Summer Conference 2008

Hosted by Chevron

August 21, 2008

at Chevron, San Ramon, CA


See directions to the conference location near the bottom of this page.


8:00 - 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast - Refreshments Served
9:00 - 9:30 General Session and Welcome - Roger Schrag, NoCOUG President
9:30 - 10:30 Keynote: Millsap's Grand Unified Theory of "Tuning" - Cary Millsap,
10:30 - 11:00 Break
  Room 1220 Room 1240 Room 1130
11:00 - 12:00
Session 1
Case Studies in Performance Problem Diagnosis and Repair by Cary Millsap, Aces in the Hole: Learning Advanced SQL Techniques from the OTN Forum Pros by Greg Pike, Piocon Architecting Data Systems for Compliance by John Weathington, Excellent Management Systems
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00
Session 2
Getting Coherence: Introduction to Data Grids by Raanan Dagan, Oracle Data Warehousing with Oracle 11g by George Lumpkin, Oracle Corporation Building a Web-based Application Using Application Express by Willie Albino, Lockheed Martin
2:00 - 2:30 Break and Refreshments
2:30 - 3:30
Session 3
Power at Your Fingertips - Overlooked Gems in Oracle Enterprise Manager by John Sheaffer, Oracle Corporation Introduction to Java-PL/SQL Developers Take Heart by Peter Koletzke, Quovera Oracle Fusion Middleware Roadmap & Strategy by Margaret Lee, Oracle Corporation
3:30 - 4:00 Raffle
In the vendor area.
4:00 - 5:00
Session 4
A Tour of the AWR Tables by Dave Abercrombie, Convio What the Oracle Really Meant: The Quest for PL/SQL Testing Using Code Tester by Arnie Weinstein, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Oracle Analytical Functions - the hidden treasure by Ron Warshawsky, DBA Infopower
5:00 - ??? NoCOUG networking and happy hour at San Ramon Marriott, 2600 Bishop Dr., San Ramon, CA  94583 -- (925) 244-6171

Directions: Leaving the conference, go straight across Bollinger onto Camino Ramon. Turn left onto Bishop Drive. The Marriott is less than half a mile, on the left.
*** Walk through the bar to the outside patio. ***

Mark your calendar for NoCOUG's Fall Conference:
November 13, 2008 at CarrAmerica Conference Center in Pleasanton.



Speaker Abstracts for Spring Conference


“Millsap's Grand Unified Theory of "Tuning"” - Cary Millsap,

First there were the v$ and x$ views. And tkprof. Then came bstat/estat, Statspack, ASH, ADDM, OEM, and plenty of third-party tools that look kind of like those tools. There are loads of OS tools too that have been around a long time, like top and sar and strace and pstack and gprof. And then there are the methods: OPIM, and YAPP, and Method R to name three. In this presentation, Cary Millsap gives a brief tour of the moving parts and reveals his own perspective about how all these parts should fit together.

Room 1220
“Case Studies in Performance Problem Diagnosis and Repair” - Cary Millsap,

While we certainly learn from our own experiences, we can save ourselves plenty of time and frustration if we can learn from the experiences of others. This presentation reviews the real life experiences of professionals like you who faced some nasty performance problems and lived to tell the tale. Come experience their journeys as a spectator so that next time, when you're faced with a similar problem, you may have just the information you need to handle it with greater ease and efficiency.

“Getting Coherence: Introduction to Data Grids” - Raanan Dagan, Oracle

Grid-based infrastructures are being developed, deployed and used to achieve unlimited application scalability and continuous availability across multiple datacenters. Understanding the additional capabilities of these infrastructures and how they can be improved with the use of Data Grid technology to solve increasingly difficult and complex problems ensures that your organization is getting the maximum utility from Grid Computing.

This session focuses on how Oracle Coherence Data Grid can easily help you achieve all of these goals and more!

“Power at Your Fingertips - Overlooked Gems in Oracle Enterprise Manager” - John Sheaffer, Oracle Corporation

Today's DBA is increasingly tasked with providing greater support across the enterprise - in some cases, being stretched so thin that leveraging automated tools is your only survival mechanism. In this session, you will learn about how often overlooked features of Oracle Enterprise Manager will help you improve efficiency, lower your blood pressure, and get you home on time!

“A Tour of the AWR Tables” - Dave Abercrombie, Convio

Introduced in version 10g, Oracle's Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) provides diagnostic information for performance and scalability studies, automatically recording a rich variety of database performance statistics.

What's the best way to leverage this wealth of data? While you can run Oracle-supplied AWR reports, or use Oracle features such as the Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM), each Oracle database presents its own unique tuning challenges. In this session you'll learn how to work directly with AWR tables, using customized queries to improve insight into your own particular scalability issues.

Topics include:

  • Important AWR tables, their contents, how to join them, and their quirks and limitations.
  • Sample queries that can be easily adapted to focus on your own unique set of problems.
  • Estimating the "Average Active Session" metric.
  • Simple statistical techniques to find spikes and other types of anomalous behavior.
  • A comparison of techniques used for historical scalability studies with those used for real-time performance crisis resolution..
  • Use of DBMS_APPLICATION_INFO and JDBC end-to-end metrics.
  • Useful tips on configuring AWR.

