ODC Appreciation Day: Mike Hichwa’s team #ThanksODC

I don’t know Oracle’s internal organization, but I get the impression that people like Joel Kallman, Jeff Smith and Kris Rice work for or with Mike Hichwa. By naming him, I get to show appreciation for a bunch of technologies, and for the people behind them.

SQL Developer

95% of my time spent on Oracle is spent inside SQL Developer, and I probably use only 5% of its features. It’s free, gets terrific free “support” from an ODC forum and from Jeff Smith’s blogumentation.

Database Virtual Box Appliance

As a developer, not a DBA, I gave up rolling my own database VM and now happily use Kris Rice’s prebuilt appliance, with just a few tweaks for a Macbook Pro with a french keyboard.


Another “freebie” that blows me away. I never got a chance to use it in my job, so last year I volunteered to develop a web application for my daughter’s medical school. With no training, no knowledge of Javascript and a jump-start from Richard Martens (thanks again!), I made every deadline and delivered every requirement including some I added myself!

APEX provides so much functionality that web developers would otherwise have to reinvent, both for users and for the developers themselves. Again, I probably use 5% or less of the features provided.

The Attitude

Having worked for an IT supplier and IT customers, I favor a win / win attitude. Way too often, Oracle Corporation projects an “I win, you lose” mentality: Oracle competes with everybody, including its customers, the DBAs who make its products work and the developers who make its products worthwhile:

  • Base your technical architecture on our non-contractual licensing rules or face an audit.
  • Buy Autonomous and reduce labor costs for operational DBAs.
  • Buy InMemory and get your results so much faster “without changing a single line of code”.

Since I do all my Oracle-related activity for free, it’s frustrating to promote a technology from one of the least-loved IT companies around.

That is why the attitude of all the folks behind these “no extra cost” tools makes me feel so good. They clearly want people who use their stuff to win big and have fun doing it. Communication with them is a two-way street with fast lanes, so their “products” evolve quickly and in useful directions.

To all you folks, whether I’ve met you or read you or just enjoyed the fruits of your labor, my appreciation today and every day…

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