After spending a few days in Mandalay Bay's THEHotel, I guess I now call everything THE... Seriously, they even tag their toilet paper with THEtp... I guess the brand builders in Vegas thought that once you are on to something you keep on doing it, and granted it is a nice hotel with nice rooms.
Most of my collab10 experience was in a room called Reef C, where the BIWA bootcamp was held. Two solid days of BI, Warehousing and Analytics organized by the BIWA SIG at IOUG. Didn't get to see all sessions, but what struck me was the high interest in Analytics. Marty Gubar's OLAP session was full and he did some very nice things with the OLAP option. The cool bit was that he actually gets all the advanced calculations in OLAP to show up in OBI EE without any effort. It was nice to see that the idea from OWB where you generate an RPD is now also in AWM. I think it makes life so much simpler to generate these RPD's from your data model. Even if the end RPD needs some tweaking, it is all a lot less effort to get something going. You can see this stuff for yourself in this demo (click here). OBI EE uses just SQL to get to the calculations, and so, if you prefer APEX, you can build you application there and get the same nice calculations in an APEX application.
Marty also showed the Simba MDX driver used with Excel. I guess we should call that THEcoolone... and it is very slick and wonderfully useful for all of you who actually know Excel. The nice thing is that you leverage pure Excel for all operations (no plug-ins). That means no new tools to learn, no new controls, all just pure Excel.
Got some very good questions in my "what makes Exadata fast" session and overall, the interest in Exadata is overwhelming. One of the things that I did try to do in my session is to get people to think in new patterns rather than in patterns based on Oracle 9i running on some random hardware configuration. We talked a little bit about the often over-indexing and how everyone has to unlearn all of that on Exadata.
The main thing however is that everyone needs to get used to the shear size of some of the components in a Database machine V2. 5TB of flash cache is a lot of very fast data storage, half a TB of memory gets quite interesting as well. So what I did there was really focus on some of the content in these earlier posts on Upward ILM and In-Memory processing.
In short, I do believe the these newer media point out a trend. In-memory and other fast media will get cheaper and will see more use. Some of that we do automatically by adding new functionality, but in some cases I think the end user of the system needs to start thinking about how to leverage all this new hardware. I think most people got very excited about these new capabilities and opportunities.
One of the cool things about the BIWA track was the hand-on track. Very cool to see big crowds for both OLAP and OWB hands-on. Also quite nice to see that the folks at RittmanMead spent so much time on preparing for that session. While all of them put down cool stuff, none was more cool that seeing Data Mining on an Apple iPAD... it all just looks great on an iPAD! Very disappointing to see that Mark Rittman still wasn't showing OWB on his iPAD ;-)
All in all this was a great set of sessions in the BIWA track. Lots of value to our guests (we hope) and we hope they all come again next year!