Monthly Archives: February 2008

SELECT keynotes FROM suntechdays08 WHERE day=02

Doesn’t the title sound really weird? The gentleman in picture would disagree. Neither would he tolerate someone pronouncing MySQL as “My-See-Kwel” . Didn’t Rich Green in his keynote make it clear that MySQL is actually “My-Ess-Kyew-Ell” and NOT “My-See-Kwel”? Most of us are used to say it the ‘wrong way’ and now It’s hard to change, I know. But for this man and his mate, who opened up immense opportunities in the field of database, can’t we extend at least this small favour of twisting our tongue slightly differently? Let’s try it.

David Axmark walked quite unhurriedly on to the dais. He spoke very calmly and with minimal body movements. It was indeed a charm to watch the co-founder of MySQL speak about its history, Innovation by different means, the decision to make it freely available and finally joining Sun on Tuesday, February 26 2008. The story that David told this morning was a pleasure trip for all of us on the evolution of a popular database, used by some big names in the market. Here is a humble attempt to produce the summary of his keynote today at Sun Tech Days 2008 :

I captured the first slide that David used, titled MySQL History and I think I can safely INSERT (God I’m already influenced this db) that in here, undistorted:


* 1982: First database code is written
* 1995: First pure MySQL code
* 1996: Public release & over 1000 downloads
* 2001: ‘Real’ company started. First investment CEO joins
* 2008: Sun acquires MySQL for 1 Billion USD

David then continued his story telling us how adamant they were to stick on to the ’15 minutes rule.’ Now in case if you wonder what this 15 minutes rule is all about, this is what David would say about it: “So we worked hard to make the installation and the first use as easy as possible. We came up with the 15 minutes rule: we wanted a user to be able to have MySQL up and running 15 minutes after he finished downloading it.” [Read about it in an interview with David Axmark here].

Another one slide that David displayed during his keynote talked about the fact that Innovation in OpenSource tends to be a lots of small but very useful ideas. As an example he mentioned about how the SELECT statement made its way into MySQL, an idea came from the founder of PHP, which now has spread to other databases.

David admitted that he didn’t know much of Java and when there was need to develop a JDBC driver for mysql, they looked at various drivers developed by the University students, picked up the best one and hired the guy who created it! He went on to say how open sourcing a product helps to easily identify the right talent (may be for hiring) as against the traditional method of going through the CV, a process that would take longer time for obvious reasons.

He recalled how difficult it was to convince the market on the advantages of giving away the product for free and that too in an era when open source wasn’t a very popular affair. I felt excitement in his voice when he mentioned, because it was open source and free, they could find a lot of people using their database in a very in a very short span of time. And when such a free and open stuff works, then why think of another.

One another advantage of open sourcing a product, he says, is to have the code scrutinized by a number of Security organizations rather than one company certifying a product as secured, get instant feedbacks about the security flaws and fix it immediately. He mentioned that a large amount of code in MySQL was written by the community.

When David listed a number of programming languages that could connect to MySQL, I wished I could think of one language that I knew or heard of, which wasn’t in the list. But I doubt, coz just about any programming language on this planet can connect to this database.

David concluded his keynote telling us all how excited he was to join Sun, but at the same time didn’t conceal his anxiety of moving from a smaller firm to organization with well over 30,000 people. David’s presentation was such an informative one.

Vijay Anand, Vice President in the Server Technologies Division at Oracle Corporation, India was the next keynote speaker this morning. Tell you what, I was quite impressed with his flawless presentation and his in depth knowledge on the topic that he was handling. He had two Senior Product Managers from Oracle showcasing a demonstration of their Middleware Fusion components.

I have seen Vijay Anand speaking at last year Sun Tech Days as well. Last year, it was as if he was stuck to the podium and maintained very minimal eye contact with the audience. But this year, he walked around the stage, made proper eye contacts with the audience, paused at the right spot to induce curiosity among the audience. He had broken his presentation into several logical sections, which made really good sense and more than that he injected the right amount of information, with appropriate examples everywhere and illustrations. Thanks to Vijay Anand, I got a much better clarity on SOA.

The first few slides in Vijay Anand’s keynote talked about the Web 2.0 experience. He then discussed Mashup and the need to employ something similar even in Enterprise, which he called Enterprise 2.0. I enjoyed the way he displayed a slide building one component after the another in such an architecture and that included an ESB, BPEL, and CEP.

