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29 June 2012

The end of Kscope12

It’s over, it’s over, it’s over

Well, it is sort of like the end of a love affair.  I suppose loving a conference is a Strange Love indeed but there it is.  (Yes, sometimes the song references are a bit of a stretch, but think of it as my attempt to broaden your musical horizons.)  And sadly Thursday (yeah, yeah, I’m late) was the last day.

Early in the morning

Dan Pressman, ASO wizard extraordinaire, gave his chapter presentation from the book.  Although I love each and every chapter in Developing Essbase Applications, his is the one that excites me the most.  I always want to know how things work and “How ASO Works and How to Design for Performance” is our best hope of understanding how ASO Essbase works under the covers short of working for Oracle Development.  

Then a last panel for me – Planning All Stars (so how did I get included?) – this time as moderator with John Booth, Tony Depew, and Jake Turrell as the panelists.  It was a pretty freewheeling (any time panelists start insulting each other it’s at least entertaining but it was all in good fun) discussion with really good audience participation.  I do enjoy these and have found that the sheer terror of moderating diminishes with time.  Or I was so tired I didn’t care.  I vote for the latter.

And then it was time to wrap up what has been a great conference.  If you were there, you know what I mean.  If you weren’t, what are you thinking?  Get thee hence to KScope13.

The Best is Yet to Come

Did you know you can register now for Kscope13?  If you missed Kscope12, you missed the chance of not abasing yourself in a mad scramble for a free ticket (I believe brass knuckles came out as did maces, broadswords, Krav Maga, and possibly a Trident submarine).  Yes, free is good and you missed it.  However, did you know that you can submit your abstract now?  If your abstract is accepted, your conference fee is waived.  ODTUG is always looking for good, innovative, interesting, and informative sessions.  Submit one now – who knows what will happen?

Do I ever stop asking leading questions?  Yup, right now.  This is the end of my day-by-day Kscope12 coverage.

See you in New Orleans!

28 June 2012

Last full day

Oh, it’s hard to believe, and a bit sad, but it’s true – today (at least the day I am writing this and maybe posting) is the last full day of Kscope.  It has been an absolute blur from beginning to end and my level of tiredness is perhaps beyond the ability of my favorite beverage in the whole world, aka coffee, to alleviate.  I must consume more of this magical elixir.  It is just that kind of conference.

Went the day well

Yes, yes, yes, this is Cameron’s perspective but of course this is Cameron’s Blog For Essbase Hackers.  What else would you expect?

I started the day off with an interview of the older brother I never had (of course he claims that I am the younger brother he never wanted) about the overall awesomeness that is Kscope.  As if there was any doubt in your mind, I am referring to My Man in California, Glenn Schwartzberg.  Somehow, sometime, our very possibly slightly overly familiar interview will be out there on the web.  It should at least be entertaining.

And that interview finally got me:

After the criminal misadventure that was Glenn applying the temporary tatoo, we went to the end of Markus Shipely’s session Beginner’s Guide to ODI for Oracle EPM Developers.  Ah, ODI, I love you and hate you.  Mostly love.

Apparently ODTUG has really lost their mind – I was on another “experts” panel – the Essbase Experts Panel along with Dave Collins, Gary Crisci, and Tim German.  Given the discussions, I think it was really the Smart View Experts Panel.  There’s a lot of interest in that product.  Here’s MMIC after the session – he kibitzed from the audience and corrected us as required, as he always does.

I had booth duty and while the promoting and while the selling process (I am not exactly a sales guy) Developing Essbase Applications has been absolutely fascinating and educational, I am not sorry that, for at least this conference, it’s over.  

Here’s a sad photo of a now abandoned booth.

The last session I attended was Gabby Rubin’s A Forward Look at Essbase.  I can only relate two pieces of information from that:
  1. I cannot tell you anything at all about what he said.  Was he even there?  I doubt it.  For sure he'll deny it.
  2. You totally should have been there.


Oh my goodness, what can one say about a rodeo like this – I am going to let the pictures tell the words.


There’s still the half day tomorrow, and I do have a Planning panel I am going to moderate tomorrow 28 June 2012, 10:30 to 11:30 in Wisteria/Sunflower (which I did sort of forget about, whoops – I am a bit overstretched).  

A bit out of order, but the day will start with fellow author Dan Pressman’s ASO Learn How ASO Really Works and How to Harness That Power for Good (his chapter in the book), then go to me being moderator (why am I awake – no, I don’t know either) of Planning All Stars Panel.  I may just collapse after that.

Regardless of the my deteriorating physical state, we are sadly now on the downwards slope.  I’ll post tomorrow with a wrapup and a preview of next year.

27 June 2012

What comes after one? Two.

Basic math is getting hard
As in day two of the conference (of course this is being posted on day three).  Did I mention I was tired?  I’m typing this in Gary Crisci’s “Intro to MDX + ASO” as his session ambassador and the screen is just swimming in front of my eyes.  Ugh.  I can barely figure out what comes after two.  Could it be three?  Who knows.

