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28 June 2013

Kscope13, days 2, 3, and 4

Introduction

Oh dear, I am rather afraid that the entire concept of live-blogging, or live-tweeting (see that box to the right of this text on my blog), has been a complete and utter failure this year.  Sorry.


What happened is that I, as I seem to do, managed to completely overcommit and then had to live up to the promises.  The end result was I had not time to:
  • Blog
  • Tweet
  • Floss my teeth (yuck, TMI, why?, really?, and just what is your dentist going to say about that?)


The first two I shall hope to correct below and the last, rather personal failure, is this blog’s fault.  Multiple times during this past week I sat down in my hotel room’s couch/davenport/settee to write this blog post and simply fell asleep.  I then would wake up a few hours later, realize the battery on the laptop had died again, plugged it in, brushed my teeth and fell into bed.  I shall hope that extra attention to dental hygiene in future will correct my slackness.  So far, no cavities.

So what did I do, and what did I see?

Monday, 12:30 – Top Six Advanced Planning Tips

Jessica Cordova and I lied to ODTUG (well, we did actually clear this with them first, but this is our doing, not ODTUG’s) and only presented three advanced Planning tips.  This is not because we hate Planning, or ODTUG, or our audience but because when we combined our work we knew we had far more than 50-odd minutes of content.  So we timed everything (Jessica and I come from the rehearse-it-to-death school of presenting), figured out what would fit, and only presented that at Kscope13.  Look in this space and an ODTUG email about our webinar in August where we do the balance (or maybe all) of the tips.  What we presented was still Good Stuff and we got to cover it at the length and scope that it deserved.

Tuesday, 8:30 – Exalytics – An Apples to Apples Comparison

This was the group project to end all group projects.  We (John Booth, Tim German, Dan Pressman, and yr. obdnt. srvnt.), thanks to the rather incredible generosity of Mark Rittman, were able to benchmark a generic Linux box against Exalytics to see which was faster, and why.


The presentation itself was more of a journey in how we set up a benchmark (I think real benchmarkers would laugh at our methodology but we had never done this before) and what choices we made, and why, although there were some results.  


The benchmarking result re which is faster, btw, is the classic Essbase result – it all depends on what you are doing and why.  I will also note that from a storage perspective we really didn’t do a good job setting up like to like comparisons but this was a hobby project (and for all of us, just one of many) and we did our best.  Suffice to say that now we know how to benchmark much, much better.  Hopefully the audience didn’t feel cheated by that.  

Tuesday, 10:45 – Practical SQL for EPM Practitioners

This was the session I was most excited about presenting as I have recently been doing rather a lot with SQL in my EPM projects.  


The presentation was given from a beginner’s perspective (this is easy for me because from as far as SQL is concerned, I too am a beginner) and covered some of the techniques that I have found useful.  


Everyone who does EPM needs to get on the SQL train (and yes, I was one of those Essbase geeks who until quite recently could only write “SELECT * FROM …” so thank you not-really-my-big-brother-but-oh-how-I-wish-you-were Glenn Schwartzberg for helping me (or maybe like completely doing my job) with HFM Extended Analytics; thanks also to Dan Pressman with other SQL content in the presentation.  I stand on the shoulders of giants.


The reason you, gentle reader, need to be more au courant with SQL is because it empowers you in your organization and with your systems.  It honestly isn’t that hard and I hope that this presentation helps you along the way to SQL mastery.

Tuesday, 12:45 Hyperion Apps Lunch n’ Learn

Thanks to the generosity of the OTN program, every year ODTUG presents multiple Lunch n’ Learn sessions across the tracks.  I have been in the Hyperion Apps one as I seem to do that for a living.


I was the Masters of Ceremony aka Microphone Monkey as the original MC/MM, John Booth, was unable to attend because of a family emergency.  I actually think John asked me to do this but I completely forgot (as you may notice, I have a few things going on at this conference and also my memory stinks) so this was a bit of a surprise.  I think the audience participation and the board’s ability to answer was pretty good – fell ACE Director Tracy McMullen and ACE Chris Barbieri did a great job as usual.


