Obligatory IDUG 2007 conference writeup
Dispatches from the IDUG conference
As my new blog buddies on PlanetDB2 can attest, it
is a real challenge to diligently write about a conference while it's still underway. My theory is that there's a problem with one of the beverages being served at the conference (or at the hotel bar) that suddenly makes the person who drank it very sleepy and, consequently, unable to post updates to his blog. Unfortunately, with so many types of beverages implicated at this event, it's difficult to pinpoint the exact one, so it may take a significant amount of collaborative testing to isolate the root cause. Despite this issue, a flaky hotel thermostat presented me with the opportunity to wake up in the middle of the night and post this update as I wait for the technician to arrive.
Monday, May 7th was the first full day of the conference, kicked off by a series of announcements preceding the keynote speech.
- IDUG has a new logo. Readers are encouraged to post comments to this blog to list all the other logos the new one resembles.
- This year's sessions will not only be audiotaped, but also synchronized with each presenter's slides. Surprisingly, that coordination will not require any special software on presenters' PCs, posing what must be an interesting challenge for the recording company.
- The next IDUG North America conference will be held in Dallas from May 18-22, 2008.
With the IDUG formalities out of the way, it was time for the much-awaited keynote from retired IBM Fellows Don Haderle and Pat Selinger. I was a bit disappointed to see these two remarkable computer scientists being so underutilized on stage, relegated to serving as emcees for various IBM executives who were pitching the types of PowerPoint decks we've all seen far too often. Pat and Don are both undisputed legends in the world of modern databases, so it would have been much more appropriate in my opinion for them to share some of the war stories that led to their breakthrough discoveries. There were some good bits in their talks, but those bits were scattered amongst too much marketing fodder to justify pulling Haderle and Selinger out of retirement.
As with every IDUG keynote, the happy numbers fly by, but I managed to catch a few worth remembering and repeating (as I do ever year):
- 4800 new DB2/IMS/Informix customers in 2006
- 180 new business partners in the data management arena
- 500 organizations exploiting pureXML in DB2 9
- 9 of the nation's top ten insurance firms use DB2
- 23 of the top 25 retail corporations use DB2
- 10 years without an unplanned outage on DB2 servers running at TD Bank
- 23 terabytes of data stored in DB2 for the Land Registry, the world's largest OLTP database
As we left the keynote, IDUG staffers were handing out the new IDUG logo, which was embossed onto brown circles that were either very nice leather drink coasters or the worst jerky ever.
There are plenty more IDUG nuggets worth mentioning, and I hope to post them soon.