Monday, March 20, 2006

Collaborate '06 - an introduction

I got home on Friday evening and the first thing I did was go and open my copy of the new Oracle Discoverer 10g Handbook. My co-author is Darlene, my wife and best friend. She is also the president of Armstrong-Smith Consulting and constantly keeps me on my toes! Fresh from the printers, including the index, the new book is 1027 pages long. Wow, did we really write all of that? I think this shows you what we were doing last summer, fall and winter. Our contributing authors were Mark Rittman, who wrote the chapter on OLAP, and Chris DeYoung who wrote most of the configuration chapter and contributed a lot of additional material to the appendix on functions. Thanks to all who contributed, this new book is more comprehensive than the original handbook. I will mention more about those who contributed in future postings but for now all I hope is that you get as much fun reading it as we got writing it.

Well not long to go now until one of the biggest Oracle user group conferences you could hope to find. This conference, if you don't already know, is a joint bash between IOUG, OAUG, and Quest, and is being held at the Gaylord Opry Land hotel, one of THE hotels in all of America. If you like country music then not only is Nashville the home of country music but right next door to the hotel is the Grand Old Opry. If you get a chance to stay a couple of extra days then don't miss out on getting tickets for Friday or Saturday evening. The other thing you will like about Tennessee is the weather. This is my home state and the weather in April is fantastic.

I'm looking forward to this conference for several reasons. First of all because I am presenting. On the Sunday of the conference, in association with OAUG, I will be giving an all-day workshop on the best of the new Discoverer 10.1.2. This workshop is an additonal cost and if you want to enroll click here. Then, a couple of days later, on Tuesday 26th April, between 3:30 pm and 5:45 pm I will be presenting a training session on how to build an effective EUL. This two-hour session, with a small refreshment break in the middle, will then be followed by a book signing for my new Discoverer 10g Handbook. I think this will take place in the conference bookstore but am not 100% sure. As soon as I find out I will let you know. Don't have a copy of the book? If you attend either my workshop or training session I will be giving away a copy as a door prize at each event. Just make sure you drop your business card in the box. The drawing will take place at the end of each session, although you must be present to win.

Another reason for my attendance at this conference is the for the chance to meet up with colleagues and friends. Just who will drop out of the woodwork is always an unknown but every year I am pleasantly surprised. This year I am looking forward to meeting up with Mark Rittman who contributed the OLAP chapter for the new book. I was hoping that my technical editor from Oracle, Abhinav Agarwal, would be there but it seems that this will have to wait for another day. Other folks I look forward to seeing are Faun deHenry, David Fuston, Dan Vlamis, Mike Ault and Don Burleson. Along with Faun and David, I was one of the original DW / BI SIG members, having at one time been its secretary. I have worked on projects with both Mike Ault and Don Burleson. I also always like to make a point of dropping in on the TUSC stand to meet up with old friends that I have there too. So you see, I will have lots of things to do and lots of people to meet. If you know me, pop along to one of my presentations and say hello. If you buy a copy of my new Discoverer book from the conference bookstore, catch me and I will sign it for you.

Finally, do you want some Discoverer training? If you do, my company is offering our famous Nashville training at the Hampton Inn and Suites by the Nashville airport the week prior to the conference. We will give you a discount of 10% if you are attending the conference, so why not combine the conference with training for the price of the same air fare.

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