Oracle’s grand annual gathering of the clan will be held this year September 19-23 in San Francisco.  For those who have never gone it is quite an experience.  Attendance grew steadily up to a peak of around 45,000 people in 2008, something that put a noticeable strain on the supporting ecosystem.  The weak economy caused attendance to drop into the 35,000 range last year which made navigating the event much easier.

The acquisition of Sun has created a new wrinkle this year.  In the past, the big event for those using Sun’s Java development environment has been the JavaOne conference.  Oracle offered something similar called Develop.  This year the two will be combined and take place the same week as OpenWorld in a two hotel area that is being called “The Zone”.  The idea is that this will be its own conference even though it is held the same time and place as OpenWorld.

At the moment relatively few JDE organizations do a great deal of advanced software development either in Java or Oracle’s own development environment.  It does not seem likely that many people from the JDE community will have an interest in this event.  The big impact on most of us will therefore be the added strain on hotel capacity.  For those of you that do have an interest in both JDE and either of these development technologies there is the opportunity to sample both on one trip.

OpenWorld this year should be more exciting than ever before.  Oracle is scheduled to introduce BI 11g over the summer, some of the Fusion Applications may finally be ready to show off in public, and we may finally get some inside insight into the logic behind the Sun take-over.

There will be no reduction in focus on JDE with a similar number of sessions as last year and a hotel largely dedicated to our community.  Somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 of us seem likely to be among the 40,000+ that will jam into downtown that week.

Anyone considering going should make plans as soon as possible.  Hotel rooms are hard to find, especially for those with limited travel budgets.  The only chance to get anything remotely reasonable in price anywhere close to the action is to book soon.  Flights are also a challenge and need to be reserved as early as possible.

As always, we will be there gathering all the news and gossip we can.  Come if you can, book early, and stay tuned to this site if you can’t.