Tuesday, August 15th, 1995
Brisbane Convention Centre
written by STEVE DAVIS for Homer Papantonio
© COPYRIGHT 1994 -
1996 I'll Do Anything For Money Pty Ltd
All rights reserved
Our guest speaker this evening is the Business Development Manager
from Digital's "Oracle Competency Centre" in Velbond Switzerland.
He is in Australia to assess the viability of new breakthrough technology
in the area of interactive database applications. Yiannis will be based
as Digital's R & D centre and Bond University, here on the Gold Coast
and will be introducing this breakthrough technology to a diverse range
of organisations throughout Australia. Ladies and Gentlemen, please a warm
and enthusiastic welcome for Mr Yiannis Carriganis.
Thank you for the kindness of your introduction and I am very welcome
to be here. I must say that your Golden Coast is a very beautiful place
and compares much to my home of Greece, although I must admit that we have
history on our side. I am most pleased to be here in Australia to be introducing
to you the best of technologies that we now have for selling in Europe.
Although this product is not yet available for the public I am now available
to be telling you the details for your information in Australia. You must
all be aware of the beauty and power of Oracle as a DBMS or I am guessing
that you would be at another conference this week if it was taking place
The Oracle groups is very strong and I am please to be partaking in
it. I have had many opportunities to work for many different companies,
but it is the ease of use of Oracle and the friendliness of people associated
with it that makes me so happy to be here. Also I have been seeing that
Oracle made revenues of three billion US dollars in the last year and that
makes me very happy because I am hoping to be working on a performance
bonus. My only regret is that while I am here I am being paid in Australian
dollars, I would much prefer to be getting dollars from New Zealand right
But now I must turn to the topic of my discussion, some new technologies
that will take Oracle to the next level of usefulness. Oracle is one of
the worlds largest software companies for the manufacture of databases
and software tools. As you all know it is extremely powerful and widely
accepted on a wide range of platforms. Concepts like this make Oracle very
attractive to a wide range of industries in applications as varied as billing
systems, process control, mapping and medical facilities. To be finding
a product that can serve so many purposes without having to compromise
the integrity of the global data overview is an important consideration
for many organisations where such integrity is of the most vital importance.
This is why it is being used by many Australian companies like the
Ampol Refinery, Allgas and the Brisbane City Council. Perhaps if it was
being used by your premier, Mr Goose, he might have had a better showing
in his recent election. But what is it that make Oracle so special? In
Velbond we have been working hard to make Oracle more than just the industry
leader. We have been making lots of efforts to make it a household name
amongst all levels of users of information technology. For that reason
Oracle has been leading the way in corporate sponsorship of European Scientific
exhibitions and public displays. People in the general community have the
opportunity of participating in hands-on activities that are designed to
subtly educate them about the product, its capabilities and effective ways
of utilising it in either their lives or their businesses.
We use the Ronald MacDonald formula of brain-washing them while they
are young to ensure product loyalty for life. Unlike Mcdonalds, we don't
need to use a clown to make our merchandise look good. By offering corporate
sponsorship to projects we see as vital to establishing a young following,
we have established a very effective way of communicating the Oracle name
and its uses to people who are interested in the so-called Information
Superhighway. It is very frustrating for a manufacturer to have their items
included by OEMs and then for them to receive little or no recognition
for the incredible service they have provided.
If you take a car for example. When I buy my Porche, I am buying only
the car brand name, however many of the vital components are made by others
and then assembled by Porche. These manufacturers go largely unnoticed.
So it often is with products like Oracle. For this reason, Oracle corporation
is beginning a new phase of its existence by taking the name to the public
and doing massive marketing programs to ensure that computer users become
brand- aware of the Oracle name. Of course it is one thing to let the users
of the Internet know that they are using Oracle, but these users generally
aren't all that interested in what technology lies behind the application
they have linked to. Users are after interesting graphics, humorous pages,
information, files or, more often, they are just interested in surfing
the Internet and discovering things that interest them. Despite all the
alarmist talk in the newspapers, it is very difficult to find out how to
make a bomb or LSD on the Internet.
However, if you are interested pornography, I know the URL of several
pages that have very erotic pictures of Greek women in the olive groves.
In Greece we had to learn a bit about surfing the Internet, unlike in Australia,
we have very little surf on the Mediterranean. However while I am her in
the down-under, I am looking forward to as you say "hitting the waves"
both electronically and on the beach. But this is all part of another story
I will be coming to late in my speech. For now, I want to discuss the fundamental
problems in selling software to Internet users. Firstly, let's say they
use Netscape, version one point one, the most recent release. Do they go
out and buy it? No, all they have to do is FTP it from one of the many
mirror sites and they are ready to use it, without payment or any so-called
licensing agreements. Netscape is not even shareware, which amazes me.
As you would know, one technique to gain a financial return on a programming
investment is the shareware concept, however this is fraught with traps
for the unsuspecting computer user. And given the numbers of inexperienced
users of computers that have unlimited access to massive amounts of software
that is, in effect, free for the taking, I feel that we have only recently
begun to see the trickle down of these problems. Often software developers
release their product as shareware with incredible success. For example,
the Apogee company makes excellent games such as Commander Keen, Duke Nukem
and Cosmo. They have had a substantial financial return from people who
are impressed enough or feel some guilt so that they register the program.
