Sunday, November 1, 2009

Book Review - OWB 11g - Getting Started (Bob Griesemer)

One of the privileges of being in the BIDW field for long enough, is to do book reviews. Currently, I am looking at the book by Packt Publishing, titled "Oracle Warehouse Builder 11g Getting Started." The author is Bob Griesemer.

This book has 9 interesting chapters, however I am jumping to Ch5 for now as it is the Extract, Transform and Load Basics. Someone with a weaker ETL background could reach this first. The interesting section of this chapter is "To Stage or not to Stage." The author talks about key considerations in ETL, such as:

> For faster movement of data, amount of source data, degree of manipulation of source data and nature of source is important; AND

> Handling failures due to connectivity and handling changes in the source data.

The author has presented options for extracting data directly into staging without worrying about computations in the source system or extract along with some manipulation from the source. He brings up a good point that creating a performance load on the source system may not be desirable compare to loading the ETL or the staging database. Another good point, that author raises is that we should look at staging as even the flat files, extracted from source, organised in certain folders, so that OWB can use them without taking space in the DW. I think this is an interesting way to look at staging.

The use of flat files is not a new concept, as often when fetching data from legacy such as main frames that do not provide direct connectivity to ETL tools, we use flat files. This way the DW team does not have to become an expert on the structures of the legacy system. Likewise, the Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, also support the concept of Universal adapters to interface with flat files when the source system is not directly supported with pre-built ETL connectors. However, the onus of change management of the source, may be little more involved.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

De-Mystifying the "Cloud"



Cloud Computing is drawing attention from almost all the CIO's. Is it another fad or is the Cloud "real." Since the field is evolving, let us look at some of the details here.

In general Cloud Computing allows users and organizations to use computing power on demand just like water or electricity from the grid. Users can request computing power, storage, enterprise applications or even databases from such Cloud services providers. These Cloud Services providers will act as data centers, except they are no longer privately owned by each company. I simpler analogy would be single family home v/s a condominium with multiple tenants who share the common facilities like the hallway, elevator, pool and the club house. The users of Cloud pay only for the computing or storage they use. Thus, companies no longer need to create their own data centers thus do not need to buy servers and massive storage arrays.

Cloud Computing is not really something obscure, a lot of us are actually using it in daily lives perhaps not realizing that. For instance, Gmail, Twitter, Skype and YouTube are all built on the Cloud Computing technology. All these collaborative applications are delivering services to PC's and mobile devices. The users do not have to worry about the "location" of these service providing computers and storage. Hence, a key concept of Cloud Computing is Virtualization. Virtualization allows a single powerful computer to function as multiple virtual servers running a diverse range of operating systems and different applications. This is the key concept as physical computers are not dedicated to single or a group of related users, say from a small company.

Are all organizations ready to embrace the public Cloud? There is also a concept of Internal Cloud where the Cloud infrastructure sits inside the corporate firewall. The BigBlue (IBM) is a promoter of Internal Cloud or Private Clouds. In this approach, typically a large company would create an internal cloud to meet the diverse software application needs of its user base. No single server or SAN is dedicated to a unique application and user groups or departments use computing resources on demand from this internal cloud.

If you are an individual user or a small to mid-sized company, how can you get a first hand feel of the Cloud Computing. You can test drive services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2. Developers can buy computing power and storage as they need it. IBM provides Cloudburst as a hardware and software package to allow organizations to build their private cloud. In others words it is a "cloud in a box" approach. Companies often invest in storage space for data backup. EMC provides Decho or digital echo to backup data-storage cloud. Microsoft cloud play is called
Azure and is comparable to Amazon's EC2.

Cloud Computing is not an altogether new IT concept. We have known SaaS or Software as a Service, Grid computing, remote hosting (webservers, ftp sites etc) and different kinds of utility computing. "Cloud computing is really a culmination of many technologies such as grid computing, utility computing, SOA, Web 2.0, and other technologies." While a precise definition is still being debated, Open Cloud Manifesto was signed in 2009 by companies like IBM, EMC, Boeing etc. The goal is to put the CIO's and IT leaders at ease to make it easier for end customers and developers to plan transition to cloud services.

The origin of the term Cloud Computing is from the metaphor that computer architects often create graphic designs to show flow of information. When the source of information in such diagrams, is external or unknown, often cloud is used to depict that. Will the Cloud Computing be disruptive technology? It seems to be evolving that way. Today Google Docs seems to be going after Microsoft Office, Salesforce.com is giving Larry Ellison's Oracle CRM a run for money. Likewise, Mozy.com is competing with EMC's remote storage capability and Amazon EC2 may hit the sales of Intel servers for private data centers.

Is Cloud Computing free of any silver bullets? On Aug 31, Google's GMail server was down for a while, it seemed to bring up the question of risks associated with over indulgence in the Cloud computing model. Let's us see how it plays out over the next few months and as we get into 2010!

[ This blog posting was inspired by the Wall Street Journal Article titled How Well Do You Know... the Cloud?]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

OOW Wed

The keynote sessions have started and CEO of Infosys S (Kris) Golapakrishnan is now speaking on innovation and how he create a culture of innovation in his company. Each department has to come up with at least 2 new innovations for productivity boost every year. Every building looks different in Infosys, some even like flying saucer. Thus the culture of innovation has to be ubiquitous.

Kris is explaining the need for simplifying Organizational complexity. They operate in 27 cities but airline booking is done from one city (Bangalore). Anyone can email Kris (Ask Kris) directly, he gets about 600-800 emails a week and directly responds or are posted in company blog.

Kris saus we often use 2000 year old learning techniques..."Learning through collaboration and personalization delivered at their own pace" is most effective" Infosys uses web based training delivery internally to achieve these.

ICICI bank of India is power by Infosys solution and is an exaple of branchless bank, an example of IT led banking. Today Infosys has 62% revenues from North America, 25% from Europe and rest from rest of the world. However, the company envisions that in longer run it will be spread as 1/3 from each market as the most growth is in the rest of the world like India, China and Latin America for IT services.

The next event is Larry's keynote, and as usual what will be the new announcement? He started talking about open source Linux. He will talk about Exadata V2, a tool using data mining for discovering problems proactively.

Oracle VM is being used by companies like Dell, BT etc are using it. 65% of Linux users are running Oracle DB on Oracle Enterprise Unix, per survey by HP.

Larry is now talking about SUN Oracle DB Machine (Exadata). However, the machine he talked about on Sunday for TPCC benchmark, that is a SPARC Solaris machine running Oracle DB. Larry is presenting customer testimonials from Exadata V1, where the performance improvements are over the older configurations in their organization.

Larry is explaining that fast computers like Teradata, Neteeza are mainly for Data Warehousing only but not for OLTP or transactional system. The use of Flash Memory allows high speed random I/O.

