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Well, the annual spectacle of enormous proportions has come to a conclusion again. And thats probably the first reason I’d recommend OpenWorld to anyone who works with Oracle who has never been to it. It’s a jaw dropping moment just to see the scale of the event, and how impressively its organised in terms of facilities, lunches, registration and the like.

But onto the technical elements, here’s my impressions of this years conference:

1) Big data, Big data, Big data, Big data

Somewhere in the conference I think there might have been some coverage of database, middleware and cloud 🙂 but it was dwarfed by Big Data (no pun intended). From an australian perspective, I found this quite interesting, because whilst there is a groundswell of interest in the philosophies and tools relating to big data, I’d hardly say its taken the nation by storm. Maybe things will change in the coming years.

Having said that, one thing I was pleased to see (as an Oracle dinosaur) was a realisation that SQL still persists as the dominant query language, and hence the clamour by vendors to provide a good SQL interface layer on top of their respective big data products. The promise of running SQL over some, any or all data sources, whether they be RDBMS or any other data structure sounds very cool.

2) In-memory

Lots and lots of presentations on the new in-memory database option, and its very hard to find anything bad to see about the feature. It just looks like a wonderful feature although you have to pay for all that wonderment 🙂 My only disappointment from the conference was that each session was done “standalone” which means the first 15 mins of each precious 45min slot, was the same 10 slides describing the fundamentals. I would have preferred a single intro session, with then other sessions going more into the nitty gritty.

3) Passion matters

A number of presentations on topics close to my heart did little to inspire me, whereas others on topics that (I thought) had no interest to me were riveting, and it all comes down to the enthusiasm of the presenter for the technology they were talking about.

4) The app

Sadly….the OpenWorld app was a PR disaster for Oracle based on the tweets I saw about it (some of which were my own). I’m mentioning this not to unload a fresh bucket of invective in the public arena, but to encourage people to provide feedback to the conference organisers. I was as guilty as anyone else in terms of getting more and more emotive with my tweets as I got more and more frustrated with the app as the week went on. But I also tabulated my issues and sent them off to the organisers, trying to be as objective as possible as well as providing suggested fixes. I recommend you do the same.

All up, another great week, with lots of cool new things to explore and blog about 🙂 Now onto downloading all the slides…

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