Kevin Kempf's Blog

March 2, 2010

SEOUC Recap

Filed under: 11g, 11i, Oracle — kkempf @ 9:23 pm

Last Wednesday and Thursday, myself and a colleague traveled to Charlotte, NC, for the SEOUC annual conference.  It’s a really economical way to get a pulse on what’s going on in the immediate area, see some of the new technologies, and see what other folks are up to.  All in all, we walked away with a mixed impression of the value of going (not unlike Open World) and probably came away with a few valuable ideas and a bit of wasted time.

I walked away very impressed from a presentation on OBIEE for Oracle E-Business suite.  I’d heard the hype for a few years, but never seen it in it’s present iteration (10g was presented, with a hint at the improvements in 11g).  It’s expensive! I know Oracle doesn’t exactly give away their products, but this one is quite the cost difference from lowly Discoverer.  Alas, I feel the writing is on the wall for Discoverer; it feels like Oracle will support it because it must, for a little while, but it’s definitely not going to be a focus from Redwood Shores.  That said, it’s paid for, and looks like R12 will/has picked up a cert with Discoverer 11g, so it will  be around for a little while.  Regardless, I “saw the light” with OBIEE; it’s a mature product with impressive capabilities rivaling any competitors in the field.   Well implemented, it has the potential to augment and possibly replace the never-ending cycle of custom report building in 11i.  It does, however, take a more sophisticated user to fully utilize it’s features, and realistically, 90% of the features would probably only be within the reach of 10% of the user base.

Another take away was the importance of BI Publisher these days (formerly XML publisher).  We’ve not fully embraced BI Pub, but we will now, pending a licensing query to our sales rep.  I was always under the impression BI Publisher was a freebie; that’s not necessarily the case.  It appears that a license for Developer Suite (Forms/Reports) covers us, but my recommendation is to confirm that or risk getting bit by Oracle licensing in the future.  If you read the information at Oracle.com or OTN, it’s less than clear.

I sat in on a great presentation on Forms personalization, and never realized the power within 11i that one had over various field including validation, pop up messages/warnings and the ability to update or hide certain fields of a form based upon interaction with other fields.  Another presentation of note explained an impressive open-source PL/SQL package which allowed content rich Excel (Excel XML) spreadsheets to be built based on passed parameters; it’s a handy tool if you have the need to write more sophisticated reports.

Well, I didn’t win any of the vendor prizes this year, but I really didn’t need another iPod or a Kindle either.  If you have any interest, you can review various presentations at the SEOUC website.

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