A demonstration of the shopping cart experience summarized the whole discussion. One of the Managers who was assisting Vijay Anand in his keynote, demonstrated the Oracle WebCenter and how an Administrator could login to it, check his E-mails, detect credit card frauds, review policies and perform so many activities which are otherwise performed in isolation. A damn neat and convenient way of brining in data from various sources to a single browser space; just the way Web 2.0 magic works. I thoroughly enjoyed what Vijay Anand spoke for about 40 minutes or so.

‘Java Jacket Give Away’ is a fun event at Sun Tech Days. A handful of delegates are given an opportunity to perform their weird talents on the stage and the audience would choose the weirdest of talent among them and winner gets to take a leather Java Jacket. I don’t think this years ‘Java Jacket Give Away’ event was as good as the one last year. The Java Jacket was given to a girl who sang a classical song. Let me reveal the pattern here: last year also it happened the same way. So make sure that you fine tune your throat before the next Sun Tech Days so that you could give yourself a good chance to carry a leather Java Jacket. This event was followed by cutting a cake, marking tenth anniversary of Sun Tech Days in India.

To all the Sun Tech Days 2008 absentees, if only you wouldn’t feel depressed, let me share with you this: the Sun Tech Days celebration this evening had some gorgeous models taking the ramp and walking in tune to the music of a DJ. It was exotic, to say the least. I know your next question, “Where are the photos?” Not answering .

Participate, Learn and Thrive

I hate people repeating themselves. This was the case even from my school going days. My teachers at the convent School always advised us; very often they uttered the same piece of advice again and again. We would pretend to listen to them and when they disappear, we would laugh over it. It took me years to realize how foolish of me to have neglected those words of wisdom from my experienced teachers. Had I listened to them, I would have done better in life. That’s okay, I can’t go back and fix my past. Mind you, I am not going to repeat those mistakes either. I still hate people repeating themselves. But I make an attempt to listen to all, listen carefully; especially to the great visionaries. Sun’s World Wide Developer Conference a.k.a Sun Tech Days is one among a handful of opportunities to hear the Executives of Sun speak.

Rich Green had lot of slides to cover in his keynote. He blamed it on the developers to have put him through a bit of trouble to talk a lot. He covered so many things in just over sixty minutes and it was done pretty fast. He had a wide range of technologies to cover in his talk that included but not limited to Java, OpenSolaris, GlassFish, Virtualization solutions and how-can-I-not-mention MySQL, which is fully and completely a part of Sun, an announcement that was made only yesterday. But for all sections of the technologies that Rich Green talked about in his presentation, he had carefully inserted a common slide (almost), which carried the a title as follows: ‘Participate, Learn and Thrive.’

I believe that slide, by and large, summarized Sun’s strategy of open sourcing all its softwares and inviting the developer community from all around the world to participate and learn. The result: when a large number of people participate, Sun gets to know what’s good in its offerings, what’s not and what’s missing. Certainly, It’s good for business; it’s good for all. Imagine if someone from a corner of this worlds can join you in solving your puzzle, wouldn’t you be able to focus more on your actual job, not re-invent the wheel, but innovate and thrive?

Rich appeared quite excited about the Virtual Box software and had one of the folks from the Engineering team take the platform to perform a demo of making use of the power of Virtualization by running Ubuntu and Solaris SXDE on a laptop ‘hosting’ Windows Vista. It would be damn convenient for a developer to test his application across various platforms using a single machine. That’s exactly what was demonstrated this morning.

One another slide that I saw this morning and can memorize is the one that lists the features of Java SE Update 10. I am going to try and list down all that I can remember from the slide that Rich used. A word of caution though: this list isn’t complete and the words used here may not be exactly the same as in the slide.

*Multimedia Support
*Easier Installation
*Faster Startup
* (Even) Faster Graphics
* Faster version detection

When Rich talked about the HD DVD format war between Sony and Toshibha which ended in favour of Sony, I wondered why he ever talked about it in a Sun event. And if you nurture similar thoughts, I recommend you read this.

There was no stopping Rich from talking passionately about Netbeans and its support for other languages like Ruby, which isn’t a language developed by Sun. Again, the point that he was trying to make clear was Sun’s willingness to offer the developers what they want. So if you haven’t tried your hand at Netbeans yet, download it now.

After the keynote, two teams of three members each, demonstrated a few cool things. As far as my thinking goes, the entire show, which lasted for about half an hour so sent at least the following messages, very clear and loud, to the audience:

* You can create some really cool games in the mobile device using the Java ME.
* JavaFX Scripting is fun and can be used to create some funky stuff. More details about JavaFX in here
* Solaris Express Edition Desktop (on supported hardware) is supercool. Believe it or not, it looks similar to the Mac OS X.
* Java Swing is NOT all that bad to create some amazing user interface.