I am quite pleased that Lunch n’ Learns have hit their stride.  I MC’d/MM’d one in, I think, 2010, and it was just painful eliciting questions from the audience.  That was not at all the case at Kscope13.  


Thanks again, OTN.

Wednesday, 8:30 Experts Panel:  Essbase BSO Optimization

This was supposed to be moderated by John Booth but as I explained above he had a family emergency and so regretfully was not available.


Glenn Schwartzberg stepped in to moderate and Edward Roske, Tim German, Mike Nader, Steve Liebermensch, and yr. obdnt. srvnt. all sat in.  It was a pretty freewheeling discussion and I learnt something new about Essbase Report Scripts and data extraction.  Will my former boss (Edward) be proven right yet again?  It may pain me, immensely, if so, but Watch This Space for a new data extract post in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 10:45 – A BSO Developer’s Introduction to ASO Essbase

This was for me, a BSO developer, a bit of a stretch.  It was difficult to write because so very much of it was theoretical, rather than practical application of theory; if you notice this blog, I tend to fall on the practical side of things.  OTOH, if one wants to do ASO right, one must also understand how ASO Essbase works.  Dan Pressman wrote the book (okay, the chapter) on this subject but I always thought his work, while incredibly important, was too hard for many of us to really understand.  Maybe we (or maybe I mean me) are dumb, maybe it is just a really complex subject.


In any case, I used this session as an opportunity to use BSO constructs and descriptions to sort of, kind of, describe how the ASO kernel works (yes, this was a little dangerous and yes, I was very careful to note when the analogies completely broke down) and then apply that understanding to MVFEDITWWW aka Sample.Basic converted to ASO.  It’s really a case of using terms and concepts we BSO types are familiar with and then applying it to ASO.  In my many, many, many conversations with Dan over ASO, that’s the approach that finally led to the “Ah-ha!” moment and I hope that slant plus the conversion of Sample.Basic via two different techniques was the theory made concrete for the audience.


I hasten to add that this presentation was really just a small part of Dan’s work and I am not suggesting that downloading my deck is the same as reading (and rereading and rereading and rereading) his chapter.  If you haven’t yet understood the key to ASO’s internal design (and given that there were about 80 people in the session, I’d say not everyone has), I encourage you to read my presentation as an introduction and then tackle his work.


Thanks again, Dan, for putting up with what must have been a record number of calls.  Now I think I finally understand ASO.

Wednesday, the rest of the afternoon

I am officially Not Allowed To Talk About It (I must keep some mystery in my life), but I’ll just note that I had Yet Another Presentation.

Thursday, the rest of the conference

Alas, I missed all of the sessions on Thursday as I slept in (I sort of had a busy past few days) and so missed Steve Liebermensch’s Essbase Exalytics session, and then had a meeting with my Australian Sister-Across-The-Waters (aka fellow board member and Oracle ACE Bambi Price) about ODTUG’s relentless path to world domination (we talked about Seriously Practical conferences in Asia with Frank Chow, one of my “lucky” EPM buddies).


And that, for me, was the end of the conference.

The end of What Cameron Did This Kscope

I haven’t even begun to cover all of the other things that went on at Kscope13, all the cool things that I could have done and wished I did, how amazingly fast it all went by, or how incredibly tired I am.


Suffice to say, it was an AMAZING conference and proof, if proof be needed, that no other organization throws an Oracle conference/party the way ODTUG does.  Thanks goes to Oracle, fellow presenters, fellow attendees, YCC, the Kscope conference committee(s), my fellow board of directors, and the many, many, many volunteers who make this conference possible.  It is, without exaggeration, the professional peak of my year and I simply could not do my job without ODTUG and Kscope.  I am indebted to you all.


Be seeing you next year in Seattle, Washington, for Kscope14.  I can hardly wait.

1 comment:

Jason said...

What oh what were you up to on Wednesday? Inquiring minds NEED TO KNOW!

Thanks for all of your hard work this year contributing to making ODTUG also the highlight of my year.

Be seeing you in Seattle!