09/20/2010 11:13 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

JavaOne - Day Zero (Sunday)

I've never been to an Oracle Conference before so I wasn't sure what to expect. It definitely has its own style. The big difference from either a Sun or Microsoft Conference is Oracle is not developer centric as those both tend to be (at least the ones I've gone to). This is neither good or bad, just different. And it's the Oracle part, I'll learn the JavaOne part on Monday.

I'm walking from the JavaOne area (Hilton Hotel) to the Oracle keynote (Moscone Center) and every 50 feet or so there are signs on the sidewalk saying Oracle World with an arrow point toward Moscone and JavaOne with an arrow pointing to the Hilton (so people don't get lost). But at one point in front of a restaurant they rearranged them to have both point at the restaurant. Follow the signs and you'll end up eating there - very clever.

Ok, the JavaOne schedule lists the keynote as taking place in Moscone North. So I hike the ½ mile there to be told - sorry JavaOne attendees have to watch it back on TV at the Hilton. I think Oracle still hasn't decided if JavaOne is a full member of the family, but the back and forth probably honked off every JavaOne attendee who went to Moscone - and did so unnecessarily because they could have just listed the Hilton location. Anyways, has Oracle embraced the Java community? Not clear. (I went and got blogger credentials and got in to the live presentation that way.)

So it starts off with the typical rock concert type music, cool graphics playing on the big screens, etc. We then got Oracle's Chief Marketing Officer who I think is a frustrated elementary school teacher. She walked through how best to go to the conference and it reminded me of Mrs. McCaskill at Mesa Elementary walking the kids through how to do their best at school. So carry as little as possible, breathe, etc. (yes, these are really the suggestions made). The one item of interest, when she listed who was speaking at each keynote Larry was not listed on any of the JavaOne keynotes. Be interesting to see if he ends up speaking Monday night.

Next we had the president of Oracle hand out some awards. One group got really cool trophies that were a sailboat sculpture. Nice thing to do.

And then we got several people from HP selling HP. It was the sales presentation from hell. I'm guessing HP paid Oracle a lot to have that giant captive audience, but within 5 minutes everyone had laptops or iPads out and were cruising the web. Several people around me commented that they clearly put this before Larry's part so people were forced to suffer through rather then run to freedom. Nothing interesting listed and zero audience reaction (except for the snoring from people who fell into a merciful sleep).

Actually 1 tidbit. According to Ann Livermore HP services has written over 1 million apps for a total of 2.6 billion lines of code. So the average HP app is 2,600 lines of code. Or what a lot of us call a couple of days work...

Next we got a video of Oracle's recent win in the America's Cup race. This was really good - it was one hell of an accomplishment. I sailed a lot as a kid so I enjoyed this a lot.

And finally we get Larry. He starts off talking about what is cloud computing and differentiates between SalesForce and Amazon's EC2. (In the course of doing that he manages to subtly trash talk SalesForce throughout - very well done.) His contention is cloud computing is a virtualized standard system where you can add/remove resources as demand and fail-over require (i.e. the Amazon model), So why all the talk about what is cloud computing???

Because he then presents the Oracle ExaLogic cloud box. It's a kick ass set of servers, storage, and networking in a rack. And the software stack is a full stack that is totally standardized so they can provide bug fixes and upgrades across the stack with a single file and keep everyone on that identical system. This shows the power of combining Sun and WebLogic, and kudos to Oracle management to figuring out how to effectively use and combine those companies.

The box comes with virtualization, both Solaris and two flavors of Linux (more below), Java, WebLogic, etc. But no mention of a database - neither Oracle or MySql. In fact, Larry did not mention the Oracle (or MySql) database even once during the entire presentation.

Next Larry dove in to an new Oracle version of Linux that will be on the ExaLogic box along with Red Hat. (He again did a great job of trash-talking Red Hat to explain why you need the new Oracle super-duper Linux. And they were very fair points.) During this part people started to stream out of the talk - not sure why as I thought it was interesting what they had done. At one point Larry discussed the difference between "very very high end" and "very very very high end" and got a good laugh from that.

He finished up by talking about their new Fusion product which is the successor of Oracle apps, PeopleSoft, JDE, & Siebel. The most interesting tidbit was they took a B.I. centric approach to the system so that B.I. is fundamental to the operation instead of an Add-On. My biggest take-away of this is SalesForce may be in deep weeds as this rolls out, which they state is Q1 next year.

Larry also let slip that there will be an announcement about JavaFX vector graphics at the Monday keynote.


I think the really big news is that Oracle is all-in on being a hardware and software company. The darling of the show is the ExaLogic box and it's included software stack, which is a very impressive offering. (I'm guessing we'll also see this offered in a single 2U box in a year for smaller companies.)

The second biggest news is the upcoming release of Fusion. If they did this well, and there is every reason to believe they did, this is going to have a gigantic effect on the business apps market. I think SAP and SalesForce should both be very worried.

And for those of us in the Java world - Java is the language on the ExaLogic box. Java is the language used to create Fusion. Oracle is all in on Java. And their bet on Java includes it's use by their customers for every app running on the Oracle stack. So they need to have a large vibrant Java community. But it's still not clear how they are going to treat that community...

As always, if you would like to talk in person please stop by our booth in the exhibit area - Windward Reports Java Reporting.