This week I visited Oracle headquarters for the first time. I've been writing pieces on Oracle for about 4-5yrs now and I've finally earned enough credits to be called in.
Now what can I say about Oracle campus except it's nothing short of cool. It's probably one of the nicest tech campuses I've visited. It houses a rather large pond that I'm told used to be home to a few dolphins. That aside though, the campus is very clean and stylish.
There were penguin crossing signs on the roads and big marble torn pages marking building numbers. The grass was well-behaved with plenty of bamboo to go around. What can I say? It was nice.
Being a SQL Server guy I will admit that it was a little strange being on the other side. I kinda felt like Captain Picard aboard the Borg ship. I was surprised to find that everyone was incredibly friendly and to my surprise, they all seemed happy... almost like normal people. They were speaking English too. I don't know why I expected everyone to be speaking some kind of command-line language I don't understand with tubes and wires coming out of them, but it was a pleasant surprise to find they've learnd how to talk just like you amd me. They were all so life-like.
And when lunchtime rolled around we went down to the cafeteria, which is very nice. It reminds me of the cafeterias at many other companies where it's almost like a food court in the mall... except this one was actually clean. And it had style. For instance, they had this water spout for you to get your drinking water out of that had those old style small tiles all around it. The spout itself was very small too. Definitely like something I've seen in the older parts of Italy. But this one combines fashion and function. It's got a reader under the bowl that detects when you walk in front of it and it gives you water. No need for any clumsy valves when you've got a food tray in your hands.
One more twist on the cafeteria that I really loved. They had this table setup between 2 food stations that had tons of veggies and fruits on it. At first I thought it was just a delivery that had been left there, but it was all laid out. I asked my cute Aussie escort (not her name or title) what was going on, and she said that they have an organic farmer come in and sell his produce. Man, I'm tellin' ya... being a former french chef that's right up my alley. I couldn't imagine being able to pick up my veggies for the night based off of what looks good at the time. Seriously, that's just cool.
OK, now on to business. I'm actually installing Oracle 11g as I'm writing this and I think I said it in my 10g review, and it holds true even more now; Oracle is actually lapping MS in ease of install. Installing 11g is so easy I could let my mother do it and not have to worry about it coming out ok. And for a change they've put some time in on the graphics and come up with a very nice color scheme.
Katmai is coming out soon and all I've got to say is watch out MS, Oracle's gunning for your title.
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