OPP2007

After being in classes for two days I think OPP2007 was a big success. I have seen some (though not all) good speakers and they provided me with some nice ideas I can probably use in my future work. As soon as we upgrade most of the databases to a more recent version (we are still running Oracle 8i for some), we can take full advantage of the new features.

I have attended (amongst others) a couple of sessions by Paul Dorsey (Dynamic SQL and PL/SQL and Making the most of SQL and PL/SQL Collections). Main thing he said was: put everthing in the database and have people only touch the contents of the tables through views (with the appropriate triggers of course). No SQL in any front-end.

PL/SQL Conditional Compilation: Use Cases and Best Practices by Brynn Llewellyn. I can really see how Conditionnal Compilation can help us, especially when we have to deploy our code to different versions of the database. Also, we currently have a package constant in lots of packages that holds the programname for debugging purposes. Using Conditional Compilation, we can use the following statement to fill this one correctly:

l_unitname constant varchar2(30) := $$plsql_unit;

Just a simple example of how we can easily use this.

Day 2
Design Patterns in PL/SQL—Pre-inventing the Wheel by Alex Nuijten of Amis. This was all about how we can apply design patterns in the PL/SQL world. We should learn from our mistakes and try not to make them again in the future. We should even learn from the mistakes of others and don’t make those again in our future. We can learn a lot from the mistakes made in other programming worlds (like the Java world) and try to apply their patterns to our work.

 And then of course, there was the first ever PL/SQL Test-A-Thon at the end of day 1. It was good to see that there were something like 30 people attending this test-a-thon after a full day of classes. Steven, Alex and myself were the helping hands and the jury for this event. People got the exercises at the event, but they had to bring their own laptop with an Oracle database installed on it (well, we installed 10G XE on some laptops, but that was just helping out). Then they got a cd with the exercises, CodeTester and an hour to do the exercises (4 regular ones and 3 bonus to maybe break a tie). It was nice to see how many people are using CodeTester for this. Out of the 30 people about 5 people finished the regular tests and the winner was Filipe Silva from Portugal.

Maybe soon we will organize the OPP in Europe too, depending on how many people will want to attend such a conference.

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