OOW and Social Networking

In case you missed the Oracle BMW sailboat (doubt you did), here it is.


The event itself was quite energizing and technology centric, filled with events, two exhibit floors, and multiple sessions. Exhibit floors included Cloud vendors like Amazon, as Oracle is available on EC2. There was a large presence by Sleseforce.com with their CRM on the cloud and developer cloud Force.com offerings. The Oracle development team had a long stretch of booths on the expo floor as well. Below are a few technology snapshots that particularly apply to Social Networking applications.

To improve performance and scalability of PHP applications, you can pool DB connections with Oracle's Database Resident Connection Pool (DRCP). This is important because by default, HTTP requests are handled by individual process in the following manner. A PHP application is deployed on an Apache server using a mod_php module. Individual HTTP requests are processed within a corresponding Apache child process, which is spawned for each request. All resources, including the database connections, are created and destroyed within the context of that child process. However, creating individual database connections for each HTTP request is a resource expensive operation. Oracle's DRCP allows PHP applications to leverage a connection pool. DRCP keeps track of open connections and recycles them in a fashion similar to a JDBC connection pool. It times out idle connections and a Connection Broker of DRCP manages incoming connection requests. Using persistent db connections improves web application scalability.

Mapping and GIS applications can leverage Oracle's database spatial and mapping technology. With Oracle Locator you can quickly calculate a distance from point A to point B, trace a travel route, and perform amny other mapping functions. Most startups in the GIS space rely on PostgreSQL, but if you happen to use Oracle there are definitely many useful features you can utilize.

Oracle's open source, in-memory database, Berkeley DB transactional data store, is used across a multitude popular Web 2.0 apps. To name a few, MemcacheD uses Berkeley DB as it's core in-memory engine. It's often used as an embedded DB. For example, Sun's large scale, open source, networking platform for gaming and virtual world applications, Project Darkstar, also leverages Berkeley DB. Berkeley DB is also used by Internet Archive's Wayback Machine and Heretrix, an open source Internet crawler project. Ulike TimesTen, Berkeley DB is not designed with a primary goal of SQL query execution, instead it can be used as a key-value pair for large objects. The db stores data in a shallow B+ tree, which contributes to quick data retrieval as well as fast writes. The implementation is available in C and Java.

Oracle's Open Source resources can be found here.

Aside from the Oracle technologies that can be applied for building Social Networking applications, partner applications were a big part of the exhibit. There were multiple startups (in SSE definition) that demonstrated technologies for efficient data transfer, data archival and replication.

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Marina Fisher is a member of Oracle ISV Engineering team, posting blogs around industries, technologies, and applications she is working with.

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