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One Day I Will Find …

| Day 0 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Jack Kerouac wrote, “Soon I’ll find the right words, they’ll be very simple.” I would like to be able to say that about day one of ASUG/Sapphire 2015.  But it is not that simple. I’ll show the pictures and try to put words into the story.  To me, if it were simple, we’d be doing it already.  And we aren’t  Too many millions of lines of code, and too many billion rows of data (or columns if you look sideways at the problem) to wave a wand and simplify it.

We’ll start with coffee.


I prefer a pot of coffee over those one-serving throwaways, but at least I can reuse the cup.  This is where I spent the first few hours today, doing the day job, not in the audience.  No pithy commentary about the first keynote from me.

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The bad news: the both of the first two sessions I wanted to attend were SRO.  The good news: I have two “YRC” webcast ideas locked in already.

In between times, I pushed out a document of the SAP Mentor Alumni 2015 and Mark Finnern got a laugh about me changing his company from SAP to circus.  He isn’t really joining a circus, see, that’s the joke.  I should not need to explain it.

Next stop, the show floor, and the other presentation tracks (non-ASUG).


That’s Juergen Thomas [ Jürgen Thomas ] of Microsoft, whom I know from SQL server days, pitching their cloud portfolio.  Since he’s a DBA, he doesn’t shill for the products, he jumps right into the numbers, sharing CPU and memory sizes, linking to the SAP note 1298533, and putting the caveats out front clearly.  In the corner of the slide, it says “3-tier throughputs limited by latency writing into the transaction logs…” then goes on to say what fixes are in the pipeline.  It’s a warning that some solutions might be easier or simpler, but they might not be as fast. I’d want to know how to measure this, and how to enforce service level agreements for performance.


This session looked good in the agenda builder (Simplify Your IT Landscape to Achieve More Agility), with an SAP speaker Matthias Haendly.  But the small space “microforum indeed” was over crowded, and as he was not using a microphone I could not hear a word he said.  Good hand gestures though.  I’ll look forward to the reruns.


On the show floor, some vendors bring out the glitz.  Others, like this one, bring out the technical heavies.  Here are two of my favorite database experts, reviewing an SAP-produced report on one of our systems.  I and the DBAs have looked at this report, but Paul and Jan dove deeply in.  These kinds of tips you could wait weeks to get (and pay extra for), but hitting the booths gets quick results.  It helps that they have worked with us over the years, and I’m not bringing general question.  Summary of the review, without revealing anything confidential about the SAP technical review – most of the suggestions can be dismissed as either wrong or not performance related, and the one useful suggestion discussed needs to be vetted in ways that were not mentioned by SAP.  In other words, trust your training, not the machine generated templates.


Chance encounter with Ginger Gatling. (and Mahesh ___)  She asked me to blog on something (a software product in her area), but then was afraid I’d be too honest.  That’s actually quite a compliment.  And she said she enjoyed seeing my wedding pictures from 2014.  Very nice to hear, in the circumstances.


I managed to find an ASUG influence session.  It was not easy.  First, it was not published in the agenda builder, the idea being this is invite only, so we need to restrict the attendance.  Second, and more daunting, was placing the session in a room labeled as the “Show Manager” office.  A great view of the show floor, as a by-product, but stuck behind another set of doors, and this plaque of misdirection. I wonder how many other sessions lost audience due to this “where’s waldo” approach.  I’ll write a bit more on this specific session on the ASUG site.  Soon. No, really, very soon. I promise.


Back down to the show floor for another mini-session, this time at the VMware booth.  It sounds easy, until you start looking at the small print.  I could hear this session well enough (an advantage of a vendor bringing their own gear I guess).  The small print at the top says “Successful EMC/VCE validation.”  I feel validated now.  You?


During the late-day keynote, Sven Denecken held court with the SAP Mentors. Non-disclosure content about future directions, not tweetable, etc.  I felt this was a developer-centric discussion, not really for customer input as influence councils might be, and there were more answers about what SAP is doing than questions about what SAP should do. Perhaps my interpretation only.

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These are phone screenshots from the app mentioned yesterday. Planning what to attend has it share of challenges, where a large screen and a PC might help visualize the big picture.  This part of the app it “the map”, which would formerly have been committed to paper (wasteful, and out of date), while now it’s more dynamic.  This 3-D visualization is more of a win for the small screen than skimming session abstracts would be, so I’d hope this would be hard to foul up. I will give the developers credit – the little blue line on the right side does show a path to a booth I was in to one I was trying to find.  But (you knew there’s be a but, yes?) the numbered booths mean nothing to me.  Was I in booth 150?  Um, sure, why not?  The map does not show vendor names when you click on them, so the symbols on the map do not correlate to what is seen in the physical space.  Doubtless there are booth ID numbers tagged somewhere – just try to find them in the sensory/auditory/visual overload a vendor fair is guaranteed to bring.  I guessed Mordor was left out of the castle gate, as I was rewarded in seeing the corporate logo of my challenge just around the first bend.

I saved my biggest gripe of the day for last.  ASUG “colocates” with Sapphire, yet again.  Where’s our booth, er hub?  In the back side.  See it?  Here let me get out the magnifying glass.  Stop over.  Take home some swag. Please.  I’ll be in the area.


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  • First! 🙂

    There were two empty chairs right next to me at the Warner Bros. session, not sure why it was declared “full”… I’m also surprised ASUG HUB is 1/4 size of the “meeting space”.