Does this mean I’m having fun?  Well, I’m learning a lot, and presenting (today was my melodramatically named Script or Die!), and sitting in on fellow Developing Essbase Applications authors’ sessions, and minding the book booth (more anon), and generally running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  So I guess that’s a good conference.

We’re sold out

We brought 100 copies to the conference and we are completely sold out as of 11:15 am 27 June 2012.  Amazing.  We are hot, hot, hot.  Not too hot, as Fahrenheit 451 is the burning point for paper.  We actually had a fight over the last book but one of the parties didn’t bring his credit card and the other one did.  Here’s the lucky last buyer of the book:

Of course Developing Essbase Applications is available on Amazon, so if you missed out, buy it here.

Lunch n’ Learn

I think ODTUG is a little bit out of their mind, as they included me on the Lunch n’Learn panel which was moderated by Andy Jorgensen and  included Tony Scalese, Tracy McMullen (I keep on running into her), Chris Barbieri, and yr. obdnt. srvnt.

It was a lot of fun and it is almost possible we correctly answered one or two questions.

Mixed emotions

I am, in case you haven’t noticed, a tremendous fan of ODTUG’s KScope.  My one complaint, and it is a large one, is that I simply cannot attend all of the sessions I need.  The content is so good, so broad, so deep, so valuable, that I frankly resent the fact that I am not able to be in four places at the same time.  Arrrgh.  I guess if KScope stunk, I would be happy, except then of course I’d be annoyed because it was worthless.  At least I wouldn’t feel that I needed to be in multiple places simultaneously.  This desire to be in multiple sessions is I suppose the curse of success and one that I’ll gladly take, but I am working on my cloning experiments.

26 June 2012

Missed it by that much

Sorry about that, chief”.  What, you aren’t a Mel Brooks fan?  Would you believe that Don Adams was a WW2 Marine and fought on Guadalcanal and then became a DI before going into acting and comedy?  Careers can be funny, especially when mine is examined.

KScope12 is turning out to be that marathon run like a sprint.  I couldn’t even manage to get out a report of Day One on time.  I was simply too busy when I had any energy and no energy when I had (extremely brief) downtime.  Such are the hallmarks of a great conference.

Here’s the crowd (actually, it got to almost SRO, so I was quite chuffed about that) getting ready to hear me talk about my chapter in the Developing Essbase Applications – “Slay the Evil of Bad Data in Essbase with ODI.”

I only rehearsed it, oh eight times, and while practice didn’t deliver perfection at least it didn’t result in outright disaster.

Oh, did I do that?  Why yes I did.

The above was quite serious but Kscope is that unique mix of work and fun.  The latter part of that combination evinced itself during the General Session.  Words pretty much fail me (and while I have never kissed the Blarney Stone, I could almost be Irish – I do like Guiness) with this one:

If you weren’t there, you should have been because it was…memorable.  That’s ODTUG’s board of directors getting ready to roast Mike Riley, former retiring president of ODTUG.  Scary, eh?

A really awesome keynote

I am an Essbase/Planning/ODI/EPM geek.  Or maybe I professionally live in a silo.  Cary Milsap?  Who’s that?  Okay, maybe I am just a dope because apparently everyone knows him.  Having gone to his keynote presentation, I have to say I now know why people are so enthusiastic about him.  He was, in a word, AWESOME.  Self-deprecating, humorous, warm, sharing, wise, insightful – these all describe his session.  I literally quoted him twice last night to two different people.  He was that good.

End with a bang

You know, I really, really, really need to get a phone with a better camera.  Oh well, this is the audience shot of EPM Midnight Madness.  Toufic Wakim, Tim Tow, Chris Barbieri, Tracy McMullen/Edward Roske, Natalie Delemar, yr. obdnt. srvnt., Eric Helmer, and Mark Rittman all played our version of Hollywood Squares.  As I have never in my life watched the show, I was somewhat bemused by being included in this august gaggle of geeks.  And oh yes, replicated, transparent, and linked are the three types of Essbase partitions.  ‘Nuff said.

More today, maybe

I am going to try to write today’s events, uh, today.  No promises.

24 June 2012

Day one, the Kscope12 symposiums

Hmm, it has occurred to me that perhaps I should have put in yesterday’s post that I am going to attempt a daily update on what I surely most awesome EPM/database/Apex/BI/you-name-it-we-have-it technical-plus-more-a-whole-lot-more conference there ever has been or will be.  Phew, that was a bit of a run on sentence.  Anyway, I am going to try (note the qualifications because this is the first day of the conference and I’m already tired) to do it.

Wouldn’t it be great if I could show you some pictures?  Why, yes it would, but alas I cannot because everything at the EPM Symposium is embargoed under a “We at Oracle are telling you the future, although we reserve the right to deny we ever had this conversation.  Or even thought about having this conversation.  Or even thought about the thought about having this conversation.  You have been warned.”  