The memory hierarchy in the Exadata V2 allows high speed random hierarchy, as there is no need to spin the disks for seek, on Solid State memory. The Exadata is meant to be fault tolerant with redundancy at every level.

Flash is slower than DRAM, but it is used to keep most of the database itself in the Flash memory. The use of compression allows 3X the size of DB on disk by use of OLTP compression. Thus a full 15TB database can reside in a single RACK of Exadata, theoretically. The RACK can do 1 million I/O's per sec.

Exadata is compared to IBM - 8 IBM DC8300 Turbo (76 racks) with cost of about $10.7 million. The capacity of two Exadata RACKS is compared here. Larry is now introducing the Hybrid Columnar Compression for Data Warehousing applications only.

In memory parallel query execution feature is used to compare with Parcel and other in-memory databases. The grid architecture helps to make the Exadata faster, allowing multiple CPU's to be used. The Flash and the Compression helps to improve the speed.

Porting applications to DB machine - "runs existing applications unchanged" However, we saw in customer panel from the V1 customers, that they had to leave behind the indexes and then add back some of the indexes. However, partitioning remains key in DW workloads. Larry is now showing the price without the software costs like the DB cost per node and Exadata software or Compression (OLTP).

So far no new announcements from Larry today....Arnold is too funny so I am not blogging any more... just Tweeting...

shyamvaran #OOW09 Who needs the $10m more than State of CA & Arnold at this time..may be will buy him the new house if he makes 2 much fun of his wife!
less than 5 seconds ago from web

shyamvaran RT @eyesonopen Here comes arnold schwarzenegger. Maybe state of CA wants to grab that 10 million dollar prize. He's actually hilarious.
2 minutes ago from web

debralilley Very funny, cell phones, action, food supplements, much funnier than I expected = Arnie is great #oow09
3 minutes ago from web

shyamvaran #OOW09 Arnold could not have done it - Terminator without the Technology, or his body building with the technology for Training and food
3 minutes ago from web

OOW Tuesday

Highlights include key note by Michael Dell
Release of Oracle BI Apps 7.9.6.1 with support for databases like DW DB2 and Teradata.

My session was at 5:30PM

Monday, October 12, 2009

OOW Monday - OTN Night

The OTN night started at 7PM, in the Tent, good food as usual and the drinks! Entertainment in the far side of the tent, Middle Eastern dancers... On the near side (towards 3rd st) was the Trivia sponsored by Blackberry. I was drafted to be on the stage with 5 other contestants to fight it out for a Blackberry, in front of the crowd!

It was a tie with 300 points each, the other contestant from was from Canada. The questions were in three different categories - about Oracle , about RIM/Blackberry and about San Francisco.

So what was my winning strategy? Let me explain it in Exadata terms. The storage index is a new concept which is not a pointer to the row or block rather a negative index, i.e. where not to look for data. Likewise, I won with a similar strategy today, the last question was about San Francisco and neither on knew the answer, the other contestant answered and lost the point on the tie breaker, I won... so my "negative" strategy of not answering won me the Blackberry!!

OOW Monday Evening

I spent a good part of the day in the Exhibit Hall (Moscone West and Moscone South). Some of the things that caught my attention were:

1) Pretty Large Presence of Salesforce.com ( I think it is their first time at OOW)
2) Focus on Oracle on the Cloud, Amazon is also present
3) A real Sumo wrestler in the booth on Application Security - You don't know who you are up against?


Steve Miranda is talking now about Oracle Applications including Application unlimited. The customer Smucker is also expected. Janet Foutty of Deloitte will be on the stage.

Deloitte is the sponsor of this session. "Business Led and Technology Enabled" is the mantra. Tie back every penny to shareholder value. Janet is talking about Value maps that Deloitte uses to map business problems to Oracle products. Janet has a financial services background. Clients are focussed on cost cutting, efficiency and re-tolling their IT.

What's next, in the mind of clients - Improved Agility... is one of them. Next is Information Integration. According to Janet, Exadata enables new slices and dices of data that was not possible a few years ago.

Upgrading software is good hygiene, so customers should upgrade, per Janet. However, upgrade is not a casual decision, business and IT should co-own it. Janet believes that cloud and SAAS is truly a flex point in the IT history.

Steve Miranda is now going over the different application releases across the product suites. Rapid Planning is a new VCP (Value Chain Planning product) and it will be demoed. You can drill down to Sales and Operational Planning (S&OP) to see the detailed budget that has come from Hyperion via AIA.

Rapid Planning can help to bring demand fulfillment with the supply. The Planner can setup alternates and launch the plan. Integration with Web 2.0 is available, such as IM and Meeting request using Webcenter. Overall, it can help to solve the business planning problem without the use of 'spreadmarts'.

OOW 2009 Ann Livermore of HP

According to Ann 40% of Oracle deployments are on HP!!! Ann will tell how HP and Oracle work together to unleash the business potential. Now that EDS is part of HP, it is a big services company as well. Businesses spend 70% of IT budgets on routine operations and 30% on innovation. HP's goal is to help businesses reverse this tread.

HP has 3400 Oracle related professionals. I wonder if that includes that came with EDS. HP's goal is to help manage the Information explosion. Now Ann is talking about BI solutions? HP is number 1 on number of server for BI deployments, a lot of these are on Oracle software stack. She mentioned about Neoview - the HP DW appliance.

Oracle Openworld 2009 - Day 2 Monday

It's Monday at the Openworld. Having breakfast when my biological clock thinks it is lunch hour (almost!).

Karen Tillman VP of Oracle Corporate Communications is sharing details with the media today. Now Oracle is a software and a systems player rather than just a software company. This is the media briefing event. The keynote today is called the Art of the Impossible by Safra Catz and Charles Phillips. Next is Ann Livermore from HP.

There are general sessions today in the Hall D (keynote hall) such as the Andy Mendelson's session on Database.


Judy Sims is now introducing the event - 1900 sessions, 81,000 hotel room night impact, will serve 170,000 cups of coffee to the guests!!! Spin to Win is a new attraction where some attendees will be able to spin the wheel for VIP status in the customer party. This year most of the reading material will be in the Virtual Collateral with e-bag. Show your badge and get 15% off with 138 merchants here. Use opentable to book dinner. Tonight is the OTN Night is a great event for networking.

Join AeroSmith on Wed night. Roger Daltery, Three Dog Night, Shooter Jennings... the event closes with It's a Wrap on Thursday after noon at 4PM.

If you sign up for OOW10 now, its a $900 discount. Now Judy is giving out her tips such as schedule builder...wear comfortable shoes.... leave high heels home!

meet 5 new customers everyday....there are total of 345,000 customers of Oracle.


