


by Allison Dixon
While I was in Vegas, the OAUG staff helped me out quite a bit. The IOUG staff mostly gave me a hard time. :)

I didn't run into the Quest staff at all (knowingly).

The staff for each one of these groups did an outstanding job in running COLLABORATE 10 and I just wanted to make sure they had their day in the sun as well. I asked Allison Dixon (who was my liaison with OAUG) to give me a picture and write up their staff. Yes, it's their job, but that shouldn't take away from all the hard work they put in. I would love to do the same for IOUG and Quest staff, so if you know who I should talk to, please let me know.

For five days, 5,500 Oracle users, developers, managers, analysts, database administrators, solutions providers and Oracle representatives gathered under one roof at COLLABORATE 10 – Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The sense of community was certainly felt as a positive, collaborative energy charged through the convention center. Connections were made, experiences shared and questions asked and answered. For the second year, Chet Justice joined us to cover the event for oraclenerd. We chatted one day as his Blackberry charged in the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) staff office about how most attendees would be surprised to learn how an event of this scale is produced – and the idea for this guest blog post was born.

The OAUG Board of Directors took a moment during its 20th anniversary event on Sunday, April 18 to recognize its professional staff with an OAUG Service Award, a generous gesture that surprised us all. That award is engraved, "Presented to Meeting Expectations in Grateful Appreciation for Your 18 Years of Outstanding Service and Devotion to the Membership of the Oracle Applications Users Group, 1992 – 2010." (Meeting Expectations is an Atlanta-based, third-party meeting planning and association management firm that serves as the OAUG professional staff.)

Using this photo from the award presentation, I'll shed a little light on each staff member's contribution to COLLABORATE – diverse roles and responsibilities all coming together with the goal of creating a positive conference experience for attendees. This should give you an idea of the complexity of this year-round effort (which you can multiply times 3, as our counterparts at IOUG and Quest are equally invested!).

On stage, pictured with OAUG President Dave Ferguson (at microphone), from left to right:
  • Jeff Rausch, chief operations officer of Meeting Expectations
  • Brian Meyer, president of Meeting Expectations
  • Jalene Bermudez, founder of Meeting Expectations
Jeff, Brian and Jalene, as Meeting Expectations' managing partners, provide executive leadership and high-level strategic guidance to OAUG. At the conference each year, they provide hands-on support wherever needed, usually working long hours on the registration desk or in other customer service capacities. Jeff also serves on the OAUG Technology Committee and works "under the hood" on the OAUG registration and paper submission systems to keep them running smoothly all year.

