Friday Mar 28, 2008

PostgreSQL, MySQL and Java DB at Sun Tech Days, Hyderabad 2008

Sun Tech days Hyderabad kept its promise of bringing thousands of techies to the conference even this year. Total 7000 people attended this conference that ran over three days in the last week of february. Like last year, student community dominated the number of registrations, but the number of developers from the Indian IT industry was still quite a significant percent of the total number. The conference had total 4 tracks running in parallel on the first 2 days and the last day, also called as the Open Source day, had in fact 5.

I presented 2 sessions this year. "PostgreSQL and MySQL, the databases inside Solaris" in the Solaris track on the first day and "MySQL and Java DB, the databases for Java developers" in the community track on the second day.

TalkAbout 300 people attended my session in the Solaris track and it was received very well. The recent announcement of MySQL aquisition helped here, I believe. I discussed features of both PostgreSQL and MySQL and also compared both of them specifically where they overlap. Also, I discussed how Solaris currently integrates these 2 databases and future plans with WebStack. I also presented the PostgreSQL + Zones and postgreSQL DTrace demo, which... worked.

Not so surprisingly, people seem to have been using these 2 databases already. This was evident from the questions I faced at the end. Issues such as Indic language support for PostgreSQL also came up. Unfortunately, This particular point need more attention in the PostgreSQL community and I think, if anybody has to do this, it has to be the Indian language experts. I also think solving this issue is critical for the success of OSDB with Govt of India adopting open source technologies in a big way. People also asked doubts on the comparison between these 2 databases, I was able to answer many of these. I received a comment on the talk, "I was always confused with these 2 databases and this talk has cleared a lot of that.", which is very satisfying.

The other talk was with the series of Java related talks and had much larger audience. Total, 1192 people attended this session and it is the biggest audience I have ever had. The repeat audience from the previous talk was minimal, about 1-2 %. Here, I introduced Java DB and also discussed/compared its feature set with MySQL. The later part of the presentation was focussed more on developing Java database applications. I presented the DerbyTaxdemo and also wanted to show Roumen's "Generating RESTful clients with MySQL using Netbeans" demo, but my Compiz-on-KDE crashed Netbeans and I could not show the demo.

OSDB BoothApart from the 2 sessions, we had a OSDB booth that was manned by Wei-chen and Saurabh Vyas. I spent most of my time at the booth. The booth was located right next to the conference hall and it was crowded all the time.

This year, the event was special for a lot of reasons. It is the 10th anniversary of tech days. We had Software EVP, Rich Green, MySQL Co-Founder David Axmark and Ian Murdock doing the keynotes. We also had a famous indian music band, Euphoria, performing and a fashion show for the audience. This was the first time I presented at the tech days and it was very special because it was also the first time MySQL was covered at Sun Tech Days and I feel honored for being associated with that.

Monday Nov 26, 2007

OSDB at Sun Tech Days, 2007, Shanghai and Beijing


OpenSource Database technologies such as Java DB and PostgreSQL got a lot of attention at Sun tech days in China. This blog is enough evidence of the busy times we had at the database booth at Shanghai tech days. The story was the same at Beijing with even more people visiting our booth.

China is very impressive! They have a strong and matured developer community. We do not get to see them, work with them in the communities much, may be because of the language barrier there is, but I was actually amazed by the kind of knowledge and expertise they have. It will be really nice to see more of them in the communities.

During the course of both the tech days, I interacted with a lot of people, mostly developers, marketing folks and students. I was doing a dual role at Shanghai evangelizing Java DB and PostgreSQL, as we had only one booth for both the technologies. At Beijing, we managed to have separate booths and I was mainly doing Java DB. Manyi's talk at Shanghai tech days was a great success for the kind of
response we got and the amount of interest that was shown in Java DB by the audience.

It was very overwhelming to see that the developers were keen to understand how they can use Java DB in the multi tier system. This was a very frequent question that we faced including few very focused discussions around how Java DB could be used in the middle tier for their specific design. I genuinely felt a need for more focused talk on 'Java DB in multi-tier architecture'.

Another frequent question that is worth a mention here is weather it is possible to use Java DB in consumer and mobile devices. The fact that there is more demand in china/japan for sophisticated gadgets, this was not so surprising. It was really useful to talk to many developers and understand their applications. In a lot of their applications like test automation systems, in-house group blogs and other web based utilities, I could help them understand how Java DB could be useful. Given the amount of good work we are doing at the Apache derby community, it was satisfying to see that people will benefit from its rich feature set.

The trip was a great experience and having Manyi Lu and Wei-chen Lu (who can speak chinese fluently) was a great help for me to be able to interact with people only speaking  Chinese.

Manyi also shared her tech days experience, that is available here.

Tuesday Feb 27, 2007

JavaDB at Sun Tech Days 2007, Hyderabad


The Sun Tech Days 2007, Hyderabad saw around 10000 people this year and was probably the biggest event in its history so far. The event featured many Sun technologies over the span of 3 days. The first 2 days followed a typical Tech Days course that included talks, hands-on sessions, the pods and the last day was dedicated to Netbeans, OpenSolaris and JavaME technologies running in parallel.

 

Manyi Lu, presented introduction to JavaDB in the Java track on the first day. The presentation was attended by around 800 people and was received very well.

Anurag and me, along with Manyi, manned the JavaDB pod that was setup for the first 2 days. Anurag had prepared a demo showing a  catalog application using JavaDB. The classic "Derby Tax Demo" was also on display.

 

Total turnout at the exhibition was really huge and it was difficult for 3 of us to engage with everyone during the breaks. Students from local universities were more than the corporate representatives at the event. It was really overwhleming to see the interest shown by the corporates towards JavaDB. At the stall, we interacted with people representing government organizations (including Indian Space Research Organization), IT & ITES companies and various Training institutes apart from student community.

 JavaDB pod at Sun Tech Days 2007 

 The most frequent question we had to answer was, "How different this is from already available DBs in the market and especially Oracle?". We spent a lot of time telling people about how JavaDB is targeted for different set of DB applications (what we call them as departmental apps), explaining them about the key features of JavaDB and I believe people were satisfied as a lot of them seemed to be really keen on using JavaDB. Many DB developers were impressed to see a fully featured db engine packaged in just 2MB binary size.


Following is the list common questions asked,

      • Are there any migration tools from MySQL and Oracle to JavaDB?
      • Can we access JavaDB from PHP?
      • Are there free online courses on JavaDB?
      • Are there clustering capabilities in JavaDB?
      • Is there any in-built GUI ??

 
We also got an opportunity to interact with corporates who brought up their specific use-cases/apps where they can consider JavaDB. We had discussions on specific features of other DBs which they find very useful and if JavaDB supports them. I am happy to say that all such features that we talked about are either already integrated or are on our roadmap (migration tools, grant-revoke, blob/clob support). Some students and corporates were keen on being a part of the community and contributing to it.

 

I think the event was a great success from JavaDB perspective in terms of increasing awareness among the huge developer community in India.

Madhu posted pictures of the entire event which is definitely worth a look.

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