Simon Haslam's Oracle Fusion Middleware blog

OUGN 2013 - Conference Experience

I've not been to Norway since I was a child so it was a new experience for me to visit Oslo for the Oracle User Group Norway (OUGN) Spring Seminar earlier in the week. 

I was invited to OUGN a couple of years ago by Norwegian fellow Oracle middleware specialist, Jon Petter Hjulstad from e-vita. Timing didn't work out for me last year but I made a point of blocking out the week this year. If I'm honest I didn't know that much about it but fancied a change of scenery and had never been on a cruise before (it's known fondly as "the booze cruise" because onboard alcohol is duty-free not, as I'd thought, because it was populated by battle-hardened DBAs!).

The format of the OUGN Spring Seminar is this: Wednesday is in conference rooms at the Radisson Blu hotel, followed by a transfer to the Color Magic ship for Thursday and Friday, returning to Oslo on Saturaday morning. Therefore you spend one or two nights on land, and then a couple of nights on the boat. I didn't stay at the conference hotel itself but instead at the Scandic Edderkoppen (right) which was only 5 minutes' walk from the conference hotel - whilst the rooms were pretty small, they were clean, had free wifi and a very good advance rate. The Norwegian language was a bit unfathomable to me (or as Sten Vesterli described it over dinner: "it's based on Latin but with proprietary extensions!") but everyone I met had very good English too, as well as being polite and friendly.

Many of the traditional Oracle technical conferences have a reputation for being database and/or DBA focussed, especially given the phenomenal popularity of APEX recently. However OUGN is much broader than that and has a good slice of middleware so I had no problem filling up my personalised agenda with interesting topics from application performance management to SOA deployment.

 Scandic Edderkoppen, Oslo
On Wednesday I gave a presentation on "WebLogic for DBAs" and was very pleased that the room was full - I hope I got the level right and didn't talk too quickly (the slides are below, but don't include my usual digressions!); following that I had two other sessions on the agenda:
  • Building a Highly Available and Secure OEM 12c System
  • WLST: WebLogic's Swiss Army Knife

I say "had" because unfortunately, for personal reasons, I had to return home after the first day before I could give the other two (all is back to normal now - thanks to everyone who asked). I was very sorry to disappoint those who might have been looking forward the other sessions (I'm glad I did come home early, though my credit card hasn't thanked me for it!). Rest assured these slides are "in the bag" now so I will offer to present them again to anyone who take them! The demo part of the HA OEM 12c session (redundant OEM components plus a BIG-IP load balancer) is already on the agenda at the UKOUG App Server & Middleware SIG in June for anyone in the UK who might be interested.


Overall I was very impressed by the breadth and quality of speakers the OUGN has attracted from around the world (especially given no ACE Director funding). For example, on the database side: Cary Millsap, Conor McDonald, Frits Hoogland, Martin^2 (Bach & Nash), Joel Goodman, Bjoern Rost and in middleware: Markus Eisele, Kuassi Mensah, Manas Deb, Lonneke Dikmans and Ronald Luttikhuizen (plus good speakers for other stuff like BI and development). I was sorry to have missed so much of it.

Finally I'd like to express a very big thank you to the OUGN organising committee, firstly for inviting me, but also for making me feel so welcome (not least at our delicious speaker dinner). Judging by all the positive comments on Twitter it sounds like it was a really successful event and hopefully I'll be able to benefit from the OUGN experience again in the future.


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Oracle ACE Director (Middleware and SOA)
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Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Certified Specialist
Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Certified Specialist