Going to the UMKC campus was a refreshing and reinvigorating experience - it brought back memories of the fun days of our college life, especially relating to *some* students dozing during a lecture :)
Albeit technical, my portion of the talk was on the 'cool' features of IDS, touching upon fragmentation, concurrency, recovery, and extensibility features, most of which were at some point, a distinction for IDS when compared with our competitors. I talked, for a major portion, about the extensibility features like SPL, UDRs, VTI/VII, R-Tree, and a sampling of some interesting blades we have and what you could do with them.
Talking about IDS with our loyal customer base, who have a personal bond with Informix, is always interesting because of the varied forms of usage you learn about the product - may it be the always-on OLTP instances of our retail customers, or admin-free setups of Fonterra, or least-cost unmanned setups of Konkan railway. But, talking about IDS with students and faculty on the other end of the spectrum, who knew little about Informix, was interesting too, because you open up the same product to even more varied usages.
Hovering over their heads during the IDS demo in their lab that lasted for an hour following the hour-long technical talk, I was sensing that there was more interest in the hands-on working with IDS than just listening to what it offers. Pradeep Natarajan did a good job delivering the demo, highlighting the content of the demo DVD containing a Virtual Appliance of IDS among other things, then moving on to administering IDS with the feature-rich tools like onstat, onmode, dbaccess and finally flashing them with the capabilities of OAT being able to do most of the traditional terminal-based work from a web browser! Inevitable questions about how and why things are different in IDS from other vendors were even more desirable because it gave you a chance to brag about IDS. In addition to the sheer fun of working with IDS, the free DVD, the free T-shirt and a certificate acknowledging their participation, the knowledge that this information will help them tomorrow, not just for the next course to be taught in UMKC with Informix as one of the options for doing their projects, but also hopefully in their job, was the main factor in keeping the students glued to their seats during the demo.
Signing off my first blog entry...