Embarcadero Technologies recently held DataRage, three days of online technical sessions and a virtual trade show targeted at DBAs, data architects, database developers, security experts, and other database professionals, and found that the virtual approach was the right one for the times, according Greg Keller, chief evangelist, at the company. The online event was held March 17 through March 19.
Embarcadero's CodeGear Group, the tools group purchased from Borland last year and now integrated within Embarcadero, has held "CodeRages" in recent years, but this was Embarcadero's first "DataRage" online educational and technical seminar for database professionals.
DataRage included sessions covering Embarcadero products such as DBArtisan, Performance Center, Rapid SQL, Change Manager, ER/Studio, DB Optimizer. It also included topics related to the roles as data architects, developers and DBAs, and technologies such as Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Embarcadero InterBase, IBM DB2 and others, as well as sessions on CodeGear products.
"The experiment that we had here worked in that we wanted to provide this free level of deep technical information over three days. People need that and they are willing to spend parts of their days to join in, and yet they are not able to expend budget to travel to these things," Keller tells 5 Minute Briefing.
Embarcadero had "very seriously" considered doing a face-to-face version of the event at the end of last year, but decided to postpone it, while instead trying a virtual version of the event. Although not a "massive surprise," Keller says the level of participation for the virtual conference was a "sheer validation of our efforts." There were between 1,000 and 2,000 registrants, with an average of roughly 200 attendees per session, he states.
Of all the sessions, the best attended were the modeling-related sessions, says Keller. "You have a lot of developers that truly are wearing multiple hats now." Many of the attendees' organizations are under considerable strain, and have gone through headcount reductions, he observes. "Many of these folks are forced and required now from an application development standpoint to learn more and dip deeper into the world of the database so the training was perfectly timed for them."
From Embarcadero's viewpoint, says Keller, "We consider this to be an overwhelming success, mostly for our customers who are able to get some great free training and content." Looking to future, he adds, Embarcadero is considering a combined CodeRage and DataRage virtual conference for Q3 2009. Replays of the DataRage sessions are now available on the Embarcadero site.