Now Charles Phillips and Safra Catz are here... who welcomed the 37,000 registrants for OOW, down from 44,000 last year. Safra is talking about the onus on customers in past to put the different parts of software together, image having to order car by parts and assembling it together... Likewise, it seems Oracle will focus on integrating different parts to make it more enterprise ready...

Wy is this event called "open" world, Safra explained that is Oracle's commitment to Open standards, Oracle's $3B spend in enterprise R&D.

According to Charles, Oracle listens to customers via Customer Advisory board, User Groups and Special Interest Groups (SIG) and this feedback is used to channel the $3B for R&D.

A lot of customers of SAP are using Oralce products (AIA) for SAP to SAP integration. He mentioned 5X savings in storage by compression. Oracle VM 2.2 is out along with OEM 10gR5.

Now Primavera is being introduced by Joel Koppelman who is in his first OOW. A lot of Primavera customers are in Oil & Gas, Utilities etc... Often accounting information is not made available from project management. Primavera P6 will not have integrations with JD edwards and E-business Suite using the AIA. Next will be for Peoplesoft, Agile etc... More so with Oracle BI ( I look forward to that!)

I wonder how it competes with the E-business Suite Project management modules. The acquisition of Primavera completed over 11 months... Next person on will be Paco Aubrejuan who heads Peoplesoft development. He is talking about challenges related to disconnect of budgeting from the day to day operations and differences between budget and actuals. Commitment control in PSFT can pull data from Hyperion Planning and use the concept of commitment spend and encumberances...this way there is continuous check on budget v/s actual throughout the year. Every new hire or speding can be checked with the budget.

This can lead to budget exception, so a PO can be blocked right away if it is not in line with the budgeted spendings. The budget from Hyperion can be published in PSFT.
Thus there is closed loop between budgeting and spending.

The next is the Retek and Profitlogic product. Duncan Angove is on the screen. From 2 seasons in traditional retail to 10+ floor sets now with 20% or less gross margin. a lot more mix and match of merchandise. So the floor set is constantly changing. No longer last season's information is enough for fast fashion. Oracle Retail now has Integrated Fashion Planning with modules like Clearance Optimization, Retail Demand Forecasting, Item and Asortment Planning. All these integrates with OBIEE. Planned obsolesacence is the key...

A good live demo of Retail levers that the retailer can pull say price or alter the product assortment. Good use of integration with mapping and BI. At this time the system's price optimization may help to reduce the give up of the margin by too much reduction in price. The demo used Profit Logic for price optimization and send the information to Retek for operationalizing "fast fashion."

The next section is Anthony Lye Senior VP for CRM. He is talking about Trade Promotions. How to optimoize the Trade Promotions? How to integrate Demantra with Siebel CRM and Demand Planning? The link to Promotions and supply chain was missing. What is being presented is Siebel CRM with Advanced Planning of Demandtra using AIA.
The demo is Siebel CRM and Demantra integrated flows.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oracle Openworld 2009 - Day 1 (Sunday) - Keynote Session

It's 5:30 PM (PST) now and am getting situated for the first keynote of the OOW. Just finished a hectic day of user group events, most of the BIWA SIG and Exadata SIG sessions were very well attended (multiple sessions with over 100) in the audience. That is impressive as there were ~140 user group sessions today at Moscone West.

The day ended in BI Panel discussions that I moderated where Mark Hornick, Mark Rittman, Greg Rahn and Marty Carangelo kicked off some really interesting discussions with good audience participation.

Now I see Safra Katz, Larry and Judy Sim walking in to take their seats... at 5:48PM
The event starts with a video on Scott.... He is dressed in almost red... and he commented that as Sun is "almost" an Oracle company but not fully red yet. He started with his top 10 list that is known for....top 10 list that makes engineers go wild...

Scott's list of top 10 innovations (after 27 yrs of business) under the "SUN":
PC NFS
SPARC first 64 bit computer
Open source
BSD + UNIX System 5 = Solaris
Java
E10K (64-bit Solaris, RISC SMP way)
ZFS/Open Storage / Flash (Exadata)
Project Blackbox (modular data center or data center in a shipping box)
SunRay (thin clients)
Chip Multi-threading (cool threads)

Scott is talking about MySQL, whether it will get clobbered? In his view is does not compete with Oracle or DB2, but with Microsoft. Likewise, InnoDB is still alive after Oracle bought it.

Jave is on 1 B PC's, on 2.2 B mobile phones... "Jave speaks for itself" Now the father of Java, James is invited on the stage...The Oracle's fastest growing products are huge bags of Java code. Oracle is involved in almost all the JSR's in some way... 15 million JRE's are downloaded a week. In Brazil the tax system is Java based and can be done only online...it spikes the Java downloads at that time. The London Oyster card for local trains uses a Java card... Scott is concerned if Moscone center can hold Openworld and Java one together...

Sun is also a storage company. About 1/3 people run their business on Oracle, Java and SPARC. It begs the question the question when will Exadata come out on SPARC?

Scott invited John Fowler, who had unveiled with Larry, the Exadata V2 (Sun Oracle Database Machine) on Sep 15. John announced that Sun holds all 7 key commercial benchmarks...on SUN SPARC platform like OLTP, OBIEE, Hyperion etc...

Scott showed the Sun FlashFire card to emphasize the small size... In old days flash wore out quickly so question is - is it reliable. It seems the flash technology has improved over time and is quite reliable now...

The future of data center is compute, networking and storage...

Larry is now on the stage...the slide where they say IBM... we're looking forward to competing with you in the hardware business. Larry thinks that IBM is dissuading SUN customers and telling them that Oracle will get rid of hardware business. Larry says that is why the ads about competing with IBM....

Larry says that they will demonstrate that Oracle works best with SPARC...Oracle will increase investment for MySQL. They had bought Innobase and have not killed the product. InnoDB is integral part of transaction processing. Larry believes that Apple has done a good job in managing the H/W and S/W problems together. It seems Oracle with Sun wants to do the same. Oracle talked about the TPC benchmark that exceeds IBM's Power series benchmarks.


At a later session during the Titan Awards, IBM picked up a few Titan awards and a Global Partner Award..... more details to come

Oracle Openworld 2009 - Day 1 (Sunday)

Oracle Openworld 2009 is here, sitting in Moscone West (Room 2002 BIWASIG, Exadata SIG 2004), in San Francisco downtown. The sessions are open to all categories of registrant of Oracle Openworld 2009. The Special Interest Group sessions will go on till 5 PM.


The first BIWA SIG session was on real world OBIEE implementation related experiences and had over 100 (114) attendees which is a good number for a session right 8:30AM in the morning while folks are busy picking up their badges and taking care of registration.

The room 2004 is full of Exadata SIG sessions, the 8:30 session was kicked off by Matt Morris of TUSC and then Dan Norris did a session on best practices. The next session in 2004 is a panel of X team experts from Oracle.

