Pina Hirano from Infoteria is a regular at the monthly Tokyo Blog Dinner in Gotanda. At last week's event, we got chatting, and he was kind enough to invite me to a lecture at Aoyama Gakuin, where he leads a business course. Most of the lectures are just for the handful of postgrad students on the course, but this one was open to others, and about a dozen other guests attended.
Friday saw Japan's annual PostgreSQL conference held at the Izumi Garden Conference Centre in Roppongi Itchome. Billed as "Learn everything there is to know about PostgreSQL in one day" - the conference is the main event in the local PostgreSQL community.
With major organisational backing and sponsorship from SRA OSS Inc., Sun Microsystems, EnterpriseDB, NEC Software and others, the event had a distinctly corporate flavour to it. Along with the plush Roppongi location, I suppose this matches the image of PostgreSQL as the Oracle of Open Source Databases.
I have recently started as CTO of a company that uses an OSS stack, and PostgreSQL as the DB platform. With my DB background being MSSQL, Oracle and Sybase, I have some catch up to do, so this was a great opportunity to get some concentrated exposure.
Morning saw the keynotes, the afternoon was sessions ....
I am at Tokyo BigSight right now for Business Blog and SNS World 2008. The midday session that Andrew and I led went very well. Despite the terrible weather and a smaller than expected turnout for the event, we had about 120 to 150 people come along to the session.
After the MC's introduction, first up I introduced the session survey. I put together a simple mobile based survey system for the event, and projected a QRCode onto the screen. This went pretty well, and about 30 people responded in the first few minutes. Then I talked about the network event we are running this evening, and launched into the panel discussion.
Andrew was moderator, and the panelists did most of the talking. 45 minutes was soon up, and I presented the real-time survey results. Although there was Q&A time at the end, no-one had questions.
Brian O'Donovan* (IBM), Gabriela Avram*
The final presentation of the afternoon session was from CyberTech, makers of an XML Database. They gave a rather unsexy demo of their product, showing XPath queries extracting parts of an XHTML document from a db table, and - IIRC - displaying them in a groovy template. A cool technology in want of a cool demonstration ;) Should be extremely useful in this XML-infested generation, so please do something more eye-catching next time!
Links: Session Prologue (Japanese)
Roppongi Midtown was awash with Enterprise 2.0 yesterday and today, as vendors, startups, mashup developers and numerous grey suits gatherered for IDG's SaaS World 2007 Conference and Demo.
The two days saw 40 main sessions, a dozen mashup presentations, and a series of open talks in the exhibition hall, where about 50 companies had booths.
The audience was very much business IT oriented, and the event was packed. It seems that Japanese corporates are keenly interested in the SaaS model, and the agility, ROI and unparalleled integration possibilities it promises.
Google's OpenSocial API
In a direct challenge to Facebook's emerging status as the default Social Platform, Google has announced a set of API standards that allows Social Website plugin applications to share data and basic functionality across multiple sites.
Here is a bit of a hokey video where Google gets together with some of the partners they developed the spec with, and show off some of the initial apps released on the API.
This move is an interesting start that should see Social Apps become more powerful, especially as the standard matures and alternatives appear. It will be interesting to see what this does to differentiation in the market, given that apps will be a lot more portable.