Vgo Software

Thursday
Jun212007

ODTUG - cool folks, good info

So, we (Vgo Software) exhibited at the Oracle Developer Tools User Group conference in

Daytona Beach this week. The show was really well attended with a good focused group. We were there demo’ing Evo and our new Rev product and both were well received.I guess the thing that impressed me the most was the real feeling of a community there. I hadn’t been to an Oracle users group event since ‘98 and it was really great to see the exchange of ideas and constructive dialog (sometimes quite colorful). In ‘98, most of the attendee’s were from the States. There were many folks from different countries who attended or presented at the event and that provides a great perspective on topics.

A main message at the conference was discussion around the SOA Suite and Oracle’s direction in regard to SOA in general. From my perspective, it’s timely that this message be promoted in a serious manner as it is on (or should be) everyone’s mind. To me, an important message in SOA adoption is that what you are adopting is an architectural model, not a magical tool that ties apps together. Probably obvious to most, but I think people may come away thinking “You know, if I implement a Service Bus and throw a couple of messages across it, I’ve got one of them SOA’s” when they see new products come out. I’ll end up discussing SOA adoption more at some other point.

Back to ODTUG, (if you haven’t noticed, I end up going on tangents alot. I’m not sure what the equivalent of “blog stoning” is, but please be patient) Clemens Utschig is the PM for SOA Suite and did a good overview of the new features in 11. It looks like there is tighter, or better integration of the key component pieces. My hope is the ESB is more solid and it sounds like it will be. A number of bugs in 10 have been addressed and there are apparently 5000 people hammering away at this thing (it’s funny, but there always seems to be 5,000 people working on something at Oracle) so you have to think v11 will be solid. 

I sat through David Hay’s conversation about Data Modeling vs. XML. I missed the first 10 minutes, which I’m sure set the stage, but I couldn’t really rally enough to understand why the comparison was being made at all. It was a very nice overview of conceptual modeling though. David is a well known speaker and knowledge expert and his talk was compelling at a number of levels. It did raise a number of what would be wonderful speaking topics such as “what is data context” and “what is a service catalog”, which I might even attempt to take on myself at DAMA or another Oracle event. I guess I’ll wait and see if anyone reads my posts here and make sure I don’t get laughed off the world-wide-stage, as it were. 

The other Vgo Software guys got to attend more of the deep technical presentations and I’ll get them to post their views on stuff. I had to sort of stay on the networking side of things. I’m happy to have met a number of great guys, such as Peter Ebell of AMIS (AMIS has a good blog at http://technology.amis.nl/blog/; great info for the Oracle Java crowd among other things), Wilfred van der Deijl of Eurotransplant (good blog for Oracle developers at http://www.oratransplant.nl/) and Steven Davelaar of Oracle JHeadstart fame. With Peter, Steven and Wilfred, we had a good discussion about the Forms to Java conversion story. I think I’ll probably create a dedicated thread to this as it warrants it, but until that comes I can summarize the discussion and the choice to convert as “it depends”. Vague, I know, since “it” depends on alot. Some big dependencies are why you would consider it (saving money and being supported shouldn’t be the top priorities; strategic technology advancement (read “SOA) should be 1 or 2 on the list), are you ready for it (yes, you should know J2EE technologies; there is a stack there) and most importantly (and no one ever talks about this and I’m not sure why; maybe I’ll post…) is your business ready for it.I can’t say that we disagreed on much. Frankly, we did agree on many many things like if you feel like you want to be supported, upgrade. If you have strategic needs to convert to J2EE technologies, be smart about what you convert, how you do it and how you plan to implement it (more coming in future blogs by me and, probably more importantly, Rob). Lastly, I was happy that both Evo and Rev were really well received by the attendee’s who stopped by. Lured by our now famous elastic rockets, people got a free copy of our Rev demo and reminded that updates to Rev are posted on the site regularly. We also featured some new stuff in Evo like enhanced analysis and web service generation from Evo and JDeveloper. People were happy to see the re-use capability in action and the code it produced; always nice to get that feedback.That’s it for this entry. Rob and Dave will post some stuff too, I’m sure.
Friday
Jun012007

Java Pass By Reference

A colleague of mine, sent me this link in regards to a discussion we were having about passing values and references in Java. It is a good article and includes a couple of descriptions of how Java works, but I still found it rather confusing.

Through my years of coding Java, I’ve learned that this discussion comes up at least once a year with somebody I’m talking to. So, to keep these questions to a minimum and to find a way to explain it that covers probably 90% if not all of the situations simply and easily, I’ll tell you how I always remember it.

My simple rule of thumb is this: If there is a “=” operator assignment inside a method, realize that the change is not going to be visible outside of the method. If the change is made via a set method, such as myDTO.setValue(”changed value”), it will be visible outside the method. The reason is that when you use an “=” operator you are creating a new reference and changing that variable to point to it. The original variable will still be pointing to the old reference, thus not visible outside the method. When you use a setter, you are changing the value that the reference is pointing to, thus it is visible outside of the method.
 
So that’s my rule of thumb. I haven’t spend much time analyzing it to see if it covers all cases, but I can tell you that it works for me.
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