More to come....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BIWA SIG at Oracle Openworld 2009

BIWA SIG is very excited to be present at the Oracle Openworld 2009 with its sessions as below (all these are on Moscone West on Sunday Oct 11):

1) Deep Dive into Oracle Data Integrator Enterprise Edition Support in Oracle BI by Mark Rittman

2) BI Panel: Critical Success Factors for Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing Projects, Moderated by Shyam Varan Nath

3) Lies, Damn Lies, and Visualizing Data with Oracle Business Intelligence Applications by Dan Vlamis

4) Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Implementations in Real-World Environments by Richard Solari and Teresa Wong

5) Oracle Industry Data Model: An “off-the-shelf” Data Warehouse- Faster and Cheaper by Sudip Majumder


Thus the topics covered range from Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, Data Mining to OLAP. Enough content to keep you busy for whole day on Sunday!

What to Expect at Oracle Openworld 2009?

I attended the Speakers meeting on Monday (Oct 5), and wanted to share some of the things I learned:

1) There are 5 Streams, 47 Tracks, ~1963 sessions and 398 Partners in the event. Last year the attendance was close to 45,000, I wonder with the developments with SUN, what will be the attendance this year!

2) Management and Infrastructure Track is new this year. This stream talks about OEM, Storage/Flash Storage, Compliance, Oracle VM ...

3) Primavera Conference is new this year with a separate 2 day registration.

4) Oracle Develop is a 3 day event at Hilton, San Francisco. Tom Kyte is one of the Keynote speakers in that event.

5) The Sunday keynote, after a full day of User Group and SIG sessions (140+), will feature Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison at 5:30PM. This is followed by the Tent Party on Howard Street, yes it is really a tent....

6) There will be a Green Market Place this time. others things of interest are Solution Spotlight, open to Discover Oracle Openworld pass holders, Callaway Experience by Tata (practice your golf swing there), Digital Playground by Blackberry (RIM), BMW Oracle Racing Experience etc...

7)On Wed the keynote is by Infosys CEO S Gopalakrishnan and Larry Ellison. That is the day some accouncements about SUN (SPARC) + Oracle is expected.

8) Unconference is the powerpoint free zone with demos and informal discussions...this is the third year of the event.

9) No throw-away water bottles, rather water station serving city of San Francisco tap water!

Watch out for more details to come....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Announcement:World's First OLTP Database Machine with Sun FlashFire Technology

I am getting ready to listen to LARRY Ellison's talk on OLTP version of Exadata using SUN hardware. I see that this may be useful for mixed workload boxes. Larry had said last year while announcing Exadata in Sep '08, that 70% of the workload of OLTP's are for querying of data.

Oracle is claiming "The result is a quantum leap in performance over Oracle's previous generation Exadata machine, including a 20x increase in random I/O and a 5x I/O bandwidth speedup with FlashFire Technology, as well as a 2x speedup in compute and network performance capacity." Let us see how Larry is going to explain this.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Follow up to: OBIEE Analytics/Reporting Solutions for E-Business Suite

I had posted about my BIWA SIG Techcast here.

I would like this to follow up the event, if you had a question that you wanted to follow up, please use the comments here. I will try to answer those.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Oracle 11g R2 - What is new?

Today Oracle 11g R2 was released. It is interesting to note that Linux version is the first to be out as usual, even though Oracle is on verge of owning Solaris OS. Sun and Windows version are expected later this year. The timing is good, it's about 1 1/2 months to Oracle Openworld. I am sure the 11g R2 related session will be a good draw.


So what's new in this release:

1) Enhancements to Real Application Cluster, Oracle RAC One Node option is now available for relatively less critical systems. The ASM get's a face lift with intelligent data placement leading to better retrieval rate for data.







2) Advanced data partitioning to allow more online application upgrades.

3) One of the Exadata related feature is called “Warehouse” Compression and is based upon Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression. This technique delivers a typical compression ratio of up to 10:1 for data warehouses, with virtually no negative impact on query performance, per Oracle. The "archive" compression can get 40:1 compression factor.


The 11gR2 documentation is here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

OBIEE Analytics/Reporting Solutions for E-Business Suite

Here is my personal invitation to come and attend the next Oracle BIWA SIG Techcast called:


I plan to discuss the following high level topics:

1) Oracle BI Applications for supported Oracle E-Business Suite Modules and other Oracle Applications. It will include real world experiences for implementing BI Apps Version 7.9.6 {yes I have brought a 7.9.6 implementation to production recently!}

2) Custom OBIEE Development against E-Business Suite (when no BI apps are available)
3) Migration of Discoverer EUL to OBIEE RPD using Migration Utility

While OBIEE and BI Apps are clearly the strategic analytics reporting direction from Oracle, only certain Analytics applications are available. Sometimes all customer needs for BI reporting may not be met by these pre-built analytics. For instance, JD Edwards has pre-built ETL connectors only for Financial Analytics. While more BI Apps and ETL connectors are in the pipeline, how can users meet their reporting needs today as they go live in near future? In this session, we will look at several short and medium term solutions without deviating from the long term strategic goal of using pre-built BI applications to reduce the overall risk.

Several real life situations will be evaluated with demonstration of the steps involved such as how to Migrate Discoverer reports to OBIEE with the highest degree of automation. Likewise, we will cover how DBI views be used for custom OBIEE reporting.

------------------------------------------------------

While the above is my suggested outline, I am open to requests and suggestions so that it best serves your needs. Please feel free to comment or email what you would like to hear about in this webcast or its follow up.

Friday, August 28, 2009

SPSS Announcement - IBM on the Horizon!

SPSS Inc. Announcement - August 2009

Dear Shyam Varan

These are exciting times for SPSS and for you, our customer. By now you have probably heard the news that SPSS Inc. has entered into an agreement to be acquired by IBM Corporation.

First, I want to personally thank you for your patronage over the years and for enabling us to reach this pinnacle event. Second, I want to assure you that, as we go through the process of finalizing the acquisition, our level of support and dedication to academia will remain as strong as ever. During this time, account management and support infrastructure will be at the forefront of our focus and, of course, we will continue to honor our outstanding commitments and contracts. In short, our action plan for the immediate future is business as usual.

This agreement is a momentous step, as becoming part of IBM will provide us with the scale and resources to better meet academia’s need for the most advanced data analysis and decision-making tools. We are firmly committed to:

  • Providing academia the power of Predictive Analytics and the combined technologies and expertise of both companies. By partnering with you, we will be able to advance the use of data in decision making throughout the student lifecycle, across the campus and into the research lab.
  • Continuing our long standing relationship with academia and the universities, professors, students and researchers who rely on our technology to help create a better future.
  • Making the best technology tools and resources available to the academic community. To learn more about IBM’s strong academic presence, visit www.ibm.com/developerworks/university.