In other words, if you want to know about and hear from:
  • EPM Strategy, Balaji Yelamanchili
  • Financial Close Solutions Futures, Janette Kosior
  • Essbase, Gabby Rubin
  • Planning and Budgeting Futures, Shankar Viswanathan
  • Data Integration and Metadata Management, Rich Wilkie
  • EPM Foundation and Common Services, Kash Mohammadi
  • EPM Reporting and Integration with OBIEE, Mitch Campbell

Pretty big names, eh?  Only KScope delivers this.

I can’t tell you what I Shankar is (I am writing this post in his Planning session) talking about but trust me, and I really mean this, if you aren’t in the room hearing what’s coming you are missing BIG changes in Planning.  I am very excited and very sad all at the same time.  Why?  Because what is coming is awesome – that makes my inner geek excited.  But sad, because I can’t tell you one single word about it.

If you’re here, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  If you’re not here, you are missing out on BIG STUFF.  Yes, word will leak out eventually, although not from me, but I know about it now.  Do you?  You NEED to be here next year.  Come hell or high water, you can be sure I will.

23 June 2012

KScope12 Community Service Day

A day of service
The Saturday before KScope (or Kaleidoscope depending on how long you’ve been attending the very best EPM conference there has been) is traditionally a day when ODTUG gives back to the non-Oracle community.

This year it was a painting, building, sign erecting, cleaning, you name it, we did it day at Crestholme Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio.  

It was a tremendous amount of fun before what is after all a pretty serious week (I love KScope, but it is work) and of course one gets to meet people in completely other tracks that would be strangers otherwise.  I think it is one the many things that sets KScope apart from other conferences.  It is a great organization.

And now the photos

On the school bus to Crestholme

Andrei and I do construction

Yes, their sink is broken/I cause chaos

But it was all worthwhile

Thankfully I was not part of the basketball pole building

Foundation for the sign

Erecting the sign

 Mixing concrete

Set in stone

In the cafetorium

Isn’t this a nice gift?

This was our appreciation gift – what a nice gesture and so pretty.

Was that enough work for today?  Nope.

Here we are stuffing the bags that attendees get on KScope registration.  The fun never stops at ODTUG.

All in all quite a bit of fun

Oh my goodness, it was great, but I am tired.  As my buddy Tim Tow likes to say, “KScope is a marathon, run at a sprint pace.”  

Why aren’t you here?

19 June 2012

I am holding it in my hands


It came this afternoon.  Oh joy, oh rapture, it’s hard to believe but it’s true, true, true.

What on earth am I talking about?  Why, Developing Essbase Applications:  Advanced Techniques for Finance and IT Professionals, of course.

As I wrote, the delivery man knocked on the door this afternoon and dropped off a heavy box from Taylor & Francis.   With trembling hands (and a sharp Benchmade), I opened the box.

And there it was.  Hardbound.  2.1 lbs.  445 pages.  With an index.  Gulp.
On the floor of my office

And you can have a copy as well

Well, if you’re not one of the lucky (?) reviewers, you’ll have to buy it but it’s excellent value for money, at least in my not entirely unbiased opinion.  

If you want to be one of the first geeks to have this essential tome, you can lay hands on it this Sunday, 24 June, at booth #224 in the ODTUG Kscope12 Welcome Reception.  We have credit card processing ready to go and a special low, low, low conference price.  What’s not to like?

Thanks to all of my esteemed authors aka the herd of cats

Developing Essbase Applications has been a group effort from beginning to end.  I may have suffered the most (at least in my fevered imagination) but in reality we all did our bit.  

The book (and a not inconsiderable amount of potential knowledge transfer to you, oh prospective customer) is a joint effort of:  Dave Anderson, Joe Aultman, John Booth, Gary Crisci, Natalie Delemar, Dave Farnsworth, Michael Nader, Dan Pressman, Robb Salzmann, Tim Tow, Jake Turrell, and Angela Wilcox.  They all deserve a round of applause for a job exceedingly well done.

07 June 2012

Sign of the times


Will Developing Essbase Applications:  Advanced Techniques for Finance and IT Professionals be at Kscope12Yes indeedy, we will be at booth #224 in the vendor exposition hall.

So what? 

(Sigh, why do I have to ask these questions?  Ah yes, because I have no other way of segueing between barely-connected thoughts.)  Well, you’ll be able to buy the book at the conference.  This will be the very first place to buy the book as it is getting shipped direct from the Taylor & Francis bindery to the warehouse that stores booth furniture.  That means it is coming right from the printer to the conference and to you.  

And you’ll be able to meet us (hopefully at least somewhat thrilling or maybe mildly interesting), talk to us, buy the book (hint), tell us we’ve done a wonderful or horrific job, etc. 

Are these just the delusions of a raving madman?

This very day I received…no, no, not the divine prophecy of a wrathful God, that’s for later, but instead the sign you’ll see at the booth.  I have to thank the people at ExpoGo! for producing it – it looks absolutely fantastic, it’s big (like 7’ tall – that’s 2.1336 meters for those of you not on Imperial/standard), and it looks pretty darn awesome as you can see for yourself.
Right near the front door
 So it’s real?
Am I ever going to stop using this now-tired literary device?  Yes.  Just come to Kscope and see the sign, the entire (just about) group of authors, and of course the book itself.  I can hardly wait.