Tuesday Mar 09, 2010

Web 2.0 Fundamentals

Web 2.0 Fundamentals

I just got a copy of the Web 2.0 Fundamentals book by Oswald Campesato and Kevin Nilson. It nicely outlines collection of technologies, tools, products and services to help with delivery of Social Networking and Social Media applications. The book is written in such a way that allows users to quickly get familiar with jargon de jour and to pick the best of breed components for your application stack.[Read More]

Friday Oct 16, 2009

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.

Wednesday Sep 17, 2008

VLAB Event - Lifestreaming: The Real-time Web

While I've been busy attending local events and working with startups, I finally got a minute to blog about some of the events that stood out. Last night's VLAB EVENT - Lifestreaming: The Real-time Web event had quite interesting and colorful set of panelist. Panelists included Bret Taylor, Co-founder of FriendFeed, Loic Le Meur, Founder of Seesmic, Jeff Clavier, Founder of Softtech VC, Leah Culver, Co-founder of Pownce. Kara Swisher, Wall Street Journal editor, did a great job moderating the event. She was entertaining and quite provocative. Here is her capture of the event if you're interested in watching the entire panel discussion.

Some of the questions and topics were popular and you hear them all the time, such as what's the success criteria for a startup and how do you define your business model. There was a hot debate over whether we continue to see proliferation of the chat sites, video streaming sites, and other similar sites, or whether there will be consolidation of similar ones and major industry players will win over the smaller ones, and there will be just a handful of sites, same as we see with search engines today. Kara was of the opinion, and I tend to agree, that the latter paradigm wins. But Leah brought up the point that every site has its own flavor and depending on user preferences and interests, many of them can co-exist.

Last thing I want to mention is an interesting thought Bret shared with the audience around how to turn your application into a killer app, or what should people consider when building open a social application. The key success factor, highlighted by Bret, lays in ability to measure a product feature in a quantitative or other way, e.g. Google AdWords. I think this is a fundamental criteria that doesn't implicitly come to mind when rolling out an open social app - being able to implement an application feature in such a way that you can go back at any given time obtain a quantitative statistics on it, a very interesting concept, and sure makes a lot of sense.

Monday Jul 28, 2008

Mashable LA, Cool and Elegant

LA event was different. First of all it was in the courtyard at Rubicon Project with the warm LA air (although I expected it to be even warmer) and welcoming atmosphere. Since it was my third Mashable events, by now I got used to the traditional Social Networking and Social Media ideas of the local startups, but LA had something new and different. A few startups were radical in their thinking and had their innovation not just around social networking but also in the form of physical gadgets that they were creating and distributing. OpenSolaris and Sun Startup Eseentials offering were the popular topic at the event. I think out of the three events I attended and participated in, the LA one was my favorite… even despite of the red eye flight I had to take that night to get back home.

At every Mashable event I had a chance to present to the audience, as Karen and Pete were kindly inviting the sponsors to the stage to welcome everyone. If you haven't yet had a chance to attend the Mashable event, the SummerMash Austin is coming up July 30th, don't miss it.


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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