Internals, Presenting, Portugal and Championchips

A small blog post silence but I did a lot; or not, I guess that would depend on your definition ;-) one and a half weeks ago, or is it already two, I was very busy with “fun” XMLDB stuff, that is, trying to figure out some peaces that are not in a manual.


I was trying to figure out some internals regarding XMLDB domain indexes, like the hierarchic index, nowadays referred to as the Path Index and the domain XMLIndex index. Going through a lot of $ORACLE_HOME\rdbms\admin scripts, I found out that those two very important XMLDB domain indexes (one dedicated for the XMLDB repository and one for XMLType Binary XML / CLOB storage support in 11g) are based on the ODCI, aka Oracle Data Cartridge Interface, aka the Oracle Extensible Architecture. When I have a better overview, insight into this matter, I will dedicate a post on this.


The first Dutch DBA Conference presentations, in general, went well and I enjoyed them all. Also my second serious attempt (my first one was during UKOUG 2007) to make my story / view clear to a broader audience, in this case DBA peers, went also very well. The story outline, during “XMLDB Building Blocks & Best Practices” was more clear and the pace of the presentation was okay. I used 45 minutes of the 60 minutes which I used to answer some questions. In hind sight, I noticed that the DBA crowd was not so familiar yet with XMLDB concepts and problems, as are developers, and I guess that that was probably the reason that Toon Koppelaars mentioned that the presentation went well but that the material was not very easy to grasp. His suggestion was that I should lighten it up a bit with some examples. Although I intended this presentation as “intro into…”, I can see his point. I added some extra “lightweight” conceptual information to fill up the extra 15 minutes (and still came short for the whole 60 minutes), the overall presentation had now matured and had far more “body” than UKOUG. Although I am a little afraid regarding live demo’s, I think I should put them in to brighten it up again if this presentation is accepted, for (the first time) across the ocean, during OOW 2008.


I have three elder brothers. All “workaholics”, just like me. So we decided this year for the first time to have a small get together during a holiday in Portugal (Seniora da Rocha, Algarve), in my eldest brother new bought apartment. It had just been delivered, so the apartment was completely empty (and very “dirty” with dust). The first night was rough trying to sleep on cold hard new tiles with only a sleeping bag to support my pelvis. The second day was already a little bit better, although the cold off shore winds. We completely filled up the refrigerator with food and a very useful amount of beer. Somehow my eldest brother managed to get all the needed Portuguese people in on this day, so at the end of the day we had electricity and gas, that resulted in a warm shower and a more cozy atmosphere in the evening. Also the snoring was more endurable because of “the process of emptying” the first load of beer from the refrigerator, so we had to do some shopping again the day after ;-) On Sunday the weather was nice at last, without the Atlantic brisk winds. The temperature rose up to 24 degrees Celsius. The day after we had already to leave again. Back to work. A well spend last day of our short holiday.


Today (Wednesday) was a funny day. AMIS needed still some certifications, this year, for the “Oracle Certified Partnership”. Although we had already the Sales Champion certification, we still needed the Pre-Sales Champion and Technical Support Champion certifications. I hadn’t taken notice yet, because we still had some time. My colleague Arnoud mentioned that those certification exams were free for Oracle Partners, something I wasn’t aware off, so we tried to pass the tests. The fun part is not only that this is still free, but also, sometimes with a time constrain, that you are allowed to redo the tests. This resulted in, I believe, at current state, 6 certifications for Arnoud regarding pre-sales/entry RAC, EBS and Fusion Middleware Championship certifications and three Champion certifications for me. More important we were able to get the, for AMIS, mandatory Certified Partnership Champion certifications.

To be honest, they were not that easy as some of the titles suggest. I needed two attempts to get the Pre-Sales Champion certification and I was lucky to get needed 80% score for the Oracle 10g Infrastructure Pre Sales Champion certification on my fist attempt. The Infrastructure Pre Sales Champion certification is a timed exam (90 minutes) with 2 questions, with random questions about the broad spectrum that is Oracle software. I must confess that at least once or twice I was asked questions about Oracle software or functionality that I had never heard of yet (tomorrow I will try to download some of them). Nor Arnoud or I managed yet the SOA Pre-Sales Champion exam, so tomorrow we will try a small contest who manages to pass and who has set the fastest time to achieve it. We will see who wins. A nice intro into the European Soccer Championships which are about to start.


Small update:

Hopefully we will meet in San Francisco ;-)

Session ID: S300192
Session Title: XMLDB: Building Blocks and Best Practices
Track: Database

Session ID: S298824
Session Title: Real-World Experience with Oracle XML Database 11g: An Oracle ACE’s Perspective
Track: Oracle Develop: Database