Monday, January 10, 2011

MySQL and Other Topics in RMOUG SQL>Update Winter 2010 Edition

The Winter 2010 edition of RMOUG SQL>Update (the newsletter of the Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group) arrived this week. It had several interesting articles that I'll reference here. As usual, the newsletter was largely oriented toward database administration, but I still found some things of interest to developers.

Peggy King's "From the President" column provided a summary of RMOUG happenings in 2010. About Training Days 2010, King states, "Over eighty speakers from RMOUG and around the world came together to present what has become known as one of the top Oracle conferences." I presented at RMOUG Training Days 2010 on REST and Groovy and will be presenting on Groovy and HTML5 at RMOUG Training Days 2011 next month.

King also states in her column that over 25 Oracle Aces/Ace Directors attended Training Days 2010 and that 2010's edition was the first to feature an Oracle Ace Panel. Peggy also highlighted RMOUG's three quarterly training meetings, the RMOUG newsletter SQL>Update, and other RMOUG events in 2010.

Technical articles featured in the Winter 2010 edition of RMOUG SQL>Update include Steven Feuerstein's "Guarantee Application Success." A "PL/SQL Evangelist for Quest Software since January 2001," Feuerstein starts his article with these two sentences:

The lawyers at Quest Software asked me to clarify something right up front: using our software will not guarantee that you will be successful. Having said that, I do believe that if you follow the ideas in this paper and my presentation you are likely to improve the chances of delivering a successful application.

The presentation referenced in that quote is probably the Oracle OpenWorld 2010 presentation Guarantee Application Success and is probably related to Guarantee Application Success with the Toad Development Suite. In the article, Feuerstein sets up criteria that an application must be correct, fast enough, and maintainable and then goes into the general high-level approaches he believes should be followed to achieve these desirable criteria. Although PL/SQL is mentioned specifically, most of these ideas apply to development in any language.

John Krahulec's "Enterprise Social Networking: It's Now Ready for the Workplace" begins with an introduction to "Enterprise Social Networking." Krahulec states that "Enterprise Social Networking connects People to People and People to Information." He writes about the merits of social networking and how to deliver those merits to the enterprise. He also discusses the obstacles to adoption of enterprise social networking and discusses use of an Oracle database in application of an enterprise social network. I am interested to see if Enterprise Social Networking continues to grow or if it will fizzle out because of various issues and concerns.

In "ASM - The Next Generation," Tim Mishek looks at the current state of Automatic Storage Management. After describing ASM Dynamic Volume Manager, ASM Clustered File System, ASM Configuration Assistant (asmca), ASM Command Line Interface (ASMCMD), and other issues related to ASM, Mishek concludes, "Oracle has really done it right. Not only is ASM an absolute necessity for database clustering technologies, but is now a better option for general database storage. ... ASM has become a full featured storage solution."

The most interesting article in this edition of the newsletter for me is the single page article "Four Things to Know about MySQL" by Benjamin Wood. During Oracle's acquisition of Sun and its MySQL assets, some were concerned that Oracle only wanted MySQL to kill it. Several Oracle actions since the acquisition have proven otherwise. This article on MySQL by an Oracle Sales Consultant in a magazine heavily targeted at Oracle database administrators is further evidence that Oracle plans to continue supporting and providing MySQL. Wood provides explanation for his "four things," but I only list the four items here (see page 20 of the newsletter for the explanations). The four things Wood states we should know about MySQL follow:

1. MySQL is Now an Oracle Product
2. MySQL Powers the High Volume Web
3. MySQL Powers Critical Infrastructure
4. Oracle 11g and MySQL Work Together

Wood ends his article by explaining how to acquire MySQL from He concludes, "Leverage your Oracle knowledge and get started with the world's most popular open source database -- now an Oracle product!"

Dan Hotka is the subject of the "RMOUG Member Focus" column. It is interesting to read about the technology advancements he has seen in his career. It is also interesting to read about the various twists in his career that I believe most of us experience if we stay in the technology-oriented careers long enough.

Heidi Kuhn is the subject of the "RMOUG Board Focus" column. As the RMOUG Administrative Assistant, Kuhn has access to interesting statistical information about RMOUG. Her column includes pie charts indicating the membership types in RMOUG ("Individuals" dominate with 77% of the memberships) and the percentage of RMOUG members associated with a company (67% associated with a company, 32% individual, and 1% students). Perhaps most interesting of all is the line chart showing RMOUG membership from 1998 through 2010. Current numbers (less than 1000 members) are the lowest on the chart and the peak was in the early 2000s (~2000 members).

Although Oracle now owns many products outside of the Oracle database, I don't think there's any question that RMOUG is still primarily made up of database administrators and focused on database administration. That being stated, RMOUG does work to have presentations at Training Days that are not database related (mine are typically good examples of this) and to address other technology areas as well. Although I'm not a DBA and have no desire to become one, I do find it advantageous to know at least a little about the database.

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