Part VI of a lightly-edited partial transcript of a panel discussion titled “Making SQL Great Again (SQL is Huuuuuge)” at YesSQL Summit 2016 organized by the Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) at Oracle Corporation’s headquarters in Redwood City, California. NoCOUG is the longest-running and most-active Oracle users group in the world. An individual membership only costs $95 and entitles the member to free admission to the four consecutive quarterly NoCOUG conferences (one-day events) that follow the membership’s start date, the winter conference being the first day of YesSQL Summit. You can become a member at

The panelists were Andrew (Andy) Mendelsohn (Executive Vice-President, Database Server Technologies, Oracle), Graham Wood (Architect, Oracle), Bryn Llewellyn (Distinguished Product Manager, Oracle), Hermann Baer (Senior Director, Product Manager, Oracle), Steven Feuerstein (Architect, Oracle). The moderator was Kyle Hailey, an Oracle ACE Director and member of the OakTable Network. The complete video of the panel discussion has been published by Oracle Corporation on the Oracle Channel on YouTube.

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII

[What is the Oracle Developer Advocates team doing to defend RDBMS?]

Steven Feuerstein: So I’d say the Oracle Developer advocates team is focused in two major areas: one is generally content generation. So moving away from white papers and PowerPoints to videos primarily, scripts, and so on. I already mentioned Connor’s video series on “Keep It Simple SQL.” We’ll be issuing our first episode of Schema Wars in the next few months so keep an eye out for that. It’s a little riff on Star Wars for database developers. Hopefully it will be very entertaining and go viral. So one area is just providing better content to help developers ingest and make sense of our technology. The second is that we’re looking at modernizing and integrating kind of a constellation of websites that we’re currently offering to our development community that are just not connected up and delivering enough value though they’re delivering lots of value. What do I mean? Ask Tom is still one of the most popular sites for Oracle developers and it’s going to get better. … Live SQL is a website you can go to——where you can execute SQL and PL/SQL on a 12.1 database. No need to install anything. You can play around with SQL, you can download and run scripts, so it’s a script repository and we’ll be upgrading that in terms of the number of scripts and the ability to comment on them and like them and share them. PL/SQL Challenge is a quiz platform that we’ll be revamping and offering quizzes across SQL, PL/SQL, and—starting next month—in Application Express. So we’re looking at connecting up a lot of these different resources to really give you the better tools to solve your problems and also for newcomers coming into our arena to be able to get their questions answered more quickly.

Kyle Hailey: It sounds like a lot of that is for the Oracle community or people coming in the Oracle community. Are we doing anything for these young developers who think Mongo is cool, not even knowing about Oracle?

Steven Feuerstein: Oracle is engaging in a number of initiatives around reaching the next generation of developers. Honestly, it’s tough going and we’ve got catching up to do but we have an Oracle Academy program that has connections with hundreds of universities and thousands of professors, helping them build curriculum around Oracle, relational database generally, SQL generally. We are going to meetups; reaching out into these open source communities and letting them know that our offerings are getting stronger and more viable for them. So for example there’s now a Node.js driver. So you can build JavaScript applications against the Oracle Database through this driver. So we’re getting a lot of the pieces in place so developers who are new to Oracle, new to SQL, will be able to engage in the technology with a much lower barrier to entry than has ever been possible before and of course Cloud Database is going to be another very big part of that.

Panelists introduce themselves and tell their stories.

Why are we even having this discussion? Why is it necessary to defend SQL? Are NoSQL and Hadoop temporary phenomena that will eventually fade away just like object-oriented database management systems?

The NoSQL folks claim that NoSQL is “web scale”. Are relational database management systems “web scale”? How does PL/SQL fit into the performance picture? Is PL/SQL “web scale”?

Why does Oracle Corporation sell a NoSQL DBMS?

If SQL is the best language for Big Data, what explains the rise of Hadoop?

What is Oracle doing to fend of NoSQL and Hadoop?

Copyright © 2016 Iggy Fernandez