Monday, February 27, 2006

UKOUG Super SIG - 14-MAR-2006

Just over two weeks until the UKOUG Super SIG and we chairs are just figuring out what we're going to say in the start and end sessions. I do know there will be only a minimal mention of the F-word (that's Fusion, mister!)

The Super SIG is a joint day between the Development Engineering, Modelling & Design and Application Server SIGs. It's a bit like the conference only without keynotes and an exhibition i.e. just the interesting bits (am I allowed to say that? Oh well, I've said it). These SIGs have an overlapping audience but we frequently don't get the level of attendance that the database and Applications SIGs get, for reasons that are both complicated and mysterious. So last year UKOUG decided to have a combined SIG day with three streams. This was a roaring success and we've decided to run it again this year. If the success is repeated the Super SIG will become a permanent fixture in the UKOUG calendar.

I put together the DE SIG stream and I think it is a strong one. We have my colleague Ivan Pellegrin talking on Customer Data Hub and Data Quality. The whole Data Hub thing is one of Oracle's initiatives that seems like a good idea but doesn't seem to get a lot of attention. Then we have Jonathan Ellard of Oracle Consulting presenting a case study on XML Publisher, placing it in the context of Oracle's other reporting tools. Mark Rittman may think we're stepping on his toes but tools are part of our remit and a couple of attendees at previous SIGs have expressed an interest in finding out more about XML Publisher and how it compares with Reports and Discoverer. Jonathan hasn't yet got written clearance from the client, so he may have to present the case study in an anonymised version, which is always a tough on to pull off.

Next up is the blogosphere's very own "Bobalicious" Bob Baillie (providing he survives his snowboarding holiday in one piece). As those familiar with his blog may have guessed, Bob's going to be talking about applying Agile practices to Oracle development projects. Lastly, Sue Harper, who we got on a free transfer from the M&D SIG, will be giving an overview of SQL Developer (AKA Raptor).

What is unusual about this line-up is that there are no presentations on Forms or Java. For a long time the DE SIG has really been the Forms SIG; in the last couple of years as Oracle has started to position Forms as a J2EE tool and to put the spotlight on JDeveloper we have done lots on Java. Our Oracle buddy is the very wonderful Duncan Mills after all. Still, there's a lot more to Oracle development than GUI tools and I hope this SIG will emphasise the fact.

The afternoon will finish with all three SIGs coming together for a presentation by Debi Platt of the Department of Work and Pensions on assistive technology for building accessible software. This is an important area which doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves, and which legally we are obliged to give it. That is why we decided it ought to be a joint session rather than be assigned to one SIG's stream.

The other SIGs have equally interesting agendas. The venue, Baylis House in Slough, is very pleasant and the lunch last year was top notch. If your organisation has a UKOUG membership then please come along. Because there are three SIGs on the same day each membership can send along three delegates. So, if your membership is dominated by one or two people who go to everything then this is the perfect opportunity to attend for free. Hope to see you there.

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