Mid Atlantic Oracle Professionals Group Conference

The Mid Atlantic Oracle Professionals Group (MAOP) had a conference here in Washington D.C. last week and it was quite a good show. It's a really good idea to get involved in your local professional groups like this one so that you can take advantage of both the inexpensive training and the networking opportunities. Two days of training cost only $340 which is really quite a good rate. Some highlights of the show:

Keynote speaker Sue Harper (Oracle Corporation). Sue Harper talked about being an application developer in today's database development world. She also went through the different types of technologies that Oracle has and how they fit in in today's world. Although I enjoyed listening to her presentation, I'm not sure I took anything away from it.

Keynote speaker Scott Spendolini (Sumner Technologies). Scott's keynote on day two was quite fun. His presentation style was that of the fellow from Identity, which is always a good time. Scott used to be the product manager for HTML DB at Oracle, so he's high on the product. I sat in on both his Keynote and his presentation (HTML DB and Oracle E-Bus Suite) and enjoyed both quite a bit.

Greg Matus from Maverick Solutions really put a great presentation together on XML support in Oracle 10g. Unfortunately I only caught the last 20 minutes or so of the presentation, but the part I saw I really enjoyed. I've been using XML in Oracle databases for quite some time now and had no idea that you could validate XML data in an XMLTYPE datacolumn against a registered schema within the database ("just like any other database constraint"). Thanks Greg.

I. Michael Snyder from CASEtech, Inc. talked about incorporating a Google Maps into an HTML DB application. This was enjoyable (even though it didn't have much to do with HTML DB). It was a good way to end the show for me. Thanks to Michael.

John C. Flack of Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc. put a short presentation together on modeling Enterprise Code Tables (I call code tables reference tables for some reason). This session actually had a bad turnout for some reason, but I thought was actually quite interesting. It was the only session I attended where data modeling was mentioned. John had some good ideas and I really enjoyed his presentation. Thanks to John for doing it.

Ruth Delaney from Oracle Corporation put together a great presentation discussing Oracle's Term "Fusion" and the suite of products it really is. Essentially Fusion is Oracle's term for all their middleware products and how they interact together with one another, it was quite a good presentation. Thanks to Ruth for doing it.

David Bibeau of Dartmouth College presented his team's implementation of a PL/SQL tool they created which pretty much does what Oracle IFS and SQL*Plus do. I'm still a little confused as to why they needed to build this tool, when I asked him why he said "Because IFS doesn't work with PL/SQL", huh. Anyway, he created a sourceforge project for this tool and it can be found at the following URL. Thanks to David for doing the presentation.

I stumbled upon the last 10 minutes of John P. Jeunnette's presentation of the "PL/SQL Web Toolkit" and I thought I had taken a step back in time. I started doing Oracle Web Agent stuff in the mid to late 90's and I thought that that ship had sailed years ago. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the room and saw the package/procedure htp.p projected from the inFocus machine. I then heard him talking about DAD's and stuff and I really felt like I was hearing about yesterday's news. I think John did a great job presenting, however I think that the topic of 1 page, one Stored Procedure should really finally be laid to rest and nobody should use this technology. Thanks to John though for his presentation.

The last session I'd like to mention would be Maggie Tompkins' session on "Improving analysis techniques from Active listening to body language". I really enjoyed this one. Although this was a technical conference, it's really important for us techies to get our soft skills better. In fact, I'm a firm believer in the fact that it is just as important for us (or even more important) to take classes on topics like these as it is for us to take traditional technical training. A special thanks to Maggie for this presentation.

As you can see, I got alot out of the $340 spent. Like I said earlier, if training budgets are tight, this type of training gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Until next time...Rich