Room 1240
“Aces in the Hole: Learning Advanced SQL Techniques from the OTN Forum Pros” - Greg Pike, Piocon

Although seasoned professionals understand the benefits of solving business problems with efficient queries or PL/SQL, the volunteer experts and Oracle Ace contributors on OTN's SQL and PL/SQL discussion forums raise the query writing bar to an entirely new level. Oracle professionals at any skill level will find this forum packed with a treasure chest of tips, tricks and techniques. With over 60,000 topics and 325,000 posts, it's the mother lode of SQL and PL/SQL education from recognized experts worldwide.

In this session, the powerful techniques of advanced query authoring are explored by reviewing real-world forum threads and the unique solutions posted by the gurus. The resident experts from the OTN forums solve problems using a combination of analytic functions, hierarchical queries (CONNECT BY), collections (COLLECT ), XML functions/operators (SYS_XMLGEN, and XMLSEQUENCE), Pipelined Functions, the MODEL clause and more.

“Data Warehousing with Oracle 11g” - George Lumpkin, Oracle Corporation

Satisfying business intelligence requirements for all users throughout the enterprise requires a fast, reliable and scalable data warehouse to protect and maintain quality business information. Come learn why Oracle is the #1 database for data warehousing, why Oracle Warehouse Builder is the best tool for building data warehouses, how ground-breaking new features in Oracle Database 11g will dramatically speed query performance, and, how you can accelerate data warehousing deployments.

“Introduction to Java-PL/SQL Developers Take Heart” - Peter Koletzke, Quovera

Oracle's current focus on implementing database and development features based on the Java language may have you thinking that you need to learn Java. However, if you are familiar with PL/SQL, your first view of Java may be a bit discouraging because its object-oriented core makes it look very different. Also, you may be wonder about Java's strengths and weaknesses and where it fits in the industry.

This presentation explains to PL/SQL developers who have had little or no exposure to Java, the basic concepts of, and terms used in Java. The presentation provides an overview of the language and reviews the concepts of object orientation upon which Java is based. It also discusses the fundamental Java code structures -- classes and methods -- as well as control statements; exception handling; data types; and variables. This explanation will act as a springboard for further study. Level: Beginner

“What the Oracle Really Meant: The Quest for PL/SQL Testing Using Code Tester” - Arnie Weinstein, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Software developers face constant pressure to produce highly complex PL/SQL code under tight deadlines. Without an efficient and reliable way to perform thorough code testing, software is released with defects that would otherwise be eliminated. Using an automated test tool carries risks that may be mitigated by certain practices. These practices greatly improved our ability to develop high quality and efficient testing software. In this paper, we will share some of these practices

Room 1130
“Architecting Data Systems for Compliance” - John Weathington, Excellent Management Systems

A gentle introduction to compliance for database system architects, and introductory concepts for the architecture that's optimal for supporting the growing need for your company's compliance.

“Building a Web-based Application Using Application Express” - Willie Albino, Lockheed Martin

Application Express is a free web application development environment that comes with the Oracle database (Oracle 9.0.3+). Using a simple web browser, you can create and deploy web-based, database-centric applications very quickly. In addition you can upload and create applications from MS Excel spreadsheets. In this session, an introduction to the Application Express environment will be provided. In addition, an application will be built from tables existing in the database, as well as data uploaded from some Excel spreadsheets.

“Oracle Fusion Middleware Roadmap & Strategy” - Margaret Lee, Oracle Corporation

With the recent acquisition of BEA, a number of best-in-class products have been added to Oracle's robust portfolio of middleware solutions. Customers are interested in knowing what Oracle's strategy and roadmap will be around protecting existing BEA customers' investments and integrating BEA products into existing Fusion Middleware solutions. This session will detail how Oracle will leverage best products from both companies to provide solutions in Java & Transaction Processing, SOA and Business Process Management, and User Interaction and Enterprise 2.0.

“Oracle Analytical Functions - the hidden treasure” - Ron Warshawsky, DBA Infopower

Oracle introduced them in 8i, but do we really use them to their full potential? Oracle analytical functional can save great deal of coding and provide amazing results very fast.

How about doing this - and this is only a beginning:

  • Ranking data within subsets of a data set.
  • Aggregating data within subsets of a data set.
  • Performing aggregations over moving windows.
  • Displaying and comparing aggregates to individual entries within a single query.
  • Comparing two or more rows within a given data set.


If you have suggestions for future meetings or would like to offer feedback on previous conferences, then please complete our online survey or send us an email.

Directions to Chevron Park in San Ramon:

6101 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94583

Please note that the conference building is just after the Chevron Campus.
Upon arrival, enter the building at the East entrance where you'll find NoCOUG representatives ready to sign you in.

From Highway 680 South:
Exit at Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn left onto Bollinger Canyon Road (heading east over the freeway). After passing Chevron Park Circle West, turn right into Bishop Ranch 1. Address 6101 is the first building after entering the parking lot. Park anywhere not restricted.

From Highway 680 North:
Exit at Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn right onto Bollinger Canyon Road (heading east). After passing Chevron Park Circle West, turn right into Bishop Ranch 1. Address 6101 is the first building after entering the parking lot. Park anywhere not restricted.

Copyright © 2008 NoCOUG.  All rights reserved.