Also 4DOS, a remarkable DOS replacement for Pcs has made a significant
impact forcing Microsoft to copy, steal and even license many of the previously
external utilities. Further, I wish I was the person banking the cheques
that come in for the game DOOM, a game that has taken the world by storm
with its incredible graphics and addictive game play.
To try to guarantee some kind of financial return, sometimes shareware
is released with many important features are disabled until registration
is paid for, this is commonly known as cripple-ware. However, with Netscape,
there are no significant restrictions placed on its use or the availability
of any features. This is a dangerous precedent facing a company like Oracle,
where an adequate return is required to keep the share holders happy. How
are we to compete in a market place where fully functional, exceptionally
well- written software is virtually given way? Obviously the market niche
we need to explore is that of the developer who is creating new applications
that service users of the Internet.
As you may know, Oracle has made a decisive move and decided to scrap
its character based environment in favour of a graphical interface. Code-named
Smart-Client, this new line of software will give users Internet access,
work flow management and application partitioning. Oracle has made a brave
decision to rebuild the client/server software from the ground up by redesigning
the Co-operative Applications Suite. The thirty modules have been written
in Oracle 4.5, this will give users the ability to splice their applications
and run them across an array of database and application servers and their
client machines. As you may have realised, this is more than just an upgrade.
Some of the new features will enable business users to keep track of processes
that are thought to add value to goods and services. There will also be
hooks to applications that will enable a much simpler method of conducting
Thanks to reconfigured architecture of the suite, these modules can
be partitioned and their codes run across multiple machines. As if these
developments are not enough for one speech, I am also proud to elaborate
on a new application known as Oracle Media Objects. OMO helps developers
write multi-media applications that run on the World Wide Web, interactive
television or CD-ROM. This product is currently being tested in-house and
we are planning a simultaneous release in Australia and the USA. Hopefully
this will eliminate a constant source of dissatisfaction, where developers
have to wait an unreasonable time for the local release of product. One
of the incredible features is that OMO is a cross-platform tool for both
Macintosh and Windows environments. This allows a program written on one
platform to run on the other with virtually no modifications. Primarily
it will be marketed to companies and departments that build marketing,
training and sales presentations. In a radical departure from Oracle's
previous distribution channels, Media Objects for the Macintosh is already
available at the Oracle Web site for a free 90-day evaluation.
Does everyone here have the URL of the Oracle page? If not, it is,
obviously http - colon - forward slash, forward slash - www.oracle.com
Not very hard when you think about it. So this will give the developer
tools for actively creating meaningful information for business or for
the web. And as we all know, there is a desperate need for some meaningful
pages on the web. I have been looking at some of the pages created locally
on the Golden Coast at a host called On the Net. If you have a pen, you
might like to write these down, I will assume the http://. Based at Bond
University, but not really part of the educational establishment is an
organisation called On the net, providing local Internet access to residents
of the Gold Coast. We have been trialing several new products there with
spectacular and remarkable results. But while there I have had the opportunity
to look at some of the web pages as produced by local Australians.
There is one page at that has a link described as a link to a "blank
page" Out of curiosity I had a look and it was indeed a blank page.
Now, I ask you, is this a valuable used of bandwidth? What inspired this
person to place a page on the World Wide Web with absolutely nothing on
it? Perhaps if he had access to Oracle Media Objects it could be enhanced
to show absolutely nothing, but with style! But I am drifting from my track
a little. Let's look at another of the new applications, the Warehouse
family of products, services and partnerships that will provide access
to data at any level of detail or summary. Warehouse will support version
7.3 of the Oracle database which is now in beta testing and is expected
to ship at the end of this year. Is anyone interested in a bet about which
comes out first - version 7.3 or Windows-95?
Warehouse is a very complex product, promising three-fold indexing,
five-fold complex query, 20 fold drill-down performance and zero fold increase
in salary for programmers. You may know that Discovery/2000 is a member
of the Warehouse family, they are decision support tools for OLTP databases
and data warehouses. Also, Oracle has included IRI express OLAP tools in
the warehouse technology strategy, or WTI. So, in summary of warehouse,
we have OLTP, combined with OLAP from IRI creating a DBMS with WTI on a
PC with CD. This sounds like a lot of BULL. However, I am assuring you
that it is not. All of this drives Oracle to greater and greater heights.
Believe it or not, Oracle is hopeful of even further growth after recording
its first one billion dollar quarter. This is a 52% increase in sales,
but do think I am seeing a 52% increase in wages? Certainly not ladies
and gentlemens. In the fourth quarte, the server business had its best
growth at 70%, this is according to Lawrence Ellison, the president and
CEO of Oracle corporation. The company has many innovative lines, second
generation client/server development tools, Developer/2000, Designer/2000
and Oracle 7 Multi Dimension that is capable of supporting spatial data.
But do you think I am getting some of these benefits personally? No, I
am not. I am coming from a small island of Santorini...
Dear reader, please keep in mind that this was written
for someone else and suits his character more than mine.