We expect a smooth transition and will continue to communicate with you as new information becomes available. We encourage you to visit http://www.spss.com/ibm-announce/ for updates and FAQs or contact your account representative to discuss any concerns you may have.

We hope you share our excitement in the positive prospects this announcement brings. Together, we will be even better positioned to lead an industry we helped create. We place a high value on our academic relationships and know that our success comes from helping you succeed. We appreciate your business and, as we enter this new chapter, look forward to continuing our relationship with you and your institution.


Sincerely,

Jack Noonan
Chairman, CEO and President
SPSS Inc.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Business Case for Social Networks

It has been a while since I blogged, BIWA hosted a webcast on Data Mining by Charlie Berger and is ready for another one tomorrow on Oracle database 11g optimizer by Maria Colgan. Her talks are generally "sold out." In my opinion her topic is not mainstream BI, yet something that all BIDW professionals need to know to drive performance out of the Oracle DB based data warehouses. We have a few more talks lined up such as Oracle OLAP at Gallup: A Scalable Unified Approach to BI Reporting by the Gallup folks and then mine on OBIEE Analytics/Reporting Solutions for E-Business Suite

Now that my Blogger status for Oracle Openworld 2009, registration is approved, I am "licensed to blog." :)

You might have observed that the title of this section is "The Business Case for Social Networks" yet I start talking about BIWA Techcasts. Well, I want to build the business case implicitly and not explicitly. You can note that today almost all the BI experts quoted here are using social media to get their ideas across. Apart from being a blogger, this year at Open World I am a panelist in a Web 2.0 session on a topic related to My Oracle Support. From the conventional TAR based support, Oracle is looking to a 360 Social Strategy of Support. We will discuss more about it in the Oracle Panel.

Well, so far I have used sentiments to build the business case for social networks. As an "analytics" person, I am suposed to justify based on hard numbers and real business cases and trends and not on emotions. So here are some solid cases:

New airfare deals pop up on Twitter - but act fast Jetblue posted a "Cheep" Cheaps+ Tweet for $9 one way trip from JFK to Nantucket. United posted "twares" or Twitter only fares that are usually available for next 1-2 hours.

USATODAY also quoted there are 35 million Twitter users already and 45% of 1015 advertisers surveyed by Linkedin said Twitter will continue to grow. Facebook has 250 million members and MySpace has 130 million members. Another article by USAToday shows how people are texting / tweeting several hundred messages a day, to their social circles. Thus, eletronic social media is here to stay both at the social and business level.

Few of the Twitters that I have been following are ERoske, Valueselling, EtiquetteExpert, OracleAce, IOUG and Markrittman and not forget another Oracle Ace Mohan Dutt. I responded to his Tweet and got my Oracle openworld Panelist registration, isn't that enough of a cause for me to be a "social junky?"

Before I close, I want to mention Linkedin, another of my favorite, where I have over 1200 connections. I have started a few successful Linkedin groups like Oracle BIWA SIG, Exadata SIG and IOUG. The collective membership of these groups is in 4 figures.



Friday, July 3, 2009

BIWA Techcast Series: Next July 8 on OBIEE

Wednesday, July 8, 12 noon Eastern
BIWA Wednesday TechCast Series - Second Event!
Tales from the Front: Strategies for a Successful OBIEE Implementation

Click here for details
Are you starting a new OBIEE project? Or perhaps you're mired in the muck of an existing project, and things aren't going well. No matter what your experience with OBIEE has been so far, no matter what industry your company is in, this session will provide you with helpful tips and techniques to guide you toward a successful OBIEE implementation.

We'll discuss topics such as:
Divide and Conquer: The key strengths you need on your OBIEE implementation team.
Nothing Stops a Train: But a lack of proper training can stop your project in its tracks.
Any Way You Slice It: Why your security model should be one of the first, second, and third things you consider.
What's In a Name?: Ideas for implementing a standardized naming convention for the objects in your OBIEE schema.
Who's On First? The first, most important steps when beginning your project.
Tiny Steps, Big Results: Building your OBIEE environment in successive stages for quick Proofs of Concept.
Stars, Snowflakes, Constellations, and other Unnatural Phenomena: The proper schemas for a clean configuration and ease of maintenance.
Aggregates, OLAP, and Cache, OH MY: Your three-prong approach to great performance.

We'll use examples pulled from real projects. If you're interested in avoiding the "gotchas" of an OBIEE implementation, then come along for the ride and learn from our mistakes.

Presented by Cathye Pendley of Vlamis Software Solutions
Audio Dial-In: 888 967 2253 Meeting ID: 572994 Meeting Passcode: 334451
Web Conference: https://conference.oracle.com/imtapp/app/sch_mtg_details.uix?mID=149973030
Compatibility Check: If you have not used oracle web conference system before, please ensure your system compatibility by going to https://conference.oracle.com/imtapp/app/nuf_sys.uix.

Other TechCasts Coming Soon - Mark Your Calendars!
July 22, 2009 - Oracle Data Mining Overview and Demos
Charlie Berger, Sr. Director of Product Management, Data Mining Technologies, Oracle
August 5, 2009 - The Oracle Database 11g Optimizer: Good things get even better
Maria Colgan, Principal Product Manager, Oracle
August 19, 2009 - CASE STUDY - Oracle OLAP: A Scalable Unified Approach to BI Reporting
Swapan Golla - Lead Developer, Gallup Organization

Monday, June 22, 2009

Smart Strategies for Uncertain Times

The Monday keynote by John Kopcke (happy the keynote is in the BI/EPM space, so the lanyard by RittmanMead and bags logo of Interrel!)

Do business executives really do not know what they want for BI/EPM is it simply the dashboard envy that drives the projects? John is highlighting the importance of economic downturn for new opportunities. Smukers has grown in profits recently. So what are the high impact strategies:

- Cash conservation is a no-brainer here...
- Manage risk and performance
- Management Excellence (ability of business to be agile in changing times)


E.g. Southwest took 4 days to respond to the 911, to change routes and supporting changes... how does this compare at other business... an example of management excellence. I would add the oil price hedging as an another example that has given Southwest an advantage over others.

John is now talking about he Hackett Value Grid based on 2000 companies surveyed, as the foundation of World class companies and how they outclass others. They have lower DSO and other Finance KPI's are better but they have lower % headcount in Finance and hence lower costs, compared to peer groups. The SOX impacted the peer groups a shot their costs up.

So far the keynote is quite technology agnostic... more generic EPM / BI terminology... the next topic is 7 imperatives to deal with Crisis:

1) get insight and share it (e.g. provide finance professional with operational insight)
2) monitor continuosly
3) plan flexibilty
4) rething strategy
5) invest and divest
6) build trust
7) ... and do this all correct (not just YADT... it should not be Yet Another Dashboard Tool!)

