As Published In
Oracle Magazine
January/February 2010


Ecosystem Abuzz

By Justin Kestelyn

Interactive programs take Oracle OpenWorld 2009 to new heights of community building.

From a community-building perspective, Oracle OpenWorld 2009 may have been the most successful conference ever. Starting on the Friday prior to the conference, when Oracle Executive Vice President of Product Development Thomas Kurian addressed more than 50 Oracle ACE Directors at a special technical briefing and Q&A session, and ending with the “It’s a Wrap!” party, the Oracle ecosystem stayed extremely active—and extremely noisy.

Much evidence supports claims of the show’s success. First, the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) team estimates that at least 15,000 Twitter updates pertaining to Oracle OpenWorld were made, by both onsite and virtual attendees. Second, for the live video broadcast transmitting via the Oracle OpenWorld Live stream, the OTN team saw an average of several hundred people online (many of them partaking in chat) continuously throughout the show. Third, the Oracle OpenWorld Unconference agenda wiki was nearly complete within 48 hours of being opened, and several sessions were filled to capacity. Finally, more than 2,500 people passed through the OTN Lounge at some point during the week. 

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There are several reasons for this activity, but content is the one I want to emphasize. The breadth and depth of the content “halo” around the OTN program at Oracle OpenWorld and the colocated Oracle Develop event were simply excellent—in no small part because of the active presence of Innovation sponsor Sun Microsystems. I was honored to have the opportunity to meet and interview James Gosling—a Sun vice president, Sun fellow, and the father of the Java language—on camera for Oracle OpenWorld Live. In addition, several Sun presenters were involved in the Oracle OpenWorld Unconference, covering topics pertaining to GlassFish, Hudson, and Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6.

Even excluding content from Sun, the community benefited enormously from the involvement of luminaries such as PL/SQL evangelist Steven Feuerstein, Oracle Vice President of Linux Engineering Wim Coekaerts, Oracle Director of Database Tools Development Kris Rice, and the inimitable Tom Kyte in the OTN team’s efforts to deliver actionable content.

The key to good content is often interaction, and most of these folks are adept at provoking, as well as continuing, a conversation—whether during their sessions, on camera for Oracle OpenWorld Live, or just hanging out in the OTN Lounge. As Kris Rice put it so well, a primary purpose of the OTN program is to serve as a “router” between the end-user community and Oracle’s developers and product managers, and that process is always at its best during the conference.

For the 2010 conference, the sky’s the limit: with expanded opportunities for the use of rich and social media, Oracle OpenWorld will offer an even more rewarding experience for physical as well as virtual attendees. That said, there’s no substitute for actually being there: registration for Oracle OpenWorld 2010 has already begun at

And the Winner Is . . .

Eric Brandenburg of Brunswick Corporation in Lake Forest, Illinois, is the first-place winner of the Oracle Application Express Developer Competition. The premise of the competition, announced in June 2009, was to seek the best Oracle Application Express application (as determined by a panel of judges) developed to address a particular business problem, while adhering to a rigorous set of technical guidelines.

Brandenburg’s application, called IT Access, was designed to track the assignment of physical IT assets and/or application access to employees. One of the main purposes of the application was to give the capability to decommission those assignments when an employee leaves the company—rather than when someone happens to notice that a long-departed employee’s e-mail address still exists, for example. The application enables a living inventory of such assets in an intelligent and elegant fashion.

Read the announcement about all of the winners at

Justin Kestelyn ( is senior director, Oracle Technology Network and developer programs, as well as OTN editor in chief.

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