Monday, June 22, 2009

ODTUG Kaliedoscope 2009

So I finally have a chance to get in a little blog time.

I rolled into Monterey for Kaleidoscope on Saturday, overall not a terrible trip although they did "misplace" my luggage. you'd think if United Airlines was going to charge me extra to check a bag, they might do a better job of not losing it, perhaps I'm asking too much. At least my bags showed up later that evening, so not too bad.

K-Scope is at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey CA this year. The hotel is pretty nice. My first room was a little weird, very clean and nice, but it was at the farthest end of the property and outside my door was a highway. The door had a gap under it that a small animal could sneak in and you could see people's feet as they walked by. Then on Sunday morning I had a visitor. I'm not going to say it was definitely a black Widow spider in the bathroom, because I didn't get close enough to check, but I'm told there in this area and it sure looked like one, at least it did before I killed it. Taking all that into consideration I stayed in the room, it wasn't until today when the wireless internet wasn't working for the third day I asked them to change my room. I think there is something wrong with me if I am willing to put up with potentially poisonous spiders, but draw the line at no internet, but hey, I needed to get on Facebook.

So new room is a lot nicer and "better" internet connection. You'd think if you were going to host a group of developers at a technology conference, you would ensure your network could handle all the traffic, apparently the Hyatt can't. We've brought their network to a halt and no one is thrilled about it. Weather has been holding out pretty well and the food has been decent, but not as good as last year. To be fair though, I didn't expect Monterey to compare with New Orleans when it came to food. I'm heading into town this evening to the Chart House with Interel consulting. If the Chart house is as good out here as the others I've been to, it should be good.

So enough about the hotel and me complaining, let's talk content.

This year the content has again been extremely good so far, the Symposium for Oracle EPM (Essbase) talked about some good stuff coming down the line, most notably procedural scripts for MDX in ASO cubes (ie calc scripts for ASO) also the ability to run MDX against Essbase via PL/SQL. Some people have said they were not as impressed this year with the symposium as last year, but to be fair I think that is more about the fact that last year there was just more really cool new stuff for them to talk about. This year the Essbase updates just weren't as "knock you off your seat" as they were last year when we learned about slowly changing attribute dimensions and storing text values in a cube.

The Smartview session went really well and I think Oracle walked away with a lot of good information to take back with them. Some of the OBIEE stuff looks like it is just about where it needs to be for companies to start looking at it as a serious option.

The welcome reception was very nice last night. The exibitor hall is small when compared with the old Solutions conference, but bigger and better than last year. Interel has Rock Band set up at their booth and you can't walk by without seeing a "group" rocking out.

This morning I gave my first presentation on Calc Scripts with Ed Roske. Overall we got some good feedback. It was a "base" level presentation, but I think we had some good dialog going on with the audience and answered some good questions. I'm hoping we finally solved the myth of "If on Dense/Fix on Sparse".

Later I sat through Matt Millela's CDF presentation which was pretty awesome. He has some great code available on his blog essbaselabs.blogspot.com. Who knew you could have your Essbase database tweet you with updates.

I'm about to head out to an Essbase Studio hands on class with one of my favorite Essbase guys Mike Nader. I have a lot of respect for Mike, especially since he taught me Essbase back when he was a trainer on the east coast. I'm also co-presenting an MDX presentation with him tomorrow. That one is in between my two other sessions "I knew how to do it in BSO now how do I do it in ASO" and my social experiment "Politics of Hyperion". The politics one is going to be either a big hit or a total bust. It's a non-technical presentation focusing on some history of Hyperion and how Essbase has evolved from a "finance" tool to an Enterprise class database system. The interesting thing about the presentation is the angle I am approaching it from. While I have always had Finance and IT positions, my education is actually in Organizational Behavior and so I'm approaching the topic from that kind of academic angle. We'll see how that goes!

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