Now John is explaining the importance of BI Applications in this challenging situation. Use the pre-packaged applications and quickly implement to get the insights in your business. Now once you have "insight" into the business problems, how do you "Plan Flexibly?" Time to rethink what does Planning process mean.

Yesterday, there was a lot of focus on the public sector Planning and performance management. Often budgeting is an yearly rituals and then forget about it... can it be used to convert to a rolling business event based activity...

We will see more of integrated business planning. I think BI apps for HFM will be a key bridge between BI and EPM... and will help to close the bridge between IT and Business.

Rethink Strategy: A good example when cost of oil went to $150/barrel.... financial modeling is back in fashion, a good example from IBM - had a financial model on mainframes. Seems like we forgot about financial modeling, important when "obvious" history would not tell us about future... now you need deep mathematical / data mining models to use financial models for "knowing" the future. ABB is a good example of using this to survive a financial crisis ($4B debt restructuring). Gave a good example of who should go to Univ of Vermount - use of data mining to go after the right target prospective students.

Invest and Divest Wisely: Companies need to identify porfolio of best product-market-channel combinations.

Customer success story - Burger King is using 3 month and 5 year planning cycles. Crystal Ball or the Monte Carlo simulation for predictive Modeling is being reintroduced. By the way, at Colaborate Steve Stein of Perot system had explained in brief how Crystal Ball works using human readable rules, so I need to look at it in details. John says, we often plan and budget but do not go and verify how the real worked outperformed viz-a-viz the plan/budgets.

Build Trust: How to "gain to sustain?" Identify the right stake holders...here you identify who are the right consumers of EPM and BI information. New York City (NYC.gov) used dashboards to make govt transparent to the citizens.


shyamvaran John: "TWEETing is great but you cannot run business on Tweets unless you have processes in place", (I think #ODTUG has process in place)
half a minute ago from web...


Before the Hyperion acquisition, BI was looked as add on technology by Oracle. BI / BI apps were post-ERP implmentations. Hyperion has made Oracle realize that BI/EPM cannot be an after-thought, rather needs to be part of the application strategy.

I will be touching some of the concepts today in my MDM for BI - talks at 3:45PM, Session 91

Monday at Kaleidoscope

Monday sessions start...

Todd Trichler is getting the Oracle Contributor Award.
Second award goes to Al Marciante - for contribution to Hyperion SIG, having seem him last year and this year at Hyperion Symposium, this is a well-deserved award.

Paper awards being announced now (Editor's Choice)
...and the winner is Peter Koletzke!

Speakers awards based on speaker feedback
1) Presentation style Peter Koletzke (won a kaleidoscope as his award! the real one)
2) Best presentation content topic ...and the winner is Dimitri Geillis (a proud new father this week)

I am sitting next to Tom Kyte and have asked him to touch on the recent Big Blue announcement in the Database Panel, that he will participate in.

Jeff is explaining why Kaleidoscope has grown in size this year in size, an important milestone in this economy...focus on content. They are inviting Track Managers for next year. The event received over 500 abstracts for 2009, in the 4 main tracks. The APEX track is shown explosive growth. If you look at Oracle Mix, some of the top proposals are related to APEX. The Sundown session on Tuesday evening is for attendees to talk to the Oracle ACES.

Now the Keynote speaker is being introduced as former Hyperion, now Snr VP of BI & EPM (developer's developer as head of development from Hyperion)...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hyperion Planning

Hyperion Planning Roadmap

11.1.2 Release Theme

Public sector Budgeting (out of box ERP implementation using ERPI, Support position based budgeting for public sector, public sector process / workflow management, budget books etc)

Establish MS Office as a prominent Planning user interface

Enhance and Evolve Planning Web Functionality and Usability

11.1.2 also has Data Validation Rules in the Forms for Traffic lite kind of display, based on thresholds. Also this release introduces a much robust member selector.

ASO Reporting Cube Links are possible.
Lightweight Data Entry Pages (Ajax grids): Planning client can retrieve data from the server asyncronously.

Hyperion Financial Management (HFM)

Financial consolidation is almost synonymous with HFM both for Oracle and SAP customers. Janette Hollar of Oracle will be speaking now. In last 25 yrs HFM is the industry leader. It has 1500 customers worldwide. EPMA is used to manage dimesionality over multiple applications. Calculation manager is coming out for it in CY09. On the roadmap for CY10 is better hardware utilization.

HFN-GRC provides fully integrated GRC reporting. GRC has application access controls governor to enforce the proper segregation of the duties in applications. The OBIEE and HFM integration will allow HFM data participates in Common Enterprise Information Model. There is plan for BI app for HFM. It will be to see if new content for Informatica will be generated or only ODI connectors will be provided. With this HFM BI apps, dashboards will be able to BI and EPM data in same dashboard out of box.
SEC is adopting XBRL for reporting 10K, Quarterly reports in a fashion such that companies can be compared easily.

There are new products that are under NDA... so can't be detailed here.

ERP and EPM Integration (ODTUG 2009)

Mike Cassey is now speaking on ERP and EPM integration.FDM source adapters for eBS R12.06 and 12.1. Target adapters for HFM etc...the goal is to integrate metadata and prevent re-development for the users.

FDM ERPI ERP integrator is a new product.

Also see this

Peoplesoft V9 is also supported. Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) is used behind the scenes. More support such as public sector planning, SAP and Oracle Fusion GL will be coming in future. Look for some of these in the Talleyrand release. Two important features are Drill Through and Budget write-back. Public sector Planning needs budget data being written for GL encumberances. eBS hierarchies can be pulled by the EPMI, with no need to re-define them. The EPM System workspace has a data load with places for creating the data rules. Likewise, the calendar mapping can be set. Incremental data loading is also possible.

FDM allows flat file load, but there is no Universal adapter in the plan right now.

Robert Gersten at Kaleidoscope 2009

The first key note of today, from Robert Gersten, Snr VP (EPM and BI Development), starting now. Tim did a nice intro of the speaker but there audio problems to begin with... Robert, thanked the Hyperion customers for their loyalty to the product. The 5 core processes of EPM are metrics, planning, management reporting, specialized analytics and financial reporting.

Specialized analytics includes what-if, predictive analytics etc. EPM is part of Oracle Fusion Middleware group under Thomas Kurien...The current largest install base of EPM is on 9.x Fusion EPM System 11 will work with OBIEE 11g. This version of OBIEE will support HFM etc. out of box. Oracle EPMS ERP Integration expected in Aug 2009. 11.1.1.x (also called) Kennedy) was a very feature rich release - HFM 64-bit), Essbase (ASO/BSO enhancements) etc.