On floor, from Left to right:
  • Micheal North - director of finance. With thousands of attendees, hundreds of companies engaging in customized exhibitor and sponsorship packages and hundreds of vendors hired to bring it the event to life, consider the dollars that flow through COLLABORATE. Micheal knows the exact whereabouts of every single one of them at any given moment during a show cycle. On site, you'll see him providing customer service at the registration desk all day. By night he is developing detailed financial reports for the Board of Directors.
  • Allison Dixon - director of event marketing (me). How'd you hear about the conference? Chances are you received an email, a postcard, a brochure, a tweet, a telemarketing call (sorry about those 6 a.m. rings) or some sort of contact from me. I also work with my marketing counterparts at IOUG and Quest to maintain the umbrella brand of the conference and produce all shared materials, like the program guide and daily agenda books. On site, Jackie Dale and I maintain the conference Web portal, daily updates, daily emails, tweets, conference survey and new this year, the Tweet Nest. We’re also responsible for the post-conference survey.
  • Joey Sirmons - manager of Internet communications. Known in certain circles as the Spam King, Joey's domain is the OAUG Forum Web presence and all e-mail communications. He codes, manages lists and keeps us meticulously compliant with anti-spam regulations. If you've noticed, we like to send quite a bit of e-mail about the conference. (Hint for COLLABORATE 11: register early and you’ll be removed from the list. How's that for an incentive?) Joey also helps oversee bag distribution, making sure all attendees get their bags of conference goodies after they check in at registration. In his (limited) spare time on-site, Joey can be seen around the conference with his camera, acting in his role of unofficial OAUG photographer. That same camera has been spotted at after-hours gatherings, often to the chagrin of volunteers and fellow staff.
  • Jackie Dale - event marketing coordinator. Jackie works with Allison developing marketing strategy and delivering the creative behind all those brochures and emails. On site, she is corralling all the groups to obtain their schedule changes, keeps the conference Web portal up to date, helps to craft daily update emails, tweets and also extols the wonders of social networking from her base in the Tweet Nest. After the conference, she develops the survey results reports.
  • Steven Hughes - executive director. What you may not realize is happening at COLLABORATE, in addition to the hundreds of sessions and networking events, is the jam-packed schedule of meetings between the Board of Directors, committees, task forces, councils and Oracle. Steven runs from meeting to meeting, working with these various stakeholders to set the OAUG agenda for the coming year and beyond. He is also busily greeting overseas delegations and exploring ways to continue to expand the OAUG global footprint in order to serve more users.
  • Kay Eckstein - association manager. Kay's primary role is to manage the OAUG Board's schedules to ensure they are at the right place and time for all critical meetings without missing a beat (or a party). Remember the staircase in Harry Potter that keeps changing and moving without warning? This is a good representation of the 14 Board members' schedules during COLLABORATE. If it seemed that President Dave Ferguson was everywhere at once, it's because Kay waved her wand and made it so.
  • James Hobbs - senior director of global programs. James' primary role is to ensure all the pieces and parts of the conference come together. Occasionally he'll find a missing piece -- and that either leads to a Martini or his staying up a bit later at night to be sure OAUG members receive the highest level of service, an experience that encourages greater success in their jobs and the opportunity to have some fun as well. Keeping the team and the entire COLLABORATE train on the tracks to bring the event to fruition is his goal and passion.
  • Karl Kirsch, CAE - chief operating officer. Karl joins Steven Hughes as part of the executive management team and helps translate strategy into tactical plans that are specific and measurable. He shares responsibility to manage the daily operations of OAUG to ensure activities of the organization's staff are supporting established objectives, quality targets and cost-effectiveness goals. If you heard someone say "there is a process for that" or heard the whir of the propeller on his head, you probably ran into Karl at COLLABORATE.
  • Katie Truex - membership coordinator. Katie holds down the OAUG membership booth, where she cheerfully answers members' questions and talks with prospects about the value of joining up. She is also director of swag – selecting, purchasing and handing out those Slinkys and handsome playing cards (she also doles out coveted OAUG Forum proceedings CDs). All year long, she provides member care to the OAUG community. During the 3-4 months before COLLABORATE, she deftly handles the crush of calls from companies that want to join or renew their memberships so they can save on conference registration (over 20%! Join today!).
  • Kowana Ragland, CMP - tradeshow manager. In the run-up to the show, Kowana has a clipboard and a whistle –enthusiastically coaching exhibitors every step of the way on how to make the most of the show. Her monthly exhibitor newsletters are jammed with planning and marketing tips. On site, Kowana manages logistics for the OAUG tradeshow venues, including the Mini Theater, Star Partner Lounge, TweetNest and Relaxation Lounge. In addition, she provides assistance managing that "wheel of fortune," THEgame.
  • Christine Hilgert, CMP - tradeshow lead. Christine has been a part of the OAUG for over 12 years and has participated in over 25 OAUG events. She continues to lend her expertise and provides support in a variety of areas, including overall history and relationship with the OAUG and its long-time members. Christine's most recent role is providing exhibitor and sponsorship management where she and her team sell exhibit booths on the tradeshow floor among various sponsorship opportunities taking place throughout COLLABORATE. She was also recognized at the 20th anniversary event for a milestone birthday of her very own.
  • Alex O'Keefe - director of sites and contract services. Alex negotiates contracts with a vast network of hotel and convention centers to select the best venues and hotel rates for the OAUG and COLLABORATE attendees. In addition, Alex provides on-site support at registration, where she assists with the attendee check-in process and welcomes attendees to the conference. (Bienvenue, COLLABORATors. At last count, Alex speaks five languages: Swiss-German, French, English, German and Italian.)
  • Jenny Freeman - senior sites coordinator. Jenny is a senior sites coordinator and supports the site selection team to find the perfect venue for meetings and events. At COLLABORATE, Jenny provides on-site registration support on behalf of the OAUG team, like Alex, assisting with registration and greeting attendees.
  • Katie Miknis - speaker programs manager. Want to speak at COLLABORATE? You'll have to get through Katie first. She manages the speaker selection process, room build-out and assignment at COLLABORATE, leads speaker orientation and serves as the main point of contact for speakers on site. Katie is also the lead for the OAUG Wellness Program, which offers attendees a daily morning workout with a local area trainer.
  • Regina Robuck - director, affiliate communities (promotion alert! now director of education). Regina provides resources and support services for the OAUG's Geographic (Geo) and Special Interest Groups (SIG). She is responsible for the implementation and expansion of the Oracle Community Integration Initiative, which means she works all year to inspire (beg) Geo and SIG leaders to bring their organizations into compliance so she can then make their days by providing a complimentary conference registration. At COLLABORATE, she facilitates all Geo and SIG meetings and manages the Certificates of Distinction awards program.
  • Litika Coleman - senior registration specialist. Litika is the lead registration manager for the OAUG. She works with the other two users groups to ensure the attendee registration process leading up to COLLABORATE, as well as on site, runs smoothly. Litika provides customer support to attendees by answering phone calls and emails prior to their arrival to COLLABORATE.
  • Cindy Force - communication manager. We call her Sponge: While supporting the events occurring on site, such as directing traffic to SIG meetings, recording minutes in committee meetings, handing out conference proceedings in the membership booth, etc., communications is listening, listening, listening. What information do members want and need to know? What is Oracle doing that our members need to hear about? Are these the hot topics for the next newsletter or OAUG Insight magazine? Who are the subject matter experts who can help develop these stories? Cindy is all ears!
  • Amy Ford, CMP - tradeshow manager. Amy assists the tradeshow team to ensure all exhibitor and sponsorship deliverables are met. She provides customer care to exhibitors and sponsors pre event as well as on-site. She also handles the judging and awards for Best of Show. So be nice to her.
Not pictured (because she was out in the hall fielding a question from the Mandalay Bay security team):
  • Darnette Holbert - senior conference manager. Darnette knows, with laser-like accuracy, the location of every electrical outlet in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center (and probably the greater Las Vegas metro area). She manages conference logistics on an often microscopic level, including hotel arrangements, food and beverage orders, signage, audio/visual, security, general contractor services, special events and receptions, tradeshow logistics, furniture and floorplan development. You didn't think chairs, tables and projection screens magically appeared in every session room? All of this is contracted and delivered according to Darnette’s orders.
That concludes our tour of the OAUG team. It’s quite the undertaking, but we absolutely love working with our colleagues at IOUG and Quest to produce COLLABORATE each year. The wheels are already in motion for Orlando in 2011 – we hope you’ll come, and say hello when you see us!

CMP (link to:
CAE (link to:

Exadata + The Hartford

If you have tried to find information on Exadata you'll know how hard it is. Based on a tip, I found last year's OOW sessions and then started to google those to see if I could find one of the presentations.

I did.

With permission of the author of the slides, I give you Exadata Top 10 Lessons Learned