As Published In

Oracle Magazine
July/August 2010

COMMUNITY: Peer-to-Peer


Solving Puzzles

By Blair Campbell

Oracle technologies help these peers with everything from Sudoku to scalability.

Iggy Fernandez

Peer Specs


 Company: Database Specialists, a provider of database management services



 Job title/description: Senior consultant, handling all aspects of database administration



 Location: Oakland, California



 Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified DBA (Oracle Database 10g), with 15 years of experience using Oracle products



Oracle ACE
Oracle ACE

How did you get started in IT? My first IT job was in COBOL programming. When a DBA position opened up, I convinced my manager to let me try my hand at it—which eventually led to learning Oracle technologies. This path has influenced my hiring philosophy, which is that we should simply give the smartest people the chance and buy them as many textbooks as they want.

What’s your favorite technology on the job? I enjoy discovering new features of SQL. Did you know that Sudoku puzzles can easily be solved with a single SQL statement? Anton Scheffer, a technologist from the Netherlands, recently showed how to do this with recursive common table expressions, a nifty new capability of Oracle Database 11g Release 2.

If you were going to the International Space Station for six months and could only take one Oracle reference book, what would it be? I’d be looking out the windows the whole time! If I were on the cast of Survivor , however, I’d trade the optional bar of soap for Database System Concepts , by Henry Korth and Abraham Silberschatz [McGraw-Hill, 2005]. It’s not exactly an Oracle reference book, but we should all understand the underlying theory of relational databases.

Murali Vallath

Peer Specs


 Company: Summersky Enterprises, a consulting firm specializing in Oracle technology



 Job title/description: Independent consultant, responsible for high-availability solutions



 Location: Bangalore, India



 Oracle credentials: Oracle Certified DBA (Oracle8i Database, Oracle9i Database), with 19 years of experience using Oracle products



Oracle ACE Director
Oracle ACE Director

Which new features in Oracle Database are you currently finding most valuable? Several new features in Oracle Database 11g Release 2 have impressed me, but one really stands out: the Server Pool feature. It allows for dynamic provisioning of instances based on server availability and user-defined policies. Multiple databases can be configured across pools with prioritization, and when databases need additional servers or when a server fails, Server Pool takes care of autoconfiguring the instances. I’ve found this feature to provide great advantages with scalability.

What technology has most changed your life? Use of search engines like Google. Reading and research have become much easier, and people have started sharing their knowledge in a more open manner. This has also increased competition significantly, with more people than ever having in-depth knowledge of Oracle technologies.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? Just keep doing more of the same: from the true clustering solutions now available on the database tier to the recent innovations in more-efficient use of data storage and improvements in high-speed processing power.

Matjaz B. Juric

Peer Specs 


 Company: University of Maribor, a higher education institution with 16 faculties and 24,600 students



 Job title/description: Professor and head of the SOA Competency and Cloud Computing Centre, responsible for the development of SOA, business process management, and cloud projects, as well as consulting, mentoring, and research



 Location: Maribor, Slovenia



 Length of time using Oracle products: 16 years



Oracle ACE Director
Oracle ACE Director

Tell us about your recent work related to cloud computing. Last year we established a SOA Competency and Cloud Computing Centre, where we research and develop new, innovative applications. We all know how the internet has already changed our lives and the way we communicate with business partners, but I think cloud computing offers undiscovered opportunities. In our center, we’re researching some of these.

What green practices do you use in your work? In the Cloud Computing Centre, we’re working on an innovative solution for “smart heating,” which will use IT, mobile devices, wireless technologies, location, and other technologies to enable smarter use of energy for heating homes and offices. At the same time, it will improve the quality of life.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? Raise awareness outside the IT industry. I think most non-IT people are still not aware how important Oracle software is and how many businesses it drives.