11.1.2 (Talleyrand) will include features for Public sector, full-featured experience in Excel etc...expected in 4th Quarter. The OBIEE 11g is code named Negril (vacation spots!!!) will have OBI Server + essbase, HFM Planning and other integrations. Robert said that BI apps is the fastest growing segment of the Oracle BI/EPM market segment. The PL/SQL API for MDX sounds cool, you can expose data from cube via PL/SQL calls.

do you have an interesting EPM implementation, check out:
http://www.oracle.com/goto/2009biepmaward/index.html
This is the first time any company has made concerted efforts to bridge the gap between BI and EPM. Though, there are some areas yet that need work such as high availability, failover, cluster etc....

Question about Essbase applicance or EPM appliance like Exadata? Is that in near future?

Sunday at Kaleidoscope (ODTUG) 2009

The sessions started today, got registered at 7:30AM, a see a lot of people, met MArk Rittman picking up his registration. The location is quite a contrast from last year..in the heart of New Orleans with all the traffic, here a very quite resort location, just off the Pacific, and the Hyperion session is in room called Pacific.

Got a nice ODTUG jacket at registration, will be good for the chilly weather here (50's). Ed Roske opened the HYP session and talked about the Hyperion Board ballots in the registration bag for the ODTUG attendees. Ed mentioned that there will be a lot of Twitter use this year. And there is mid-night session with chocolates...

Al Marciante, mentioned we do not have to see for 8 hrs today and he is going to delegate the tasks much more to the others today (unlike last year). First session on Essbase roadmap started around 8:30AM - speaker is Aneel Shenker. This was followed by the OBIEE 11g roadmap... a number of cool features were talked about - Mike Donohue and Kris. After a little break, Toufic Wakim is now entertaining the crowd and in the background telling us about Smart View for Office. Next would be session on HPCM...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Journey from Kaleidoscope to Oracle Openworld 2009

This is the week prior to Kaleidoscope and also the week when Oracle had started inviting the speakers based on the call for presentations. So let's look at what is hot this year, more from the Information Management perspective - i.e. Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Data Warehousing (DW), Enterprise Data Management or the Master Data Management (EDM/MDM) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM). In other words, IM is the catch all phrase today for BI/EPM/DW, EDM/MDM and ECM.

The Sunday Symposium in Kaleidoscope has Hyperion/ EPM as one of the tracks. BI will be in the back drop. However, there are about 13 talks in the BIDW track, about half are by Oracle speakers.

There are about 26 talks in Hyperion related topics, and a number of hands-on sessions. Equal number of Essbase talks.

Thus EPM outnumbers BIDW, a few times at Kaleidoscope and that has been the historical trend.


What is interesting though that this is a Development Tools User Group and the only 10 sessions are categorized as Oracle Tools related.

Overall, these is a lot of content and as usual there are many sessions at same time that one would like to attend...

This week also marked the selection of the Oracle Presentations for Openworld 2009. So far I will be in two sessions at Oracle Openworld (OOW). Starting from 2003, this year would be my 5th appearance as speaker (past ones being 2003, 06, 07, 08).

There will be at least 25 sessions on MDM alone at OOW, compare that two in Kaleidoscope (one being mine). At least 48 that have Hyperion in the title or abstract and 18 related to Essbase. OLAP in 13, 5 for data mining. About 125 that are related to Business Intelligence!!! Only 5 talks will mention about Discoverer, really the product is phasing out...

Exadata is hot, we did a webcast today on it, see http://tinyurl.com/EXADATASIG
OOW 09 will feature as many as 19 Exadata related talks and Panels...
At least 50 talks will touch on RAC....

So does Larry have any more big announcements to make this year, no clue...Exadata was a real big announcement last year. May be Oracle 11gR2 will be released in the OOW timeframe. Also user community is awaiting the OBIEE 11g version...

Enough for now... keep any eye here for more hot of the press from Monterey!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kaleidoscope (ODTUG) 2009 is a week away!

It was not too long ago that I blogged about Collaborate '09 and now it's about time for Kaleidoscope. It will be my second time at this event. Last year, it was at New Orleans where I volunteered on Saturday to paint a school along with several other volunteers such as Mary Lou Dopart from Oracle.



This year the scene shifts to Pacific, Monterey Beach, CA is a very beautiful location. So all those who do not often go to CA or more so to this part of coastal California, about 100 miles south of San Francisco, should definitely try to set aside some time to visit the surrounding places. About 30 miles south is Big Sur...the picture below is a nice view but any picture or video cannot do real justice to the natural beauty of the Monterey and its surrounds.



Well enough about the surroundings, let's now get to what we are "really" to the conference for. So even though the conference starts on Saturday with the voluntary event, the main attraction for me is the full day Sunday event. I am looking forward to the Hyperion Symposium, details in this post below. I sat through a similar session last year, and plan to assimilate more this year. Hope to meet Ed Roske, Tracy, Tim etc...even though it is an all day event where you practically sit in the same room, time flies...as I recall from last year.

Monday, I have a few sessions in my personal schedule builder, but my speaker session #91 is towards the end of the day : 3:45–5:15 PM Session 4 (90 minutes). The 90 minute format reminds me of the large slots on the SIG day (Sunday before Openworld). At Collaborate, I think there are either 60 min slots or 120 min expert sessions only... I will be talking about Master Data Management and its usefulness in context of Business Intelligence Applications.

I will be blogging and Tweeting on #ODTUG... with tips on logistics, what else to see in the area and so on...


-------------------
Hyperion Symposium
Moderated by Al Marciante, Oracle Corporation

Oracle’s Sunday Symposium at ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2009 will give attendees a unique preview to upcoming development work in Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Management applications and Business Intelligence Platform. The symposium includes demos, prototypes, and slide content, as well as interactive Q&A for attendees to provide feedback to help validate and shape the features under development. The all-day symposium is planned to include previews in the following areas:

EPM Foundation and common services
Oracle Hyperion Planning
Oracle Hyperion Financial Management
Oracle Essbase
Oracle Business Intelligence
Other projects in development
This symposium is offered for in-person attendees, and will not be recorded or available for download

Proposal for Oracle Openworld 2009 via Oracle Mix

Check out my proposal for Oracle Openworld 2009, via the Oracle Mix:
http://ow.ly/dVg1

Any comments are welcome. It is about implementing Oracle BI Applications - 7.9.6
Thanks

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Collaborate 2009 is over!

Returned home from a hectic week at Collaborate, was mainly focusing on the BIDW content and was nice to read this article of how BIDW is doing in the current market.

Also read Larry's Q&A about his plans for Sun.. one of the obvious questions in people's mind is will Exadata support extend to SPARC processors, seems like that is not on his mind right now...

Thanks
Shyam

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Keynote by Al Smith of IBM

Sitting in the keynote by Al Smith of IBM... towards the starts he talks about the importance of BI....liked the analogy of cost the of "dirt" in a landscaping project to the cost of managing the "data" as an infrastructure element in the enterprise.

