This year's premier Oracle Users Group conference, Collaborate 11, just ended in Orlando, and I was lucky enough to have attended and present on behalf of Simba.  It was a great show as always. 

One of the things that makes these conferences great is the ability to catch up with people you haven't seen for a while.  We are all so far flung around the globe, and while it is easy to stay in contact with email, IM, web conference, etc, it's quite different to meet up face to face.   I learned a lot just from informal conversations I had, and I will be sure to follow them up over the next few weeks.

The other great thing about these conferences are the hands-on-labs and the other sessions where users share the tricks and tips they have learned.   I was able to do a training session on how to use Excel to connect directly to Oracle OLAP cubes, which built directly on a session the day before put on by Marty Gubar, a Product Manager at Oracle, where Marty showed how to create the OLAP cubes that Excel connects to.  It was well attended, and the feedback comments were uniformly positive — everyone learned something.

I also learned a number of new things about Oracle database and OLAP from other attendees.  One of the most interesting sessions I attended was about the history of Oracle by Rich Niemiec, called "How Oracle Came to Rule the Database World."  If you have a chance to download the presentation from the conference proceedings, or potentially see Rich deliver it live at a future conference, I recommend it.

Sometimes, though, I wonder about what's missing.   There is always a lot of focus on the database itself and on Oracle Applications, but I would like to see more on Oracle technology itself, such as OLAP.   The only way to fix that is to propose those sessions that I think would be interesting and of value, and fill a gap in the existing offering.

What sessions would you like to see at a future conference?  How about a panel on OLAP?  Or MDX?  Maybe an "Ask the Expert" session.  Would you attend them if they were offered?  Would you join us on a panel?  

See you at ODTUG Kscope 11 in June!  I'll be presenting there as well, and am looking forward to meeting you in person.