An SMS poll was conducted to figure out which team performed the most cool demonstration. In my opinion, it all looked great.


Sun has a culture of balancing some real serious stuff with lots of fun. I’m certain it shall remain so into the future as well. While there is also lot of learning at Sun Tech Days 2008 here at Hyderabad, the organizers were very particular about the delegates having some fun. And know what, the popular band Euphoria came and rocked the Sun Tech Days venue tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if I see some of the delegates limping their way to attend the keynote tomorrow.

People who danced to the tune of Euphoria may limp, but would still be able to make it for the keynote tomorrow. But if I keep myself awake any further to this, I would miss the second day of Sun Tech Days 2008 for sure. So, I’m leaving now. Good night!

Sun Tech Days 2008

The flying time from Bangalore to Hyderabad is around one hour. Mine is scheduled to take off from Bangalore airport at 9:30 A.M. IST today. Roughly forty eight hours forward to that, I would find myself among thousands of developers from different parts of the country, listening to the visionaries, and learning things from Sun Evangelists on emerging technologies. This is second year in a row that Sun Tech Days is happening at Hyderabad. Detailed agenda here.

Before I walk out of my home to reach the Bangalore airport in time, I’ve a job to do, which is to show you all the folks whom I met last week for an onsite training on IDM 345. I had to put my friends through a bit of trouble in getting proper approval to carry my camera in. And the outcome of their efforts to render this favour to me is what you would see below:

Wishing all my readers a good week ahead and please stay tuned for the reports from Hyderabad on the rocking events at Sun Tech Days 2008.

What an Engaging Week!

For a change, the flight took of at the exact time. While it landed, there were no announcements about traffic congestion in Bangalore; another rare occurrence. Mine was the very first luggage to show up at the baggage claim area; it never happened that way ever before. I felt very tranquil while I walked out of the Bangalore airport. This time, unlike many other occasions, it wasn’t a hassle to spot my chauffer holding up a placard that had my name clearly written on it. Time then, just past 10:00 P.M. on 08th February 2008. It was a perfect ending to one of the engaging weeks in my life.

It takes time to ‘tame’ fourteen people in a batch. The job becomes even more difficult if the course is lab intensive. some hold an opinion that IDM 345 could include more topics. A mention about the same is here. But I don’t think anyone in the picture below would agree to that point of view, for they spent their lovely evenings working on Identity Manager, Sun’s provisioning tool.

Everyday the sessions went on well beyond 7:00 in the evening; everyday there were heated discussions on various topics revolved around Identity Manager; and everyday all I could do in the late evening was to get back to my room and crash. Boy, it was exhausting. On top of all this, an online test was conducted on the last day of the training followed by a ‘teach back’ session, an exercise that I had forgotten to carry out last week coz of a free lunch. This time I somehow managed to resist temptation to join them for a lunch on the final day and insisted them to take the platform to teach me back one module each from the IDM 345 course.

Tell you what, It was a very satisfying sight to see everyone flawlessly expressing their understanding on this product. I had not done this exercise of ‘teach back’ for some time now and how foolish of me to have neglected it.

For several reasons my stay at Hyderabad to deliver a back to back training on Sun’s Identity Management Solution would stand as one of the exciting and memorable experiences.

Before I leave this space to get some sleep and gather some energy for ES 345 starting tomorrow, I must mention here my gratitude to the folks at Sun Learning Center, Hyderabad for offering me great hospitality and for taking me for lunch everyday at Malgudi.

Interested in a Solaris 10 New Features Workshop?

Should you find yourself interested in attending a hands on session on Solaris 10 New Features, visit us @ Sun Tech Days ’08. To know more on this workshop, click here.

On the other hand, if you are a Web 2.0 enthusiast, you might want to attend a session by Stacy Thurston, Community Advocate with Sun Learning Services. To know more on what is covered by Stacy and what you can take back, visit here.

To find more details about Sun Tech Days 2008 at Hyderabad, India, browse this page.

You all have a great day

Hyderabad Trainings

In a few minutes, the clock would strike 12, marking a new day. It’s Monday again and it’s all set for me to take the platform for another training here at Hyderabad. The venue remains unchanged. Some participants from the last week’s training would turn up for this as well. The training is on Sun’s provisioning tool.

But before all that, check out the batch photograph of AM 3480 class concluded on 01/Feb/2008, here at Hyderabad.

Thanks folks for the lunch on the final day; more so for choosing Sun. Wish you all good luck!