Interestingly, IBM handed DB2 flyers on the way in to the keynote....some of you might have seen the recent a announcement about emulating Oracle DB in DB2.

This year IBM and Cognos booth are the same unlike the last year, however, noticed Piocon and TUSC have 2 different booth though both are under Rolta umbrella now. A good example of business case for Master Data Management (MDM. Stat from IBM keynote that managers spend more time looking for data than actually using it.

Al gave a good example of series of hardware upgrades with small performance boost, but with dimishing returns as data / database keeps grows. Tomorrow, I am speaking on Oracle Exadata and this a great example of why large DW shops need to include Exadata on theor road rather than plan incremental H/W upgrades...

Al built the case for data archiving, t support the IBM Optim family. Reminds me of the ILM (Information Lifecycle Management)...mainly how do you keep in compliance and keep huge amounts of data but not necessarily within the OLTP or DW rather in the data archives.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

BIWA Centric Sessions at Collaborate 2009! (Monday)

Attend the IOUG SIG Orientation on Sunday at 6PM in Peabody Hotel, opposite the convention center.


Things about Orlando and FL they would not tell you at Collaborate 2009!

It's only a day at Collaborate and I heard some folks asking where are the bars!  Well close to Convention center are the highways and it is not right in any Downtown... but there is plenty to do in Orlando, it is the Entertainment Capital of the World with about 52 million tourists every year! That is little more than Las Vegas (~48 million) or London (~27 million).

Orlando has second largest hotels room, next only to Vegas... The top destination is Magic Kingdom, Disney.  Universal Studios and Island of Adventure are close to City Walk, i.e. you get to same parking lot and then walk to City walk (11AM onwards till 2AM!) or go to the Parks Universal Studios (movie based rides) or Island of Adventure (roller coaster like rides)- the two theme parks. City Walk is couple of miles from Convention Center, but I best bet is to drive or take the shuttle from the hotel.  Parking is $12 for cars or $3 after 6 PM (used to be free after 6 but 2009 it changed)

These Universal Theme Parks rival the 4 Disney Theme Parks - Magic Kingdom (great for kids, gentle rides mainly), MGM Hollywood Studios (movie based rides), Epcot (science based rides, good for us Geeks! and world showcase) and Animal Kingdom (more like an upscale zoo!). Then Disney has Downtown Disney, free to visit and Park there... but its not close to the theme parks.

I will keep posting... for tips to Navigate Orlando... been in FL for 14 yrs and been 50+ times to Orlando... well have lost count frankly.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Collaborate 2009 is here!

Arrived at Orlando today... to get situated before the event starts... The attendees can expect a "warm welcome"  as it will be 68-90F for the next few days...

However, almost all hotels have pools and the shuttle from the conference hotel starts early, so one can easily avoid the hot day outside...unless you are from the Sunshine state like myself where 90F is the norm...

Main activites start tomorrow for BIWA SIG...
BI Panel will have a few BI experts such as Mark Rittman, Martin Carangelo,Dan Vlamis, Charlie Berger and Michael Schrader  and the mightly Ian Abramson moderating it... so do not miss it

Sunday,  May 3 
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm:  SIG Reception - come by the BIWA SIG table and chat with your Colleagues and Oracle PM's 

Monday,  May 4
8:00 am - 9:00 am:   rm W230A  - IOUG BIWA SIG Orientation 
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm:   rm   W230A - BI Panel - Critical Success Factor for BI Projects 
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm:   rm  330A -  BIWA SIG - Meeting 

Tuesday,  May 5

7:15 am - 8:15 am:  rm 330ABIWA SIG - Networking Breakfast


I will be posting the BIDW sessions for the day so keep any eye....

Monday, April 20, 2009

SUNsational Collaborate 2009!

Just about when we though we were all set for Collaborate 2009, Larry throws a curve ball! Yes it is the SUNsational news that Sun will be soon under the Oracle umbrella. What does it means for the user community? Well if you check the picture below, newly posted on the Oracle's website, now the Linux layer has become Solaris/Linux:
I really wonder how the marketing slogan of Oracle + Linux is unbreakable combination will change now?  Well, when I was sitting in Moscone Center in 2003, listening to one of the keynotes, I remember Scott McNeally joking telling Larry "Are you gonna buy us next?"  It's only six years later and several billion dollars lower, Sun is going to be part of Oracle family.

While we rarely look at Sun as one of the database players, really Sun does own MySQL, that Oracle once tried to acquire for a billion dollars.  On the hardware front, it's not long ago that Oracle announced the HP Oracle Database platform. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how Sun plays a part in the Exadata front. I do not even want to mention the impact of owning J2EE can be, I am sure others are writing pages sceculating the impact of this to SAP and IBM...

Anyways, I will in the center of action at Orlando, during Collaborate to see how is all works out as Sun admins and MySQL developers make a last minute march towards the Disney city! 


Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Time to Collaborate!

We are just about two weeks from Collaborate 2009, the user group event for Oracle Technology and Applications.

My first event on this lines was IOUG Live in 2003 at Orlando. Year 2005 it was back to Orlando, while 2004 was in Toronto. The major change took place in 2006 where Collborate was born when IOUG, OAUG and Quest shook hands together, the event grew many fold in size. Now I am told its over 5000 attendees. 2007 the Collaborate went to the Sin City and from there to the Mile High City in 2008. 2008 was my first time being in the IOUG Conference committee and get a behind the scenes feel.

Being a Floridian for a long time, I am happy to see Collaborate being held 2 1/2 hrs of drive away! And I am a big fan of Universal Studios and Disney. The Wed night event will be at City Walk.

So what I am looking forward to this time... Apart from the 50+ sessions related to BIWA Track, I am also looking forward to the launch of the Exadata SIG. I thing the release of 1/2 the Exadata rack this Spring was quite timely...and as Kevin explained it today in his webcast that the Optimised Warehouse Initiative can only at best provide 2GB/sec bandwidth for "Extreme Data Warehousing." So while the full Exadata rack can provide 14GB/sec bandwith which may be an overkill both in price and performance, the half X Database Machine is a good compromise... to fill the void in the times of economic downturn.

I wll post most on the sessions and events that I look forward to Collaborate '09

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Competing on Analytics - Jeanne Harris at BIWA Summit 2008
Listen to Jeanne Harris, co-author of Competing on Analytics and keynote speaker at BIWA Summit 2008 speak about her key ideas in this brief (1 minute) audio clip. Thanks to Jeff Erickson of Oracle for sharing this!
Oracle Exadata Storage Technology
See Oracle Vice President of Data Warehousing Development, Ray Roccaforte, discuss the value of Oracle's new Exadata Storage Technology in this brief (under 2 minutes) video clip taken at BIWA Summit 2008.